Get your LEKI TREKKING POLES at The EPIC Family Road Trip Gear Store here:

Looking for the best gear for your road trip? Today Pete reviews “LEKI trekking poles” for you. Watch the full review at the EFRT Gear Store. (Link in Bio) – We only sell gear on our store that we love and have put to the test over the past two years on the Epic Family Road Trip. Stop by our online store and get a pair of LEKI trekking poles before your next hike. 🚶 🚶‍♀️ #leki #epicfamilyroadtrip #workplaycare

Perfect grip, easy adjustment, outstanding support. Uncompromising performance and safety! Get your new LEKI poles with Aergon grips from the EFRT Gear Store today!



EPIC FAMILY ROAD TRIP EPISODE 21 // This week we headed to the Overland Expo East 2017 at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. ITS FINALLY HERE! Part 2 of the Jeep Tour is apart of this weeks vlog!! Stay tuned for exclusive looks inside the expo and get a feel for the adventurous, and exciting overloading community that is a big part of what makes the Overland Expo such a great experience every years! This video is also great if you are new to overloading or looking for ways to improve your life of the road because we interview a few incredible people with some great products that we either think would be awesome or that we actually use and have been using while we have been living on the road for the past 2 years full time! We also take an educational and interesting tour of the world famous Biltmore Estate with our good friends, the Holcombe Family who are also living full time on the road in their Winnebago View RV! We then head to Ohio on our journey back up North to Canada and visit with some of our awesome family there and enjoy the fall weather. Check out the links below if you are interested in any of the products or stories we featured in this video, and check out our gear store on !! Thumbs up this video if you enjoyed, and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to join the adventure and become a member of the EPIC Family Road Trip!! Thank you for watching, The van Stralen Family Subscribe!: Follow Us On Instagram!:… Overland Expo: – Exploration Outfitters: – The Holcombe Family: –… OutdoorX4 Magazine: – Team Hunt Adventures: –… Mackey Fam Adventures: –…… Explmore/Strangers Like Angels:…… L.T.W.Knives:… TailGater Tire Table:… “Dirty Dining: An Adventurer’s Cook Book”/2 Ride The World:…… Patriot Campers: –… Bihler Flex/The Perfect Bungee:… Campmaid Dutch Oven:… Edited By: Caroline van Stralen (@Caroline.abroad) Locations: Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina

EPIC 6 Month NEW ZEALAND Road Trip Part 2: Jeep Arrives, South Island

The EPIC Family Road Trip: Episode 14 // In Part 2 of the EPIC 6 Month Road Trip In NEW ZEALAND, we pick up the Jeep in Auckland after it finally arrives after shipping from Toronto, Canada. We set off en route to the South Island and once we arrive we are whisked off on many unexpected adventures like a whale beaching rescue in Farewell Spit, and crawling through ice caves in a glacier. Join our family of five as we explore the world, living simply and comfortably in a rooftop tent and overlanding outfitted Jeep Wrangler.

Thanks for watching, don’t forget to join the adventure and subscribe! The van Stralen family

Instagram: @EpicFamilyRoadTrip:…

Vlog Edited By: Caroline van Stralen (@Caroline.Abroad)

My Snorkeling Adventure!

