When looking to hit the road for your next family holiday, caravanning with the kids can be a great idea to get them used to something different.
It offers you the chance to enjoy a family holiday at your own pace and have complete control of the vacation from start to finish. Whilst your kids may not think that caravanning is as glamorous as a hotel trip, they are likely to discover that it has a host of benefits that they didn’t even consider. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some great ways to enjoy caravanning with kids.
Let them help you plan
There is nothing worse than planning a trip and not considering the kids at all if they are coming along. Taking them to just see things that interest adults will lead them to become unsettled and upset during the trip.
Let them get involved in the planning process too. This doesn’t mean theme parks and playgrounds for the entirety of the trip but drumming up interest about where you are going will make life much easier for you in the lead-up to the trip. But how do you get them involved?
These tips should help:
· Finding destinations that they will enjoy. Letting them pick a couple of days for their enjoyment will go a long way into helping them enjoy the trip. Let them look at brochures and webpages about attractions they like the look of and bookmark them so you know to check them out once you are settled.
· Show off amenities at the caravan park. Most caravan parks will have some form of entertainment for kids there. Swimming pools, amusements, or play areas will be a great selling point. Letting them see what is available at the campsite can help you pick the right campsite for the entire family,
· Pique their interest in the area. Kids enjoy discovering new things so you can add some interest to the trip by drumming up some nearby places you want to visit. This could include cool stories about mining towns or hyping up a major landmark. It will get the kids excited to explore new places when you hit the road.
Set yourself a daily routine
Just like living at home, having a common routine when on holiday will make things a lot easier for everyone to enjoy. It helps keep the children settled and they will know what to expect once you have woken up.
It is a good idea not to stray too far from what you may have in place at home as it will allow your children to adapt to it much easier than a completely new schedule.
Related Reading: Caravanning Essentials Every Traveler Needs
Waking up and going to bed
One of the most important things to consider is the time they wake up and when they go to bed.
Ideally, these can be slightly more relaxed than what is it at home but it shouldn’t go too far. Letting them wake up and stay up around 30 minutes to an hour more than usual is perfectly suitable as it lets them feel like they are on holiday without altering their body clock too much once the trip ends.
Meals and excursions
Whilst there isn’t any need to have strict meal times, planning your mealtimes can be a great way to manage your day. Having a set breakfast and dinner time will help the kids rise in the morning and eventually settle down as they near their bedtime.
Having a similar lunchtime each day can also be a smart idea too. It can help break up trips and excursions into manageable sections and prevent your kids from getting too exhausted over a certain length of time.
Putting these things into a slightly varied routine can make a huge difference over a holiday especially if you decide to go caravanning for 1-2 weeks where a routine is more likely to set in place in the kids’ mind.
You may want to consider renting a caravan or trialling a short weekend away to see how a routine works and then you can tweak it for longer periods knowing what does or doesn’t work over a few days.
For many children, the thought of spending days away from their consoles and iPads may seem like it’s the end of the world. Therefore, you need to ensure you have plenty of ways to keep them entertained during the duration of the trip.
If you want to avoid the classic “are we there yet?” or them falling asleep in the middle of the day, it’s crucial to find stuff they will enjoy. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do this no matter where you may be.
When choosing your campsite base for the trip, make sure it has some form of activities for the kids to enjoy. Many campsites will have some form of amenities such as a swimming pool, playground, and maybe even an arcade area.
Having these areas to keep the kids entertained will make a huge difference in how both them and you enjoy the trip. These areas will prevent them from getting bored when you are settled at the campsite and give you a chance to relax and enjoy some quiet time now and again.
During the car ride
Some caravanning trips may require a long spell in the car so it’s always handy to have some form of entertainment handy to help them enjoy the long ride.
It might be something as simple as bringing their tablets with them or putting a DVD on in the back of the car. Letting them relax and watch something they will enjoy helps them stay focused for a longer period and lets you focus on the road and towing your vehicle safely.
The great thing about caravanning with kids is that it allows you to visit a whole variety of different attractions during your trip. Some of these should be chosen especially for the children.
It could be a beach trip or a trip to a theme park. Just something that will allow them to get excited for the day ahead. Letting them enjoy their days will make the adult-based days less taxing on them and their favourite days will create lifelong memories that they will enjoy.
Don’t forget the snacks
When hunger strikes, it can make kids extremely agitated and difficult to manage. Therefore, having some snacks handy at all times can win them over until the next part of the day.
If you are going on a long excursion, bringing homemade sandwiches can be a great way to cover lunch for the days. National parks and small towns won’t have much in the way of restaurants or cafes meaning you need to provide for the kids if going out for the day.
Furthermore, having some snacks to munch on can be a great way to help settle your children during a road trip. You won’t want to keep stopping every two hours for food if you have a long way to travel so bringing a bag of food will keep hunger pacified and help you progress further before needing to take a break.
Try to bring some healthy snacks low on sugar with you is also a great idea. Sugary, processed foods can cause their energy to crash later in the day. Healthy snacks like fruit and nuts will keep well on longer day trips and give the kids sustained energy throughout the day.
By utilising these strategies, you will be able to enjoy a long caravanning holiday with your children without enduring any major interruptions.
Involving them in the planning of the trip as well as finding things they will enjoy helps everyone find something about the trip they will love. Meanwhile, keeping them in a routine and refreshed will help stamp out the chance of any bad behaviour. By following these tips, it will make caravanning with kids a breeze and ensure you have the perfect family holiday.
If you’re planning a camping trip with the family, also check out our article on camping tips for families!
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