A FAMILY spent four months converting an old school bus into a mini home for them and their seven kids – and predict they’ll save more than £2,000 a year on holidays.
Marcie and Brad Ball, from Las Vegas, spent £4,230 ($5,800) on the iconic yellow bus, deciding to remake it as a way of travelling around the country with their large family.
Due to the size of the family – which includes Addison, 11, William, 10, Abram, 8, Oliver, 7, Logan, 5, Preston, 4, and Carson, 2 – they opted to travel in the bus to save on hotel rooms, which quickly racked up in price.
With such a large family, Marcie says that they have to split up and pay for two hotel rooms and since buying the bus she estimates that they are saving at least £110 ($150) per night on holidays and a huge £2,750 ($3,750) per year.
Brad, who works in construction in the US Air Force, spent four months renovating the bus so it was fit for his family’s holidays, spending £3,280 ($4,500) on the renovations.
The bus now has a space for each of the family members to sleep, including three hammocks for some of the children.
The stay at home mum-of-seven said: “Our bus significantly reduces the costs of our family trips.
“We love to travel but with so many kids it is really difficult to get a hotel room for us all, and we are usually forced to have to pay for two rooms.
“Which is so much more costly and also means we have to split up as a family.”
“Since having the bus that we can travel in and all sleep in, it means we can all stay together and save at least £110 per night on hotels, sometimes, even more, depending on the area.
“We currently take probably two cross-country trips and several closer-by trips equalling about 25 nights each year. So we save at least £2,750 a year in total or even a bit more than that.
“Our bus takes away the stress of booking and paying for hotels, we can just jump in and go. The kids have a blast and it gives us such great quality family time together.”
Marcie added: “I was sceptical when Brad first mentioned buying a bus because I just couldn’t picture what it would end up like, but I just let him run with the idea and I am so glad I did.
“I absolutely love the bus now and I love using it. People always ask about it and want to take pictures. They can’t believe we all fit in it.
“The kids are also crazy about it. They love to sleep in the hammocks, they fight over who gets to sleep in them.
“The bus is also so helpful because we like to go camping too, and setting up the camp and tents takes such a long time because there are so many of us.
Marcie, who home schools her children, says that the bus also gives them more freedom as they can get up and go.
She added: “If we want to go on a trip we can just pack up and getaway.
“And I can take the kid’s books with us and we can do homeschooling on the road.
“It just gives us the ultimate freedom. When my husband retires from the Air Force we would love to go travelling as a family for a year.
“I’m so happy we decided to do this, it’s saved us time and money, and we have made the best family memories.”