Travelling In A Campervan With Children
Travelling with children to any destination by any mode of transportation is not an easy feat, but with preparation, creativity, a sense of humour, and plenty of bribes, it can be done. A family driving holiday is as ideal a choice as any when you have children to entertain. They have easy access to all their stuff; you can have as many toilet stops as you please; and you can choose when and where to travel.
Every parent is looking for optimum flexibility, which is guaranteed with a campervan hire. You can travel in safety and in style, with pick up and drop off points in central and convenient locations. The goal is to spend time together, travel to amazing places and have fun at the same time, which is possible even with a lot of children. It helps if you take the ages and interests of the children into consideration when planning your trip.
There are a number of points that will help you maximize your family campervan holiday:
1. Have a simple daily itinerary
Factor in enough time each day to ensure that the children have ample rest and relaxation. If your itinerary is so jam packed with trips here, there, and everywhere, you are putting too much pressure on the children and on yourselves. It's better not to visit as many attractions and save some time for relaxation and chilling out with the children. Small children in particular do not have as much patience as most adults, and trudging from one place to another every hour of the day can stretch a family and tempers to breaking point.
2. Pack well
Take the scouting motto to heart and be prepared. If you are prepared, you will enjoy yourself more on your holiday. Plan, write lists, stock up and always pack an extra amount of clothes and food supplies in case of emergencies. It's great to travel light when you are on your own, but with children along, that spare tracksuit or apple may come in handy.
All children get the munchies, so taking a few extra treats for those long drives will instantly help the trip become more enjoyable. Sensibly, have them easily accessible at the front. Don't make these high sugar treats or your children will be bouncing around the vehicle with no outlet for that excess energy. Fruit is a good choice, or carrot sticks, cheese and savoury biscuits. If you have no nut allergies, peanut butter packed into celery sticks is another great option. Your handy bag should also include sunscreen, hats, insect repellent, a small first aid kit, a bottle of water and a washcloth... and, of course, the treats.
Don't forget the favourite travel games, perfect for children who are bored and have had enough of endless scenery. The old-fashioned notepaper and pencils will always come in handy, or you may have to give in and allow some extra technology. Another great idea is for the older children to have their own camera and travel diary to record their own holiday moments. Keep the children engaged and don't let them get to the "I'm bored" stage. Once they start to feel cranky, things tend to snowball out of control.
Your children may never fight for their space in the back seat, but for most of us who endure this generational curse, some simple masking tape will ensure that boundaries have been set in place. Simply stick in a straight line to mark out each child's 'territory' and they should keep their fingers and toes to themselves. Of course, sometimes is just best to stop the vehicle and give the children a 'time out' to prevent them from getting too unmanageable. It is best to factor in these stops as part of the day's itinerary.
3. Remember who's in charge
This point seems obvious enough, but it's amazing how the rules can bend when one small child is screaming loudly in the back seat sending his or her sibling(s) into a small frenzy - resulting in chaos. The solution would seem to be to pull over and sort the children out, but if you are only half-an-hour from your destination, sometimes it is better to just keep pressing on and put up with the high noise levels. Of course, this isn't always the best solution and you have to make a judgement call. (Personal experience: I ignored my crying baby, and it turned out she was suffering from motion sickness. Travelling in a car smelling of vomit isn't pleasant.)
You will also be requested to stop at a lookout or pull over at another service station. It's ok to stop for a stretch and a run, but if you stop every time they get bored you will never get to where you are going. They will have a great holiday, but you will be frustrated and behind schedule. The simplest rule is, stick to your schedule since you have factored in adequate stops, and remember that you don't have to see everything that everyone in the family wants to see. After all, this is your holiday as well as the children's. However, factoring a little flexibility will assist in maintaining everyone's temper.
A special note for teenagers: Get them involved in the planning stages. They are more likely to enjoy themselves if they feel like they have a vested interest in contributing to the success of the trip.
The aim of a family holiday is to create lasting memories and relax at the same time. To do this, you need to plan a simple itinerary that includes all the main attractions and places you want to see, pack carefully and stay in control. You will find that with some strategic planning, your holiday will be all you could imagine. You will have time to enjoy adventures together in plenty of fantastic places, and you will have such a great time you will be planning to do it all again next year. The best part of using a hire campervan for your holidays is that it gives you the opportunity to control these factors that crate a great holiday.