You might think of RVing as being only for retirees or young couples.
These days, more and more families with young children are enjoying the thrill of packing up their RV and heading out on the open road. And now that there are so many remote work and school options available, it has never been easier.
Of course, the prospect of taking young children on a long road trip could feel overwhelming. With all the baby gear, potty breaks, and the relentless refrain of “Are we there yet?,” it’s not surprising that many parents throw up their hands and decide it’s too much before they even begin.
But you don’t have to! With these pointers, you can enjoy an RV journey that you and your little ones will never forget.
1. Do the planning together
Kids love to be involved and feel like their voice is heard for family matters. Involving your children in your trip planning is a great way to build excitement! Try getting out an old-fashioned map to plot out your route together, visiting the websites of different campgrounds you might visit, or reading reviews of local attractions and amenities together. Make your travel decisions as a family about where you want to go and what you want to do.
2. Have a place for everyone’s “stuff”
With everyone’s clothes, gear and toys, the space inside your home on wheels can quickly become cluttered. To keep everyone sane, assign each family member his/her designated bin or area for stashing belongings when not in use. This will allow everyone to find their things and you won’t have to deal with constantly tripping over shoes and toys.
3. Bring plenty of indoor entertainment
It’s just reality: there will be at least one day when you need to entertain yourselves indoors (either because of driving time or because of bad weather). Bring some board games, puzzles, or art supplies for some old-fashioned bonding time. Books are a great choice too! And you can always watch a favorite movie if you run out of other options.
4. Buckle up!
It may feel safe to walk around inside your RV when it’s moving, but this safety is an illusion. The reality is that everyone still needs to buckle up when the RV is moving. Young children should also be restrained in an infant or toddler seat that has been correctly installed. While we want fun to be a priority, safety should always come first.
5. Make sure everyone has a dedicated space
No matter their age, each member of the family needs his/her own designated area to relax and recharge. Consider purchasing or renting an RV with a bunk room area. This provides little ones with their own small area and also gives parents the freedom to stay up and enjoy some downtime after the kids go to sleep.
6. Use SlumberPod with your baby or toddler
If you’ve never tried SlumberPod while traveling, now’s the time! This sleep solution can exponentially simplify life on the road for young families. It provides your baby or toddler his/her own sheltered area, keeping out noise and light, and helping your child feel safe without taking up any more room than the playard your baby is sleeping in!
7. Learn from an experienced roadtripper!
Carley Schweet is a mom and a seasoned Airstream roadtripper! She provides the following advice for navigating a long RV trip with young kids:
In addition to bringing along your SlumberPod, there are a few helpful tips to consider when road tripping with a little one. One of my biggest tips is to have a game plan, but know that there's a high chance you'll deviate from it, and that is perfectly fine! Make sure to communicate your plan with your road trip partner and map out expectations beforehand. The app Roadtrippers is a great place to start!
Also, make sure to bring extras of everything you can't easily pick up while on the road. This includes formula, breastmilk, wipes, diapers, clothes, toys, etc. Make a list and see what you use most frequently and identify what you can bring “just enough” of and what you need to pack extra.
Be sure to take breaks throughout the drive! Give yourself at least 90 minutes per stop to include ample time for diaper changes, walking around, exploring, eating, etc.
The magic of a road trip lies in the unexpected and unplanned, so as long as you're prepared, there will be plenty to explore together without (as much) stress.
Learn more from Carley at https://carleyschweet.com/.
8. Relax and have fun
If we could sum it all up with one essential point, this would be it: relax and have fun! Let go of any expectations you might have had and just focus on enjoying the company of your family. After all, you’re making some amazing memories together. And that’s definitely worth any amount of hassle. With a little planning and the right attitude, it will be an adventure and a bonding experience to remember.