China to TikTok: Mzansi’s most followed travel family share thrifty travel, entrepreneurial success and tips

China to TikTok: Mzansi’s most followed travel family share thrifty travel, entrepreneurial success and tips

  • Mzansi's most followed travel family, the Kings, left SA with just $2000 and are now TikTok bigshots
  • They have learnt a lot along the way, and it wasn't always easy, but budgeting made everything possible
  • The Kings have a new member, Aurora, and she is coming along on their travel journeys now too

The excitement of adventure, the thrill of exploring new places, and the joy of sharing these experiences with the world - this is the life of the King family, the most followed South African travel family on TikTok. They have an impressive 3.1 million followers on TikTok.

China, South Africa, travel, TikTok, family
The King family are the most followed South African travel family on TikTok, and they have just added the cutest addition to their squad. Image supplied
Source: TikTok

Brielfy News had the opportunity to speak to this incredible young family to find out how they did it, how they are still doing it, and how they plan to keep on doing it now that a third member has joined the travel crew. The Kings spilt all the travel tea!

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Bold beginnings in China, leaving South Africa with $2000 in their pockets

The King family's travel journey began with an audacious decision - to move to China with just $2000 in their pockets and work as ESL teachers. It was a leap of faith driven by their desire to break free from the ordinary and experience the world in all its cultural splendour. As Candice King, the family Queen, recalls, "I told Jonty (my now husband) that I wanted to leave Durban and experience the world. He said, 'Okay, I'm coming', and then came up with an idea about teaching English in China." This leap into the unknown began an incredible adventure shaping their travel mindset and financial planning that has got them to where they are today.

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With its vibrant culture and distinct way of life, China became a transformative experience for the Kings. "Even though China was crazy, it sparked our love for languages, culture, and delicious food," Candice fondly remembers. The challenges of adapting to a new environment, learning Chinese, and managing their finances with meagre savings were significant. "After flights, we had $2000 together that we had saved as students, which was a decent amount in South Africa, but after exchange rates, wasn't much at all," Candice adds. This experience taught them the value of living within their means and paved the way for their future financial discipline.

Thrifty strategies for travel and saving – what has gotten the King fam through

One of the most impressive aspects of the King family's journey is their ability to save and double their initial savings over the years. Candice shares, "We didn't drink and party every weekend… we also didn't have car or medical insurance." This conscious decision to prioritise their savings allowed them to allocate more resources to their travel dreams and creative pursuits.

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The family's unique financial approach involved saving an entire four-year salary and taking up extra work opportunities. "At one point, Jonty worked every day (Monday to Sunday) in China for six months," Candice reveals. Their commitment to this financial strategy laid the foundation for their eventual transition from teaching to entrepreneurship.

Navigating the entrepreneurial path of professional travellers

Transitioning from teaching to starting their own business was challenging for the Kings. They worked part-time on their business idea for four years while maintaining their teaching jobs. They leapt into full-time entrepreneurship when they felt they had built a trustworthy brand. "The transition was gradual," Candice explains, highlighting that the process involved careful planning and role definition.

However, this transition had its challenges. Communication, defining work hours, and avoiding burnout were hurdles they had to overcome. "Learning to switch off from work was quite hard," Candice admits. Yet, their determination and unique business model tailored to their industry and lifestyle kept them afloat even during tough times.

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A little bean joins the adventure: The little Princess of the Kings – Aurora

2020 the Kings achieved a major milestone by breaking even with their business. This marked a significant achievement in just their second year of operation. Their success can be attributed to their consistent marketing approach, strong online presence, and unique product/service model.

Adding a new family member to the mix brought fresh opportunities. Their daughter, Aurora, has become integral to their content creation process. "She's the perfect addition and contributes in the cutest ways to our content," Candice proudly states. The family's travel adventures now have an adorable companion, and they've expanded their reach to parenting and motherhood communities.

What's next? Future adventures and beyond navigating travel with a baby

The Kings have big plans as they navigate parenthood and continue their travel influencer journey. Aurora will grow up immersed in a multicultural environment, gaining firsthand exposure to various languages and cultures. The family's commitment to international schooling for her underscores their aspiration to foster an open-minded and globally aware perspective.

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The King family's story is a testament to the power of passion, determination, and strategic planning. From humble beginnings in China to becoming TikTok sensations, their journey encapsulates the essence of modern-day adventurers and content creators. Through their experiences, they've discovered the world and shared their unique brand of wanderlust with countless followers.

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Source: Briefly News

Denika Herbst avatar

Denika Herbst (Editor) Denika Herbst is a Human Interest writer at Briefly News. She is also an Industrial Sociologist with a master's degree in Industrial Organisational and Labour Studies from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, which she completed in 2020. She is now a PhD candidate at UKZN. Denika has over five years of experience writing for Briefly News (joined in 2018), and a short time writing for The South African. You can reach her via:

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