How To Survive A Caravan Holiday With Children | Modern Mummy

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

How To Survive A Caravan Holiday With Children


The idea of travelling with children is certainly daunting, but the rewards are more than worth it. Travel is the perfect opportunity for your younger ones to explore the world and make lasting memories. Experiencing new places will also open small minds and inspire adventure and curiosity in them. Although Airbnb and similar platforms have revolutionised the travel world, caravan holidays are still popular among families. Unfortunately, taking a trip like this can often be stressful too. With that in mind, here are sixteen ways to survive a caravan holiday with children.

1. Buy The Right Caravan 
Unless you already own a caravan, the first thing you need to do is buy one. While this might seem like a simple process, there are countless caravans to choose from, all with unique benefits and drawbacks. You must make sure that whatever caravan you pick meets your requirements. A two-berth caravan would work well for couples, but families need a much larger model. If you require even more living space than provided, you can always add an awning.

2. Stay Close To Home 
An ideal caravan site will depend on what you want from your holiday. All caravan sites vary in both size and the facilities available. Almost all offer electrical hookups and Wi-Fi, but you will come across some that don’t. Before picking your caravan site, you will first have to choose a location. While it’s tempting to travel far away, you should consider staying close to home for your first trip. Driving any more than a couple of hundred miles could frustrate the children, after all.

3. Book That Pitch Early 
Once you’ve chosen your caravan site, make sure you book a pitch fairly early. During the summer, reservations at most caravan sites will fill up fast. Unless you’re prepared, you could be left without a place to stay when you need it. Many modern caravan sites allow you to make reservations online, but you might have to call up instead. Regardless, make sure that you do this at least one month before going away, so you have time to find another site if you need to.

4. Have A Route Planned 
When driving to somewhere you’ve never visited before, you’ll likely use a satnav. Although this tool can be incredibly helpful, you shouldn’t rely on it too heavily. After all, the satnav won’t automatically know if there are certain attractions you want to pass or service stations you want to stop at. Because of this, you must think ahead and plan a route before heading off. Make sure that you program this into the satnav, as well as mark it down on a map you carry in the car.

5. Plan Your Trip Together 
Regardless of their age, most children hate being told what to do. That is why it helps to plan holidays together. There are many ways to get little ones involved, such as having them suggest things to do and places to eat. They could even pick certain facilities they want the caravan site to have. If a swimming pool or crazy golf course were non-negotiable, then a location like Fir View Caravan Park Welshpool would work. Having control over the trip will give the kids less to complain about.

6. Research Any Driving Restrictions 
Any driver should know any restrictions that typically apply to them. However, if you’ve never towed a caravan before, you might not be aware of their restrictions too. Speed limits for caravans are different than cars on some UK roads. On a dual carriageway, where the National Speed Limit is usually 70mph, for example, the speed limit is 60mph when towing a caravan. Unless you know the law, you could get in serious legal trouble before your holiday even begins.

7. Pack All Bags Yourself 
Planning a family holiday definitely isn’t the most straightforward endeavour. With so much to do and very little time to get it done, no one would blame you for delegating certain travel tasks. That being said, there are a few you should complete yourself. Although your children might want to do it, you shouldn’t let them pack their own bags. This will likely cause more work for yourself in the long run. Instead, ask them to write a list of anything they want to bring on holiday with them.

8. Kit Out The Caravan 
Going away in a caravan is a truly unique experience. As well as packing typical holiday essentials, you must remember everything you need to make the caravan a home away from home. Most modern caravans have smart storage solutions, so you have plenty of space for extra things. Kitchen equipment, food, drinks, bedsheets, and toiletries are just a few things that you’ll need while you’re away. Just remember to put everything away securely before setting off.

9. Take Lots Of Entertainment 
While not a traditional holiday essential, you must pack plenty of entertainment for your trip. This is especially important if you plan on driving hundreds of miles to your campsite. Young people get cranky very quickly, especially when they’re bored. Having board games, books, and small toys should keep them occupied. Unless you have a television in the caravan, make sure you pack a laptop too. This means that you can watch a movie as a family during any downtime.

10. Establish Some Holiday Rules 
A holiday doesn’t mean that all rules should fly out the window. In fact, you must create a few new ones. A caravan is much easier to leave than a hotel, and there are many more dangers lurking about. For this reason, your children should understand that they aren’t allowed to wander off by themselves. Make sure they also know when to be quiet and what happens if they break a rule. Having these rules will keep your children safe and avoid disturbing any other travellers.

11. Bring First Aid Supplies 
Even a long list of restrictions won’t always keep your children from getting hurt. Young people are curious and clumsy creatures who are prone to having accidents. While you can educate your kids on potential dangers, you must also prepare for the unexpected to happen. Carrying a first aid kit will allow you to treat your little one until you can find professional medical help. Make sure that this kit is stocked with items like bandages, plasters, antiseptic cream, and wipes.

12. Think About Family Meals 
A huge benefit of caravan holidays is the kitchen. Having access to a full working kitchen means that you can prepare meals for your family every night. While you might choose to eat out now and then, cooking yourself will cut costs significantly. For this reason, you should make a meal plan before going away. Doing so will allow you to prepare for those meals. You could either take the ingredients you need with you from home or cook and freeze entire meals to heat up later.

13. Carry Out Safety Checks 
Before departing on your first caravan holiday, you must carry out basic safety checks. Make sure that a well-stocked first aid kit is kept on board, along with fire extinguishers and fire blankets. You should also check the requirements of the caravan relating to your car’s tow ball. The registration number of the vehicle should also be displayed at the rear of the caravan. Most people need to inform their car insurance provider that they want to tow a caravan too.

14. Try A Practice Run 
Towing a caravan for the first time can be a difficult experience. There are many driving changes you will have to make. Ensure that you take corners more widely than usual to keep the caravan from clipping the kerb. You must also give yourself a little extra time when braking and remember that accelerating will take longer. Before driving a long journey, you should drive your caravan around locally. Taking a practice run like this will settle any nerves and put your mind at ease.

15. Stick To Usual Routines 
Routines make children feel happy and secure. As tempting as it might be to throw any usual routines out the window, you should do your best to stick to them. Try to wake up around the same time, eat meals at the same time, and head to bed at the same time. This should keep any hungry and overtired children from having a meltdown. When planning your itinerary, make sure that any activities don’t conflict with what your children expect to be happening.

16. Give Yourself Extra Days 
A holiday is supposed to be a chance to relax and refresh. However, with children in tow, there is much more planning involved. That is why you should give yourself an extra day before and after your break away. The day before will allow you to make any last-minute preparations, while the day after is for unwinding. If you head straight to work once you come home, you’ll find it difficult to get back into the swing of things and might feel burnt out.

Caravan holidays are popular among families but can be stressful at times. Hopefully, with the tips above, you will have a more enjoyable break away.
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