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    Family Life

    20 tips for taking kids caravaning

    Taking your kids on the road can be an amazingly rewarding experience that’s ten times more enjoyable and enriching than your bog standard beach break.

    However, these kinds of trips don’t come without their challenges. There are safety concerns to watch out for, issues with keeping kids comfortable and entertained, and the risk that the whole trip could be a total nightmare.

    With a bit of help you can make sure these issues never arise. So check out our 20 tips for the perfect road trip. 

    Learning experiences

    • Give them real responsibilities. Let them help set up the awning, get the water, do the washing up and take the rubbish to the bins to earn pocket money.
    • Keep a diary, getting them to write every night before they go to sleep about their experience. This makes a great keepsake and a point of reference for future trips.
    • Get them taking photos (if they’re old enough) of all the different places you visited. Afterwards you can work with them to create a Facebook scrapbook or other online album. If you have more than one kid, set up a photo competition with a sweet prize!
    • Make the most of being in nature. Go on nature trails, do some bird/critter spotting, teach them about the land and why it’s special.
    • Adventure builds character and strong family bonds. Always push the limit as far as you feel safe to do. The more challenging the experience you have together the better memories you’ll make.

    Safety

    • If buying a vehicle for your first trip from a private seller or through a site like Gumtree, make sure it comes with a full service history. This is especially important if your trip will be long distance.
    • Use domestic-style socket protectors for the 240V sockets.
    • Under-sixes should not be in an upper bunk. Use small, folding travel cots for very small ones. For older ones fit a standard bed guard if possible.
    • Not all caravan sites are suitable for kids. Make sure you do your research and choose suitable ones.
    • Remember to look after yourself too — if you’re too tired or ill to drive then make sure you take the time to rest and recoup before heading on the road.

    Entertainment

    • Host special ‘cinema evenings’ (complete with popcorn and fizzy drinks) using a laptop, tablet or portable DVD player. It’s a great way to relax in the evening, especially if the weather is a bit undesirable.
    • Get a vehicle with a full-size awning — it increases your living space to no end, providing a place to eat in comfort when the weather’s nice and a place to play on rainy days.
    • Pack a good portable speaker to play music when stationary without rinsing car’s battery.
    • The more books and board games the better!
    • Try to make it as much of an adventure as possible. Make up stories about the places you go and the things you see. This will make the whole experience so much more exciting for them.

    Coping

    • Make the van as dark and quiet as possible at night to help your kids sleep. Keep the noise down, install some black out blinds, and they’ll probably sleep better than they do at home.
    • If going abroad remember travel insurance for your child too.
    • Let them choose their own sleeping bags, then they’ll be keen to get into them at bedtime.
    • Buckets for baths — you can buy handy flexi tubs that are perfect portable baths.
    • Try to make home cooked meals and snacks that they usually have at home. Don’t forget to add your Australian superfoods to add to their breakfast meals.

    this post is brought to you by Gumtree

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