The Joys Of Taking A Road Trip In A Campervan With Young Children
“Mom! Dad! Are we there yet?” cried my six-year-old son from the back of the van. Frustrated, I give my son a glaring look like my wife, who more patiently, responds kindly,
“No, we just started driving. It’s going to be a long drive, but I’ll let you know when we’re close.”
“Thank you!” I mouth to her as I take a deep breath and settle in to enjoy the roadside scenery. A short five minutes later, however, my three-year-old daughter’s voice wafted across the seat.
“Dad! How much longer? Are we there yet?”
Have you heard this before? If you have ever traveled with your family, you have most likely heard it several times during a road trip in a campervan with young children. If you’re like me, it can get pretty frustrating. Okay, maybe really frustrating.
Road Trips In A Campervan with Young Children Aren’t Easy
Why? Because these long, boring road trips expose them to wonder, adventure, and newness in all shapes and sizes. The United States has a vast physical and economical landscape. Expose your children to it. Help them gain perspective.
When I was a kid, before campervans were trendy, my parents drove me and my three older brothers across the country. Twice! Our mode of transportation was a big blue fifteen-passenger van. Yep, we called her Big Blue. She had no gizmos. No gadgets. She was beautifully plain. During those long drives, and oh, believe me, they were loooong and there was no technology to distract me.
No Screen To Distract Me From The Wonder Outside And Connection Inside.
I understand the plains of the midwest because I stared at them for what felt like an eternity. Driving through Kansas is no joke! I experienced the difference between the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Mountains and saw the contrast between economically poor and rich districts.
I looked out the window to see snow on the first day of summer in the Big Horn Mountains of Montana. I saw my dad try to touch a wild moose on the side of the road. (Yeah, probably not the best idea!)
Things We Found Out During The Road Trip Between Our Destinations
The United States is diverse. Vastly different from coast to coast. Looking out the window during these long road trips gave me a window into diversity. It helped me see the beauty in differences.
You need the long, flat plains of Kansas to truly appreciate the staggering heights of the Rockies. If I were glued to a screen the whole time, the whole experience would have been diminished.
Technology has its place on road trips but kept unchecked, it stifles the experience of what’s beyond the window. Sometimes games are the best way to connect with others and nature.
A Good List Of Games For Long Road Trips With Young Children
- I spy. A simple game of I spy can create laughter, connection, and a reason for everyone to look out the window.
- Alphabet game. The first person has to find something outside the car that starts with an “A”. The next person has to find something starting with a “B” and so forth until you reach “Z”.
- Create a story. Each person participating, in sequence, adds a sentence to a story you all are creating together. These usually get a little wonky, and you can be sure, that if a child is playing, at least one of the sentences will involve poop.
- Draw what you see. Each person, except the driver, of course, draws a picture of what he or she sees out the window.
- Counting game. Choose an object that is most likely outside and see who can find the most of that object in a given amount of time.
Remember, beautiful memories can be made while on the road. It doesn’t have to just be about getting to the destination. Not only will the games above keep you engaged, but listening to audiobooks or music, playing cards, or simply talking to each other will help make the drive more enjoyable.
When you choose to engage during the road trip, look out the window, and connect with your loved ones, then the drive time to get to your destination becomes one of your favorite memories of the whole trip.
Young Children’s Lives Can Change While On A Campervan Roadtrip
Life’s too short. Go ahead, take an extended road trip. Escape Campervans has locations all over North America. Book a campervan and jump into the adventure. Look beyond the window!