Five Essential Tips for Caravanning with Kids

Caravan Kids - Jennifer Stocks 2013
Caravan Kids - © Jennifer Stocks 2013

These helpful tips about “caravanning with children” are brought to you by Debbie Saunders. Deb is a full-time Mum and part-time finance specialist, working at In her spare time she enjoys travelling around Australia and road tripping with her family.
The freedom and flexibility of the open road, the opportunity to share your experiences with fellow travellers and the unmatched beauty of nature make caravanning an ideal way for adventurous women to explore Australia. As with any form of travel, caravanning with children can present special challenges. Here are five essential tips to help you smooth out potential problems, and make your caravan holiday more enjoyable for you and your kids.

1. Establish Daily Routines before You Leave

While traveling through Australia, living environments may change frequently. If you don't have a daily routine established for you and your kids, you may face chaotic sleeping and eating habits, temper tantrums and noisy squabbles that waste time and ruin everyone's fun. Start getting your children accustomed to following a caravan-friendly routine before you embark. Plan or prepare meals and snacks beforehand. Stick to a set sleeping schedule. Make a morning and night checklist that includes activities like bathing, oral hygiene and story time. A certain amount of flexibility and spontaneity is required for caravanning, but staying as close to your routine as possible can help you avoid unnecessary confusion.

2. Take Advantage of Visitor Centres

Since today's technology makes it easy, you probably research your travel destinations online long before you arrive. You can also obtain advice from locals and experienced fellow travellers, but don't underestimate visitor information centres. They can give you access to the most current information about local events and kid-friendly attractions that may not be listed online. Experienced locals can tell you where the nearest playgrounds are, which campsites are the safest and best for kids and how to get to the nearest medical facility in an emergency.

3. Manage Laundry Needs

Running out of clean clothes can be a big problem when traveling with kids, especially if you have babies or toddlers. Your access to appliances may be limited, so plan carefully. If you're using campground facilities, plan to wash clothes before breakfast. Hang them out to dry before you leave for the day, and they'll be dry by the time you return.

4. Always Have First Aid and Hygiene Supplies Handy

Never travel without a first aid kit. Kids will inevitably suffer cuts, scrapes, scratches and bug bites. Keep bandages, gauze, alcohol pads, antibacterial ointment, children's allergy medicine and pain reliever on hand at all times. Pack baby wipes and hand sanitizer for cleaning up messes after meals and play time. For more helpful travel safety resource links can be found here.

5. Involve Your Kids in the Travel Plans

Finally, allow your kids to play a part in planning your Australian adventure. Caravanning is an opportunity many kids never have, so make it unforgettable. Let them choose an attraction or two to visit from an approved list. Allow them to take their own photographs. Help them create a scrapbook or journal, and introduce them to kid-friendly websites relevant to the area you're visiting. Getting them more involved in the planning and documenting of the trip will help them retain more of what they learn, and make memories of their experience more vivid.

Debbie Saunders

Deb is a full-time Mum and part-time finance specialist. In her spare time she enjoys travelling around Australia and road tripping with her family.