Travelling abroad with young children can be stressful so it is becoming increasingly popular for families to opt for caravanning with kids instead. A campervan, motorhome or caravan holiday can be fun and filled with joyful experiences for the whole family. If you haven’t done a trip in a campervan with kids before, there are some things you might want to consider while planning your family vacation.
In this post, we’ll give you our best tips for caravanning with kids so you can ensure your holiday goes smoothly and everyone has plenty of fun.
5 Tips for Caravanning With Kids
1. Ensure Your Campervan is Suitable for the Whole Family
The interior layout of your camper is essential when you’re going for a holiday on the road with the whole family. Not only do you need to accommodate your kids’ needs, but you also need to ensure everyone has enough personal space. There are a few things to consider in relation to your caravan layout.
First, you have to make sure there’s enough beds for everyone. If your kids are bigger or have a big age gap then you have to ensure there’s suitable sleeping space for each of them according to their needs. If your caravan has fixed bunk beds you should make sure they’re safe and your children won’t roll out of the bed during the night and hurt themselves.
Another thing to consider in terms of layout is the storage availability. Check that your motorhome has enough space to store all of your luggage so no essentials get left behind. You should also check that your caravan is equipped with enough power sockets, especially if your kids are bringing any gadgets with them.
The last, but certainly not least, important factor to consider is the safety of your caravan. Are there any exposed gas or electric heaters that could pose a hazard to children? Are the seatbelts in good condition? Is there any other equipment that could be a potential risk for your kids?
If you’re travelling with particularly young children, secure any possible hazards in your caravan before your trip to avoid accidents.
2. Make Sure There’s Enough Entertainment for the Road
Children can often get bored on the road, so in order to avoid hearing the famous “are we there yet?” on repeat, you need to plan ahead by packing plenty of books, games and gadgets to keep the kids entertained. These can also come handy if the weather takes a turn for the worse during your vacation and the kids can’t play outside.
In addition to the traditional board games and books, you should also pack a laptop with Netflix installed or a portable DVD player for those family film nights. A lot of caravans also come with a built-in TV and a DVD player, so if you’re buying a new or used caravan or motorhome, make sure you ask about that.
3. Pick a Caravan Park with Amenities
If you’re planning on spending your holiday in a caravan park, choose a family-friendly location that has all the amenities you need.
Location is very important when you’re caravanning with kids because they get tired easier. The closer the camping site you’re visiting is to the beach, a lake, wildlife park or forest – the better. This means you won’t be stuck for ideas when it comes to things to do during the day.
In terms of amenities, a park that features a range of indoor and outdoor activities would be best suited for a family staycation. For the kids’ make sure the site you choose has a variety of facilities such as a playground, park, any kids’ clubs or indoor playing area, as well as organised activities.
You also want there to be activities that you can do as a family. Facilities such as a swimming pool, tennis courts, golf courses, games room or outdoor adventure activities are always a plus. You should also consider the food and drink options if you don’t want to cook every night and are planning to go out for family meals.
4. Pack Plenty of Snacks
There’s nothing worse than a ‘hangry’ child while you’re on the road. To prevent your children from wanting to stop at every McDonalds you pass, make sure you pack lots of snacks.
Make sure that there is a balance, though. The last thing you want is kids that are hyperactive due to too much sugar. Pack a variety of snacks, including fruit, veg as well as fresh ingredients for cooking. On some of the nights you might want to stay in and cook a healthier meal, because as we all know the food options at caravan sites aren’t always particularly healthy.
5. Think of the Distance
After reading our previous tips, you might’ve already packed all the games, DVDs and books you have, but your children might still get a bit restless if you’re travelling for too long.
In order to avoid the endless questions as you’re trying to navigate your way through traffic or are stuck on the motorway, try to limit the length of your journey. If you’re travelling with young children, try sticking to a distance of 200 miles away from home.
If you are determined to visit a specific camping site that’s further, then we would suggest making an overnight stop at a campsite along the way. Alternatively, try to set off as early as you can so the kids will still be asleep for most of the travel time.
6. Consider Everyone’s Need for Privacy
With younger children this might not be as much of an issue but if you have teenagers, then definitely consider their need for alone time and privacy. The limited space in a motorhome combined with moody teens who want to be left alone is a recipe for a holiday disaster.
Make changes to your camper’s interior if you need to, such as adding dividers, to accommodate everyone’s need for personal space.
If you’re planning on committing to the van life with kids this summer, you might be interested in the range of caravans, campers and motorhomes available here at Venture Caravans. Browse our RV’s today or contact us if you’re having trouble choosing a family van for expert advice.
This blog was written by Dave Brown. Dave is a Director of his family business which began in 1971. He has a wealth of experience in this sector starting as a workshop apprentice straight from school in 1982. Married with two children, Dave has been an enthusiastic Rugby player since the age of 8, only retiring this year. He will now spend more time travelling in his VW Campervan and watching his favourite team, the Northampton Saints.