I've been traveling with my kids since the first was four months old; here's a blog of one trip where my kids were 1, 3, and 5: Home leave to the Western United States
. I'm not sure how one defines long term travel...our range was from six weeks on the road per this example to eleven years living in Belgium, where all three kids were born. Perhaps one is too short and the other too long. The only time that our kids didn't enjoy traveling was when they became teenagers, and wanted to take their friends along. The only danger of traveling with kids is that they will become addicted to travel, and expect you to pay for it long after they become adults, an example being by recent Silk Road trip with my son! In my travels I have met many parents with children...including Danes on maternity leave in Thailand with a new born and 2 year old at taxpayer expense. Definitely take your kids.
I think children traveling to other cultures is fabulous and something I would encourage everyone to do. I am delighted that my 5 year old can explain the civil war in France and how castles are used to defend an area (most recent trip) or that temples in Thailand are holy and sacred and you must wear pants and monks are truly respected etc etc
BUT.... my 5 yo is in the middle of learning to read and write so missing even 2 weeks of school could put him behind. teachers in Australia are annoyed at the amount of parents taking their kids out of school to go travelling so they won't assist by giving you lesson plans etc. So personally I won't consider travelling (or pulling them out of school) for more than 3 or 4 weeks. I would however move to another city or country so they can experience a different lifestyle (and hopefully minimize schooling issues) for at least a year or so. but I personally am not so keen on the no formal schooling part.
Having spent nearly 6 months travelling with my family, I would highly recommend it to anyone. My daughter's teacher was great and gave us a very comprehensive package of work, which we did religiously each day. As a teacher myself, I do sometimes sigh when a kid (this week there are two!) asks me for work to do when on holiday. Mainly because I spend time compiling the package only to have the parent say at the end - we didn't have time to do it, too much fun to be had. (Fair enough!). Now I just buy them a travel diary and ask them to reflect on each day's events. It does affect continuity of topics, revision, group work etc, but the average kid has anywhere from 5 to 20 days off a year now (depending on year level), so at least when they are travelling they have the opportunity to experience some learning.
We met a few other families when travelling and they were surprised we are actually allowed to take our kids out of school during term. Many European countries simply don't allow it.
We have friends who travel with their friends. nenous
Our observations of these friends and their children is that travel opens minds, decreases barriers, expose the children to cultural differences and introduces the children to a world where families around the world have far more similarities than differences.