By Daniel van Stralen
The boat left the harbour at 8:15. We needed to be there ahead of time to get geared up and store our snacks and lunches in the boat. We camped the night before at the Tutukaka Holiday Park  which was about 1 km from the harbour. We got up early so we could pack our bags with snacks, wetsuits and camera gear.  When we were all packed up we walked the 10 minute walk from our camp ground to the boat.
On the way to the harbour we passed a couple of stores and I saw that one of these was an ice cream store. I asked my Dad  if we could stop to get some ice cream for on the boat but he said it would be best to have it when we come back and I agreed. Yes!
It’s 8:10 and we had arrived at the harbour to see a big black van that said Yukon Dives which was the company that we were going diving with. We also met the family that will be diving with us today.
We had heard about the Poor Knights Islands diving area from some friends we had made during our travels and it is rated in the top ten snorkeling and diving areas in the world.
The islands are a 1 hour boat ride from the mainland and are whats left of a huge ancient volcano that collapsed leaving some huge spires of volcanic rock jutting out of the South Pacific Ocean.
The waves hit the south side of the islands and then eddy around to the calm north side carrying with them a plankton and nutrient rich soup that attracts tons of fish and underwater sea life. This area is also a part of the EAC – East Australia Current which is a warm subtropical flow which attracts all kinds of sea life. (Remember “Finding Nemo.”)
On the way to the islands me and my Dad went on to the roof of the boat and we watched as the islands loomed closer and closer.
 The captain had warned us that there was large swell today on the ocean and about 20 minutes before arrival I felt a little sea sick so I lied down and fell asleep.
I woke up suddenly to see that we were only 5 minutes away from the island so I climbed down the ladder to the lower level of the boat and grabbed my wet suit.
I also picked out a set of snorkelling goggles and flippers. This spot that our guide picked for us is one of two spots that we would be snorkelling at today.
We put on our flippers and defogged our goggles and the jumped in to the ocean.
When I opened my eyes I was in awe. When you see the ocean from the surface it is beautiful but it is mostly blue and grey.
As soon as you go under the surface it’s like a portal into a new world. Endless fields of kelp bright colours of coral and schools of hundreds of fish. Its hard to explain what you see as empty and grey when it turns into a hole new world of fish and other sea life and I guess the only way to explain it is jaw dropping.
I was swimming along and watching the fish when I saw something gliding through the water beneath me. It was a big beautiful Sting Ray so I started to follow it. It was a thrill to watch it gliding across the ground with such grace and speed. I lost sight of it when it swam into a big patch of kelp.
I swam back to my family who were swimming amongst a huge school of bright blue fish.  While I was swimming our guide called us all back to the boat. Before we started to go to the second snorkelling sight we had soup  I got creamy chicken and the rest of my family got chicken noodle soup.
The boat ride to the second spot was only about a 30 minute ride but a lot of amazing things happened in the 30 minutes.
Our guide told me that we would see lots of arches and caves before we got there so I climbed to the roof of the boat to get a better view.
About ten minutes after I had seated myself on the roof we saw are first arch. It was big and very beautiful.  I was surprised to see that our boat was turning into it. We started to move under the arch it was scary because there were big waves crashing on both sides.
We made it through safely and started heading toward the second spot. We saw lots of arches and caves before we arrived at the diving spot.
Our guide told us that at this spot we would see more fish then we did a the first and that they usually swim near an arch that was next to the boat.
I defogged my goggles and jumped in. There were jelly fish everywhere. Our guide said that these jelly fish don’t sting but I still kept my distance because I had just been stung by a jelly fish a week before while I was surfing and I didn’t want to go through that again.
When my brother jumped in the water we began to swim to the arch. On the way there were some spots were we had to dive under the water because there were so many jelly fish.
When we arrived I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were fish every where! Schools of little brown fish, bright blue fish and even some large King Fish. There were also some snapper, scorpion fish and some sea urchins.
Some of the scuba divers saw Moray eels. My brother noticed a great big sting ray. It was at least double the size of the one I had seen before and seemed to have some white spots on it.
Since the fish at the Poor Knights Islands have never been fished they weren’t afraid of us – you could swim right next to them.
I found it super fun that I could swim in big schools of fish with out them swimming away.
We had swam around the arch looking at different fish and sea life for about 3 hours before our guide called us back to the boat.
I was sad when we had to leave the beautiful undersea world, but our guide said that he had one more surprise for us.
I was trying to think what the surprise could be when I saw a huge cave in the side of the cliff. It was one of the biggest caves I had seen in my life and our guide told us that it was the biggest sea cave in the world.
Our guide drove the big boat right into the cave then dropped the anchor.
I was looking around at the cave when I heard a beautiful sound. It was our guide playing a wooden flute.  I was mesmerized by the sound as it echoed though the cave.
Our guide told us that different kinds of bands had came into this cave to record songs  because of the beautiful acoustics in the cave.
He also told us that a big Sperm Whale had died in the cave and it’s bones are still at the bottom.
We had about 15 minutes to look around and film before our guide played another song then started the boats engine to head back to the harbour.
On the way back home I remembered all the pretty things I had seen. I also was thinking about how yummy the ice cream was going to be when we got back.
Please leave me a comment if you enjoyed my story  🙂

Meet The van Stralens

Hi everybody – We are the van Stralen family. In 2015 we embarked on an EPIC family road trip around North America.

After 25 years in business, this was the fulfilment of a personal family goal that we had dreamed about for many years.

On the way we realized that

– Time is more precious than money,
– memories more valuable than things
– and experiencing new places, cultures, religions and people is a better education than you can get by just reading about it.

So  – we did what anyone else would do – we sold our house, packed up our belongings and hit the road full time.

