RVing isn’t just for the greying nomads anymore; more and more families are packing up their favourite belongings, kissing luxuries like the washing machine goodbye and investing in some much needed time off to travel via the open road. Travelling on the road with kids is an incredible way to see the sights while maintaining some semblance of a routine in your little ones’ lives. After all, whether you are going down the coast, travelling across the country or visiting relatives, the best thing about taking the RV is that you get to bring your home with you.
So what’s stopping everyone from taking a year off and going on a family adventure? Well, for starters, money. Furthermore, the prospect of living in a small space with your overly active children for an extended period of time may send shivers up your spine and have you reaching for the wine bottle. However, if you are contemplating buying or renting a recreational vehicle for your next holiday, here are some tips to get you through.
Your mission is to stuff as much junk into the RV as possible. When packing, stick to a couple of days’ worth of outfits and food (plus a coin supply for the washing machines). Do a load of laundry every time you stop for groceries along the way.
Use Storage Bins
Provide your little ones with a single storage container each to fill with what they will need (books, toys, bedtime stuffed animals, etc.) These containers can easily be placed on the bed in the RV when driving and then left outside or in the back of the car when stopped. This is an easy way to keep track of everyone’s belongings.
Stick to Structure
Routine is critical for children, so try to stick to the same schedule when on the road in terms of naps, meals, baths and quiet time.
Break Up the Drives
You know your own children best, but my little ones start to lose it after three hours of driving. So plan accordingly. When the brood starts to crack, pull over, have a meal and take a break.
Plan Days for Downtime
If you have a destination and a deadline, then always plan for a few extra days to get there, in case you stop somewhere and love it so much you want to stay a little longer. There is always the chance of construction, accidents and possibly even a few stops for car sickness. Have a plan in mind, but always allow some flexibility because circumstances are bound to change.
Nothing ruins a holiday quite like a lack of funds. When planning your holiday make sure you consider ALL the costs that come with living on the road, including accommodation (RV parks or camping sites), fuel, food and entertainment.
Invest in Technology
Sure, you may not want your child playing with the iPad all day long, but these things are lifesavers when on the road! Download games, books, movies and TV shows before you go, ready to pull out when you have heard enough of “Are we there yet?”
Set up Camping Chores
Cooking dinner, setting up the site, packing up the car, doing the laundry—the chores on the road are actually quite extensive even if your house is only the size of a bathroom. So stick with similar chores that everyone helps out with at home, from folding the laundry to taking the garbage out, from making their beds to drying the dishes.
Take Time Away
You can’t expect to spend 24/7 with your family and not want to strangle them by the end. So make sure you get your time away as well, whether you hit the grocery store alone or take a book to the beach for a couple hours of reading time while everyone else naps.
Road tripping with kids in tow is a great way to see what’s out there, spend time together and simplify the whole travel process. Just make sure you have plenty of activities for the road, plenty of breaks along the way and plenty of vomit bags, just in case!