All parents know that going on vacation with children is never easy! And whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, advice is ALWAYS welcome. If you’re loading the family into a caravan for a vacation, you want all the help you can get!
From bringing spying back into the spotlight or understanding basic safety precautions, here are ten tips for caravanning with kids.
1. Plan ahead
Be sure to stock up before you go (in addition to food) for basic cleaning items, dish soap, sponges, mosquito spray, etc., and be prepared for the weather. Add warm layers, blankets and raincoats just in case! And if you plan to go off road, remember that facilities aren’t always the best in some of the more remote locations, so make sure your caravan is completely self-contained during times when you can’t access to electricity.
2. Don’t overload your caravan
Although there is plenty of space in a caravan, the key thing to remember when packing is to distribute the weight evenly and not overload your caravan so that it remains stable on the road. Of course, take the essentials with bikes so the kids can play outside, but many campsites have cheap washing facilities so you don’t need to go overboard with packing clothes, take just washing powder.
3. Consider smart storage solutions
Have different boxes labeled for appliances, food, children’s toys, and even clothes. That way when you’re traveling, it’s easy to know where everything is and when it’s time to get home, it’ll be a smooth process to pack. Remember, once you’re loaded, make sure everything is securely fastened.
4. Establish a daily routine
Of course, the reason you’re on vacation is to escape the mundane routines, but it’s good that the kids have the basics. Setting times for waking up, going to bed and when they go to eat will help a lot! They don’t need to be strict, they’re just in place to better help you manage your own days and the child’s biological clocks.
5. iPad usage and activities
The tablet is a must (definitely pre-download their favorite show!) but car trips can be long and you want to manage screen time. Have activity books, coloring books, and toys ready to go, or teach kids old-fashioned car games like spy eyes or the last letter word game. This will help them enjoy and embrace life on the road!
6. Healthy snacks
Be over-prepared with snacks and food. It’s a great way to settle the kids during road trip and adventure days. The last thing you want to do is stop at an IGA after having a temper tantrum!
7. Line up attractions along the way
It could be as simple as planning a stop at a nearby beach for a swim and a sandwich. It’s good to give the kids something to look forward to. Try not to think too much, have a little plan for your adventure but not too much – be ready to go with the flow when you have kids!
8. Communicate expectations
Talk it over. Talk about the duration of the trip and possibly what you will be doing during that time. It helps them prepare and maybe avoid a crisis or two!
9. Safe speeds and extra wide turns
Remember that you’re carrying a lot of extra weight behind your car, so it’s important to take wide turns and travel within a safe speed limit, which will help keep things manageable if you suddenly need to. apply the brakes and help you stay in control in strong winds or uneven roads. RAC organizes free caravan safety training sessions to prepare you for your next trip. You’ll learn how to back your caravan safely, check your tyres, understand vehicle weights and other useful tips.
10. Check that everything is in working order before you leave
It sounds simple, but amidst the chaos, it can easily be forgotten. Don’t forget to check your suspension, tire pressure, wheel bearings and recheck your connection (make sure your caravan is properly hitched as a last measure). Monitor your download (the download to your hitch should never exceed the maximum recommended by the vehicle manufacturer) and test your lights. It is also important to maintain your tow vehicle regularly to keep it in top condition!
One last tip! Hit the road and have peace of mind with local RAC caravan insurance. You’ll be covered for accidental loss or damage, towing, essential temporary repairs and more*. Get a quote today.
** RAC Caravan and Trailer Insurance is issued by RAC Insurance Pty Limited. Terms and conditions of application. Check the PDS & TMD on rac.com.au to see if this policy is right for you.