In life just like in business it is easier to chart a course and stick to it when you have a mission.

So we took the motto that had helped us succeed in business and we applied it to our new journey.

– Work hard
– Play hard
– Care.

We know that you won’t achieve success unless you are willing to work for it.

We are grateful for the opportunity to play and have fun together, and we cherish every moment.

But caring for others and trying to make a difference in the world is what gives our lives and our journey meaning and purpose.

We invite you to come along with us on this journey as we inspire each other to work hard, play hard, and care.

After 12 months around North America we decided to keep going, so we shipped our jeep to New Zealand. Join us as we traverse Oceania with stops in Australia, Indonesia and beyond.

The challenges of traveling with Type 1

For the first fourteen years of my life, I didn’t have a worry in the world. I would pack my bags and leave with my family to a conference or go on a long hiking trip and only have to worry about having enough clothes along and maybe a book to read. If I didn’t pack enough undies or socks it would maybe make me a bit uncomfortable but certainly
would not be life-threatening!

canstockphoto71865801Since my diagnosis last April those days are no more. Now my very life depends on having a proper supply of insulin and other supplies at all times. You would think something this important would be easy to manage right?

Perhaps if I was living a more conventional life, spending most of my time in one house with my medicine in one fridge it would be a bit easier. We on the other hand are full time travelers and move from country to country and hotel to hotel. Sometimes we get up early and catch a shuttle to the airport at 5 AM for an early flight making it even more difficult to manage.

If you have type one diabetes and are struggling to adjust to the new lifestyle, and occasionally forget your medicine, don’t worry you are not alone. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself after reading my story.

I have had several “insulin management” challenges all over the world.

The first time was about 6 weeks after I was diagnosed. We were in Oregon and I left all of my supplies at a restaurant. I didn’t think about it until we got back to our camp almost an hour away.

We were able to retrieve it after a few phone calls and a few hours of driving.

We were visiting my Grandmother in Salem Oregon and as usual we put my insulin supply in the fridge. Insulin needs to be kept cold or it can spoil. After a nice visit we headed out to Bend Oregon about 2.5 hours drive away. When we arrived I realized I had left my supplies behind. My Aunt Arwen was kind enough to drive them all the way out to us! Thanks Aunty!

I left it again a few months later in a restaurant in Texas this time we got it back more quickly but the problem had yet to be solved. My Dad is a systems guy and he said to me “we need to develop a system to help us manage this better”. I agreed.

My next big “Insulin management” challenge came when we went from New Zealand to Australia. We decided to leave our main supply of insulin at our friend’s place in New Zealand.

We packed enough for the 25 days we were planning to be there and carefully placed the package in the fridge at our hotel room – ready to go for our 5 am shuttle ride to the airport. When we arrived at the airport and began checking in for our flight we suddenly realized that we had left the package in the fridge at the hotel. My dad quickly called the hotel. They ran up to our room, found the package in the fridge, gave it to the shuttle driver and instructed him to deliver it to us in departures. He made it on time and we still had time to get through security and make our flight to Australia.

We had a lovely “incident free” time in Australia. We visited some lovely places and met wonderful people.

A month later, just as we were about to fly back to NZ, we received news that our Jeep wasn’t going to arrive in Auckland for another 24 days as the ship was delayed due to a large Hurricane.

We made a quick last minute decision to stay in Australia for another 24 days. This of course left us short on insulin. I was able to visit a doctor’s clinic, get a prescription or “script” as they call it and then buy a backup supply of for Lantis, Humalog, test strips, needles and lancets. One nice thing is that in Australia they actually sell the AVIVA brand of tester supplies like I was used to from Canada. Some countries like New Zealand will carry different blood glucose testers which makes it a bit difficult to manage your BGL because you get used to your system and it’s hard to change. We bought enough to last 3 months just to be sure of no further issues.

Because of the length of the delay of our jeep we decided to visit Bali now rather than after our trip to NZ as originally planned. A few days later we packed our bags and headed to the airport.

An hour into our flight from Adelaide to Denpasar, Indonesia, my Mom jumped up and yelled “KEVIN!!” actually she said “oh no! we left your insulin supply in the fridge! Not much we could do, there was no turning around now.

I did a quick calculation and figured I would be ok with the partial insulin pen I had in my backpack. Our visit to Bali was for about two and a half weeks and I had enough to last if I were to eat a very carbohydrate conscious diet.

