RVing is a great way to create family memories that will last a lifetime. Traveling in an RV makes camping and vacations easier than ever for a family. You have full control of your space and the items you have access to. However, if you’re used to traveling without kids, there are a few transitions that can help make your RVing experience a good one as a family.
Here are some tips to keep in mind before heading out on the road.
Consider how you need your space to function
Different families have different needs. You may have a child who needs a quiet place to nap during the day. If you have an RV without separate rooms, this could disturb the nap schedule with can throw off a child’s mood and attitude for the rest of the day. You know your child best, so think about what their needs are and what kind of space will best serve the entire family.
Babyproof your RV
If you have a baby, you’ve likely went through the steps of babyproofing your home. Now it’s time to babyproof the RV. Look for plugs that need covers, cabinets and doors that need locks, corner guards, and move things that could be harmful to high spaces or behind locked doors. You can also put an alarm on your RV door so you can keep track of who is coming in and out of the RV.
Storage, storage, and more storage
Infants and toddlers can require a lot of different gear than you’ve been used to bringing with you in the past RVing. Some RVs are limited on storage space, so look carefully at how much room there is and what you need to bring. For example, you may need a pack-n-play, highchair, bouncer or walker, and toys or books to keep them entertained. While you may be able to tuck all these items away when you’re at home, it’s not always as easy in an RV.
Consider what items you actually need and which ones you can do without. Does your child actually need all 15 stuffed animals or can they choose their favorite three to bring? Do you need the high chair or can your child sit in your lap while they eat?
If your child is old enough to get around on their own, consider finding a bin that they can use to bring their toys in. This allows you to determine how much space they can use for toy storage, but they can be the one to choose what they put in the bin.
Have a plan in place
We’re not saying you need to have a well-laid out plan for each moment of your trip, but when RVing with kids it’s helpful to know where and when you are stopping. If your children are old enough to understand, it gives them something to be excited about. If they are small enough to be in car seats as you travel, it allows them a chance to take a break. Remember, you may not be able to cover the same amount of ground that you could on your own.
Plan days off
Plan for days to spend in one place. Set up camp and explore the area around you through short day trips if there isn’t enough at the campground to keep you busy. This can be easier for fitting in naps and helping keep your kiddos on their schedule. It can be easy to overdo it trying to get everything into your trip, but the entire family is likely to enjoy it more if you pace yourself and enjoy downtime.
Be prepared for the great outdoors
If you plan on enjoying time outside, think about what you will need to make it easy with your child. Do you need a portable playpen you can put under the awning? Do you have a baby carrier you can comfortably use while hiking? Take time to think about the activities you enjoy and then think about what you need to make it easier with your kids.
You’ll also want to be prepared with family-friendly bug repellant, sunscreen, and a first-aid kit.
Find the right RV
This is last, but most certainly not least. Finding the right RV for your family is essential for creating the best RVing experience. If you are already part of the RVing family before having children, it’s likely your RV needs change when you bring kids into the picture.
Consider what space you need for you and your child. You may want to consider future changes that will come with your family as your child grows as well so you will be prepared in advance.
Do a practice run
Now that you have your RV ready and a plan in place, do a practice run close to home. Choose a family-friendly campground in your area to spend the weekend. This allows you to discover the items you wished you had but forgot and see what changes you need to make before you head out on the road.
Now that you’re prepared, have fun planning your first RVing trip with kids!