Taking the little legends on the road is a fantastic way to see the world, enjoying adventures, building bonds and enjoying all the comforts of (a mobile) home. Family roadtrip anyone?
We asked our mates at Prestige Jayco for some expert advice on the best way to enjoy caravanning with the kids, here's their top tips:
Tip #1: Size matters - pick your Pop-Top or choose your Camper.
Think long-term! How many trips will you be doing, what amenities do you need and what can you live without? Do you need a shower and toilet built in or will you always camp at spots that have these facilities for you to use? Is a washing machine a must have? How many does the van need to sleep? Can some of the crew camp outside?
Try to nail down the nitty-gritty before heading to the shop, where your Prestige Jayco sales consultant can introduce you to the options.
Tip #2: Babyproof your van and prepare the kids
With so many compartments and features packed into a small space, it's important to ensure the kids can’t get anywhere you don’t want them to. Waterproofing the bed isn't a bad idea, if required. Kids are often used to a pretty specific schedule, so preparing for some new routines is really useful. Practice sleepovers in the backyard, plenty of snacks and some patience will help make your first few trips a breeze.
Tip #3: Plan ahead
Planning means more than popping your destination into Google Maps. To avoid endless "are we there yet's" plan for plenty of breaks and pack games, books and pillows. Knowing what type of weather you're heading into will dictate what you take and the activities on offer, include the kids and they'll be excited for every stop. Don't forget the basics too - laundromats, toilet stops and petrol stations.
Tip #4: Educate and Entertain
Family travel is about more than just hitting the road, it's an opportunity for the kids to learn about different lifestyles, experience new places and meet new people. Make sure they're careful on their adventures, since terrorizing campsites and running around reversing vehicles can be risky.
Tip #5: Don't forget the favourites and First Aid Kit
Toys, snacks, blankets etc. anything to make your kids as comfortable as possible and enjoy the trip, kids can take some adjusting to unfamiliar surroundings. So don't forget teddy! For more serious situations, make sure you pack a First Aid Kit with not only basic first aid equipment, but all the necessities for camping and living on the road - bug spray, sun cream and all the essentials.
Tip #6: Travel stories
These can be cherished forever! If they're old enough, notepads, drawing pads and cameras are all great ways to encourage creativity and stockpile stories from your trip. Then once you're back there's endless hours of fun sorting and scrapbooking for show and tell!