Caravanning with kids...what will i need to take?
I have written another article on ‘must have’ items for caravanning so read that article for the main items you need to take with you as that includes all of the basics you need including tips on using the on-site facilities. This article is an ‘add-on’ for if you have children with you.
Before we get started if you have not taken children camping or caravanning before then let me tell you – they will love it! Children somehow just seem to love the outdoors and a caravan is so exciting for them! It’s like a little playhouse!! Caravanning with kids has given us some our best holiday memories purely because I think that we all enjoyed it as much as each other.
Here are some things to consider before you go and items that will you may find useful to take with you. Depending on the age and nature of your children some of these points may be completely irrelevant but for others they may be really helpful so bear that in mind and just adapt as you feel is appropriate for you and your family.
Discuss what will happen, expectations and boundaries – this is likely to be more relevant for younger children but think about the caravan itself and how it will work when you are there. Obviously caravans are a small space to have a family confined in so I think it’s worth discussing it with the children before you go.
Where will the children be sleeping? Who is sleeping near who? What bedding will they have? Children do sometimes struggle to sleep in new places so discussing it with them before you go may be helpful for them to feel more settled once they’re there. Explain that the beds cannot be jumped on, because they are not strong enough, explain that they will have their own duvet or pillow from home and their favourite teddy. Explain which sibling will have which bed, where mummy and daddy will be sleeping and what they should do if they need the toilet during the night.
You may also wish to discuss keeping them safe, for example, the kitchen is a small area so explain about not touching hot surfaces, not touching the door to the caravan and any other things you think will be appropriate for you and your child.
You may wish to explain that your child can still have a bedtime story or that they can stay up late – you can adapt this and have any discussion that you feel may be helpful for you and your family.
Discuss physical boundaries – if you have smaller children that may run off then when you arrive on site it can be really helpful to decide on a physical boundary that you feel is safe for your child to play. For example, there may be a line showing the edge of the pitch and you feel that this is enough space for your child to run. There may be a wall, tap or other feature that you can use as a boundary or you for older children you are happy for them to them to have free run of the site but they must not leave the site itself.
Choose what is appropriate for you and discuss as soon as you possibly can when you arrive. Most children find it easier to know what is expected of them.
Caravanning with kids...things to take.
First aid/medical – this is discussed in the ‘must haves’ article but with children it is so highly relevant I felt it necessary to raise it here too. Children do silly things, they have accidents and they often pick up illnesses etc.. So having first aid items with you is so useful. Include plasters and a cold compress as an absolute minimum but I think it’s useful to have larger plasters for bigger cuts, painkillers like Calpol, insect/bite/sting cream and maybe things like a thermometer. Don’t forget any usual medications too.
I also think it is so helpful to know where the near Accident and Emergency department is to where you are staying. Just a quick check on Google maps so that you know how far away it is may just come in useful should an accident happen.
Useful items to take:
Drinks bottle – something for their juice or water and also maybe their favourite bottle/cup for milk for for younger children
Entertainment – this really can be anything your children enjoy doing but good examples are:
Outdoor toys such as football, skittles, water guns, boules and bikes/scooters. Avoid things like frisbees that will dent yours and other peoples caravans (don’t ask how i know this!).
Indoor toys such as a few dolls with accessories, jigsaw puzzles, colouring books and felt tips, toy cars and sticker books. Magazines are also good as they normally have activities and some free toys on the front.
Games such as Uno, Dobble (this is a favourite), Snap, Top Trumps, Dominoes or travel sized games such as Guess Who.
Electronics – ipads, phones, Kindle Fires etc – take your pick. You could download a couple of films, games and maybe some ebooks. Take headphones to avoid arguments! You may wish to check wifi options on-site before you travel and don’t forget chargers!
Awning – really helpful when you have children of any age. You can leave bikes, shoes and outdoor toys in it but it’s generally really helpful as an extra piece of (dry) space for storage or sitting in.
As long as it stays dry-ish for your trip the kids will love it . They normally sleep well too after all that fresh air during the day giving mum and dad time for a nice uninterrupted glass of wine, brilliant!
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Please note these are the words and opinion of the author only. Neither the author nor the website can be held responsible for any errors or omissions. You should seek professional assistance if in doubt.