A week into our trip and I realized that the Balinese diet was anything but low carb and soon I began to get low on both Lantis and Humalog insulin. My Dad began calling and dropping in at local pharmacies to see if he could buy some more. Finally after much searching we were able to visit a remote hospital where the very helpful doctor sold us some of their supplies. The applicator pens were different than the ones I am used to, but after reading the labels and documentation it appeared that the product was the same. We had enough supplies to make it back to Australia safe and sound.

Now what have we learned from all of this?

Here are the main challenges:

One. Leaving my daily insulin bag under tables at restaurants.

Two. Leaving my main insulin supplies in friends’ and hotel fridges.

Solution 1:

The first thing we thought of was to buy a bigger better
bag to carry my daily insulin and supplies. The one I was leaving behind was a very small fanny pack style bag. Initially we thought the smaller-the-better, but all that did was make it easy to leave behind.

To solve the problem, we chose a “Patagonia Atom Sling”. Any brand will do but this bag is made tough, has lots of room and is comfortable to wear.


I have been happy with this solution. The larger bag easily carries my gear, is comfortable to wear even on long hikes and doesn’t make me feel like a tourist carrying a fanny pack.


Solution 2:

The next thing we thought of was to pack all of my insulin the
night before we leave removing it from the fridge and placing it in my luggage with an ice pack. This prevents us from accidentally leaving it in the fridge of the hotel before an early flight.

Solution 3:

The third system we implemented was to use the alarm system on my iPhone. We normally set an alarm to alert us of an early flight or departure. Now we name the alarm “REMEMBER TO CHECK INSULIN SUPPLIES”. Before turning off the alarm we are reminded to check our supplies.

All three of these systems have really helped me manage my insulin supply better and have made traveling with T1D a much better experience even though I still forget from time to time.

A few weeks ago I forgot my bag in a restaurant in the town Te Anau and didn’t notice until we were 3 hours south in Bluff NZ. We called the restaurateur and he went looking for it and found it. He said hang on there for a minute and left the phone.. a few minutes later he came back and said “you’re in luck. I caught the last truck out. The driver is a friend of mine and lives near where you are staying. He is going to deliver it to you”. What a relief, I was so thankful! Along the way we’ve met some very kind and caring people.

Let me know if you have found this post helpful and please share any tips or tricks that have worked for you in the comment section below.

Peter Jr van Stralen @petervanstralenjr

The Sky Couch

Hi my name is Daniel I’m 12 years old and have been traveling for a year with my family.

My family and I have flown in lots of different airplanes since we started our travels and have had many different experiences in each one. 

Each place I’ve gone to has a different idea on how to make their passengers flying in the plane more comfortably. They all do a great job but in my opinion the Air New Zealand airlines are one of the best. 

That is because of an option they call the Sky Couch. 

skycouchNo, It’s not a flying couch but it sure feels like it. The sky couch’s bed-like padding and fluffy pillows allows the passenger to fall right to sleep. 

The sky couch is a lot like first class but not as expensive. I don’t know the exact prices of sky couch but you can find out on the Air New Zealand website. I do know however that the prices of the sky couch but it is basically the cost of three regular coach economy seats but shared by two people. 

From my experience on the sky couch I would say it is the most comfortable airline seating option for those who want to sleep on a super long flight next to first class. Here is a picture of what you can expect if you book sky couch.

You can use it as a bed or sit comfortably with others. While you sit or lie down on the sky couch you can also watch movies on your own TV screen. Air NZ has a large selection of Every seat on air New Zealand has a TV but not all seats allow you to lie down and watch tv like the sky couch does. Since you have three seats for two people you have the extra elbow room while seated, but the real benefit comes when you are really tired and just want to lay down. 

At this point you reach under your seat and pull up the handle transforming your three seat row into a full size bed. The flight attendants provide you with pillows and comfortable blankets and you stretch out and fall asleep. For someone my size it’s a nice big bed. For someone 6′ 4″ like my Dad it’s a bit small, but it’s still a lot better than sitting upright for 12 hours. When my dad straightened out his legs they went right across the aisle. Most of the time however he lay on his side and was quite comfy. 

That’s why I think that air New Zealand’s sky couch and costumer service makes them one of the best airlines I have ever been on. 

I definitely recommend that if you’re going to New Zealand and make sure to book yourself the sky couch for a comfortable ride to a beautiful place. 

You can ask more questions about the sky couch in the comment section or on the air New Zealand website. Also leave a comment if this blog was useful or if you have any ideas for future blogs.

Thanks for reading! Follow our journey on Insta @workplaycare