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Stephanie Ham

A campervan road trip is an amazing family vacation option. Not only do kids inherently love the sense of adventure and exploration, but the memories they’ll carry with them of the unique experience will last a lifetime. 

That being said – traveling with young kids can be overwhelming.  They may need more routine, more pit stops, more gear…more fast-food chicken nuggets – but it’s worth it!  With a little preparation and these six tips, you can make your road trip in a campervan with kids a success.

6 Tips For Traveling In A Campervan With Kids

Our family has logged hundreds of miles on the road with our 5- and 7-year-old girls, and through a lot of trial and error, we’ve come up with some tried and true techniques and campervan supplies to ensure we all enjoy our trip together. 

Road Activities

We put a storage cube bin in between the girls’ car seats that they can both reach, fully stocked with their favorite on-the-road activities.  For us, that includes:

  • magnetic puzzles
  • road-trip bingo 
  • re-usable liquid chalk coloring books

If your family uses tablets, those can go in as well (with headphones, for everyone’s sanity!)  Remember to download movies and games for those times you will be without service.

Snacks

If you’ve had to ride any significant distance with small kids, you KNOW how incessant the demands for food from the backseat can be!  To head that off, we pack each kid their own lunchbox full of snacks that they can ration out for themselves throughout the trip.  Make sure they can open any of the packaging themselves.  

Extra credit: put a small car trash bin in the back for them to dispose of their own wrappers.  Containing all the trash that can build up over the course of a week can be really important when the van is essentially your living room!

Playgrounds

My husband and I joke that we could write a travel guide on every playground in the Northeast US.  We usually plan a stop at one at about the halfway point of each day’s leg of our trip.  The girls get to stretch their legs, use outside voices, and get that pent-up energy out.  Meanwhile, we use the time away from the windshield to do phone research on activities in the area, etc. 

Podcasts/Audiobooks

My husband and I love a true-crime podcast, but when the kids want to listen with us, there are so many great family-friendly options!  We like the Story Pirates and But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids.  

Audiobooks are also a win here – if you have a subscription to an audiobook provider or your local library, you can download a book for everyone to “read” together on the trip.  If your kids are old enough, the Harry Potter audiobooks are a delight or mine both like the Boxcar Children and the Jack & Annie series.

Where to sleep while camping

Let The Kids Help Plan The Trip!

My kids have so much more fun – and are much more invested in the trip – if we include them in the planning process.  We’ve learned not to just shepherd them around, but to ask their opinion on meals and give multiple options for activities, etc.  We are generally rewarded with much more happy and compliant travelers. 

Be Flexible – and Allow For DownTime

While good planning is definitely a key to a successful road trip, we also try to allow for some free space and flexibility on each trip.  Kids are just little, and sometimes – they’re just not having it!  Maybe they don’t have any more miles left in them that day, maybe they suddenly don’t like the food or activity you planned …it’s unpredictable, but also fairly inevitable.  Having the flexibility in your schedule to pivot if necessary can give everyone the reset they need – and keep the peace in your van. 

The beauty of the campervan is that almost anywhere can be home for the night, or even for a few hours’ reset.  Pullover, let everyone take an afternoon nap in the cozy bed, fire off a snack in the kitchen and just take a breather.  You’re on vacation, after all!

Take These 6 Tips And Book A Campervan 

Booking with Escape is an easy way to begin campervanning with your family.  They can outfit you with the logistics your family needs, like car seats, kitchen essentials and more.  Along with these tips, you’ll be set up for the trip of a lifetime!  

 

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