Some might call you crazy but when you and your partner are natural-born adventurers, caravanning with the latest addition to your family is just another frontier to conquer.
Caravanning with a baby requires a different kind of planning. Adventures are still very much welcome but knowing where to go and bringing what you need are not enough. More thought must be put into your destination, the weather, and the nature in the surrounding area. Look for family-friendly caravan parks that have their own facilities or at least are close in proximity to where the facilities are.
Babyproof your caravan
Babyproofing your caravan won’t be as intensive as babyproofing your home. After all, the space is much smaller. The important thing while caravanning is that you secure everything that can come loose including drawers and anything with wheels. Also, make sure that windows and doors have locking mechanisms that work perfectly well. It’s top priority as well to check towing aids, tires, lights, and of course, the caravan’s engine. Trust us, you don’t want to be stuck on the high way with a bunch of toddlers in dire need of a nap.
Bring clothes for all kinds of weather
Believe it or not, this is easily overlooked by most parents since nobody really plans caravanning during bad weather. The thing is, you never know when bad weather may set out on you. No need to pack the whole closet though –bring mostly comfortable clothes that are easy to wash plus a couple of warm weather clothes. A light jacket for each tot will do. And oh, don’t forget to bring hats for everyone!
Wash clothes every other day
Kids are messy… and so are adults. Since we already told you not to pack the entire closet, you will run out of clothes pretty easily if you don’t wash your clothes often. Wash clothes first thing in the morning so they have time to dry throughout the day. It’s also wise to add clothespins to your checklist of things to bring, along with a few foldable hangers –nothing’s worst than having a pile of wet clothes and nothing to hang them with. And because you want to stay organized in such a small space, a collapsible laundry basket will be great for keeping all the dirty clothes in one place before wash day.
Stick to a schedule
Households that run as smooth as a baby’s bottom have a schedule and live by it. When you set out into the wild (as if living with kids isn’t wild enough) in a caravan, there’s no reason for you not to do the same. Wake up at the same hour each morning, eat breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner at the same time, nap time and bedtime should be consistent every day. Same goes for playtime and outdoor adventures. This will lessen the stress kids might feel from being far away from home.
Load up on mobile games & apps
iPads and other mobile devices will be the saviour of your sanity when you badly need some quiet in the afternoon, or just want to stop the uneasy squirming that inevitably turns into whining during long drives. Choose mobile games that lean on educational so the kids’ screen time can double as learning time. It’s a great idea to download their favourite cartoons, as well. Like every other activity, set a schedule for this and stick to it religiously. You don’t your toddlers crying for the iPad when it’s time to go for a walk.
But bring toys too…
Nothing battery-operated, please. The good old rubber ball or pail and shovel are perfect choices. These toys are great for developing motor skills and sensory perception and will make the kids enjoy the outdoors even more. Just keep an eye on them as they play and don’t let them eat sand…maybe a little.
Waterproof your bedding… and bring extra sheets
Your toddler is probably not yet potty-trained. Leaky accidents can take place in the night even if they sleep in disposable nappies. Waterproof fitted sheets are great and easy to clean up. Extra sheets are not that difficult to bring either and you’ll be glad you have them in case your waterproofing fails.
Bring the pram
We know space is limited and you don’t want anything big and bulky to further encroach it. However, prams can be folded away for storage and the space it will take up makes up for the benefits of bringing it. Apart from being able to take your toddler out with you on walks even during their nap time, a pram can also double as a crib when caravanning with newborns. Just make sure to get one with wheels that lock.
Consider upgrading your caravan
Your family has grown and so should your caravan. You might think that an upgrade is not necessary since your new addition is little. The thing is, travelling and camping with a newborn or toddler means you will be staying and moving a lot more inside your caravan. For families with small children, a trailer with twin bunk beds will allow a lot of comfort for the whole family when sleeping at night.
On the other hand, if you are caravanning with a newborn something like the 2003 Regent will do great because despite the absence of bunk beds (which you won’t need since the baby can sleep in a bassinet or the pram you brought along with you), it has plenty of storage space and has water heating which you’ll be grateful for when it comes to bathing and clean up.
Next big question: Should you get a new caravan or a used one? Here’s our advice, think about your family’s growing needs first, make a list of features that would make the perfect family caravan, shop around for possibilities, create a shortlist, then come to us. FinanceEzi can help you get the caravan of your dreams without sacrificing much else with a tailored finance plan so your family adventures can continue. You can always come to us for expert advice and a quote to help you decide the next big move.