13 countries, 26 days: UAE family vacations for Dh22,000 with road trip in their 'home'

Khaled Al Yammahi and family started their trip from the UAE and ended in Bosnia


Ruqayya Al Qaydi

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Photo: dfeg1/Instagram
Photo: dfeg1/Instagram

Published: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 16 Jan 2024, 11:39 PM

With a modest budget of Dh22,000 – covering all expenses, including food and petrol – an Emirati family embarked on a 26-day road trip spanning 13 countries in their ‘mobile home’.

Khaled Al Yammahi, an adventurous Emirati from Fujairah, reshaped conventional travel. Dissatisfied with the idea of renting a car and retreating to city hotels, he embarked on modifying a full-size van and transforming it into a mobile home for his family – to enjoy the beauty of nature wherever they stopped.

Aboard a Chevrolet Express, Khaled’s family started their journey from the UAE and concluded in Bosnia. The route took them through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy and Austria.

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They began on November 29, 2023, and finished the trip on December 24. “The journey went smoothly. We received warm hospitality and assistance from people in the countries we visited,” Khaled told Khaleej Times.

The family's mobile haven, which Khaled modified for Dh27,000, is now stationed in Bosnia, awaiting the next adventure in the upcoming summer vacation.

Khaled said the van has essential features such as heating system, air conditioning, and a kitchen—all powered by solar energy.

This sustainable approach not only ensured comfort for him and his children throughout the expedition but also minimised expenses. They did not spend on hotels or any paid accommodation. They also did not spend for visa. The bulk of their expense went for food and petrol.

The best part of the journey was communing with nature. Khaled shared on Instagram a video of him cooking in a snow-covered expanse.

Khaled has some advice to families going on road trips – to embrace similar transformative journeys. He believes these efforts are not only cost-effective but they also foster quality time and shared responsibilities among family members.

He said: "Despite my children's young age, they learned self-reliance on this journey. They adapted to the routine and assisted in the kitchen. Living in a small space made them realise the importance of order.”


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