A MUM who travels the world with her husband and two young kids for free has claimed being an influencer is like a ‘full-time job’.
Karen Edwards, 35, initially set off backpacking after discovering she was expecting her first child, Esme, now five.
Karen and her husband, Shaun Bayes, 35, were initially “in shock” after finding out they were going to be parents, but decided not to cancel their pre-arranged trip around South East Asia.
The mum-of-two admitted she was “scared” of having to give up her “lifestyle” of holidays and travelling after starting a family.
So Karen used her year of maternity leave from her job as a nurse, with the couple renting out their flat, to fund the trip, saying it was better than staying in a “dreary flat” in London.
It was during that trip that she set up a blog, Travel Mad Mum, to keep their friends and family up to date with their travels, also sharing practical tips such as flying with children and family-friendly destinations.
Karen told the Mail she never dreamed her blog would blossom into something so popular, which would enable her to travel “far and wide” with her family.
Despite their jet set lifestyle – for free – Karen claims it’s like a full-time job, and she spends a lot of time taking photos and videos, editing, meeting with various teams and researching Google rankings.
She said: “I would never refer to our experiences as 'traveling the world for free'. Yes, it is incredible to trade photography, videography and writing for a holiday, but it is work and a lot of it too.
“It may look very glamorous, but it is work and we've been very lucky to have that job for the last four years.”
And she said even a ‘free’ trip isn’t all relaxation, adding: “My only concern about trips that are gifted or paid is they definitely do not feel like a holiday for me.”
Some four years after Karen started her blog, she’s turned it into a family travel website, and Karen now boasts more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.
Her website says: “Travelling the world may seem off limits to most new parents.
“However, it does not have to be that way. ‘Travel Mad Mum’ aims to inspire other parents with personal experience, factual information and top tips for travelling with little ones.
“The biggest message I would love to send to parents is that your travelling lifestyle does not have to end when you start a family.
“Travelling is an incredible way to bond as a family, introduce your child to a variety of sights, smells and sounds and prepare them for a life surrounded by other cultures.”
The couple, who welcomed their second child, Quinn, two, now travel the world for free as a family, via sponsorship deals, working with various brands, paid adverts, Instagram collaborations and writing articles and tips on various destinations.
So far they’ve managed to visit 88 countries, including visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Machu Picchu in Peru, going on safari in Kenya and visiting Santa in Lapland.
And they’ve already got their next mammoth trip mapped out – driving from London to New Zealand next April in an old American RV which they’ve bought.
The family plan on visiting dozens of countries along the way in their renovated RV, which they’ve called Bertie.
To ensure they’re able to keep travelling Karen home-schools Esme, saying her kids are “very sociable” due to the life experiences they’ve had.
And this jet-setting millionaire, 27, is hiring £28K photographer to travel the world with him.
While this travel blogger makes £600k in a YEAR by posting sponsored pics on Instagram.
We previously spoke to an influencer who was told she was too fat to model by school bullies – now they're begging to be her mate on Instagram.
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