Whether you’ve got little ones, big ones, active ones, or reluctant ones, travelling with kids can be incredibly fun and rewarding, as well as downright challenging. Caravan trips are no different, with plenty of upside to enjoy, and a few key differences to bear in mind. Here’s a few top tips to help you make the most of your journey… and make some wonderful memories along the way.
Plan together, and well ahead
Small or not so small, children love to have a say in their schedule, and nothing will get them more excited or engaged in the trip than planning the things they’ll see and activities they’ll partake in along the way. In fact, some of their interests or suggestions may even surprise you!
Planning is not only important for hyping up excitement levels, but also imperative for ensuring you are able to meet your children’s needs on the road. Your planning will determine when and where you can stock up on essentials, take breaks, most comfortably bed down for the night, and attend to any unplanned or emergency situations that may crop up on the road. The last thing you want to do is arrive unannounced at a campsite to be told there’s no vacancy. While spontaneity can be whimsical as a childless traveller, it can be hell on earth with kids in tow, so best prepare!
Plenty of snacks and activities for longer stretches of driving
Anyone who has travelled long distances with children will know how essential car snacks and activities are, lest you wish to stop your vehicle every 30 minutes or so to battle the cries of boredom and hunger. Books, travel journals, stickers, card games, and electronic devices can all be wielded to full effect on your journey, just make sure you pack a variety and dole them out piecemeal to keep interest levels buoying along. Don’t forget cuddly toys for little ones to give them that extra comfort away from home. When it comes to snacks, go for less sugary and messy… or you may live to regret it!
Comfort (and a good night’s sleep) is key
Making your caravan as comfortable as possible will make a difference in terms of the quality of rest you and your children will have on your journey. Familiar pillows and cuddly blankets, good mattresses, comfortable seating, and blackout curtains will encourage better sleeping habits and thus more enjoyable, well rested days that you can make the most of.
Be aware of your surroundings and educate the children
Safety is always of the utmost importance where kids are concerned, and this is even more true in unfamiliar places. Rugged natural environments and campgrounds can be dangerous—there are often potential water, fire, terrain, wildlife, and even weather hazards that can contribute to accidents and emergencies if proper vigilance is not maintained. Always inform your children what to look out for, and what to do in case of emergency, including where they can go for help or safety if needed. Crowded areas don’t necessarily mean safer, so always take proper precautions.
Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand
Just like at home, injuries and illnesses can present themselves at the most inopportune or unsuspecting of moments. Carrying a fully equipped medical kit is essential, because it would be most unfortunate to need a restock of children’s Panadol just as you’re crossing the Nullarbor! Plasters and bandages, medications, antiseptic creams, saline eye washes, syringes, decongestants, and antihistamines are a good place to start.
There are few more amazing experiences to be had than discovering unspoiled nature at its finest—and here in Australia we are truly blessed to have some of the most incredible landscapes and natural wonders to be found anywhere in the world. Giving your children this gift of experience is priceless… so enjoy every moment of your exciting adventure together!
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