RV trips with kids can be a delightful adventure and a way to create lasting memories for everyone onboard. But truly amazing trips don’t just happen on their own. Most parents understand that there is a special dynamic when traveling with children that may be amplified when traveling by RV. So, to help you achieve a smooth and enjoyable journey, consider incorporating some of the following child-travel-friendly tips into your RVing plans.
1. Let the kids help plan the journey
Make your kids active participants in the trip-planning process. For example, discuss potential routes. For older kids, consider giving them some choices and let them do their own research about the options. For younger kids, explain some differences and see what makes their eyes light up. Maybe look up some YouTube videos about the choices so they can be more informed. This involvement not only builds excitement but also gives them a sense of ownership over the adventure. You can share the joy of discovery as a family.
2. Plan kid-friendly breaks
Long stretches on the road can be challenging for anyone, no matter how you travel, but especially for little ones. You might consider breaking up the RV journey by planning stops at kid-friendly attractions, like an interactive museum, an interesting landmark, or even a nature park. Not only do these breaks provide some much-needed physical activity for everyone, but they also keep the excitement alive for your young travel companions.
3. Pack a variety of entertainment options
Keeping kids entertained during the trip is important, especially if you’re driving for long stretches or need to make an appointment. Sometimes, kids’ interests change quickly, so it will behoove you to pack a diverse range of entertainment options. You can include books, games, movies, music, toys, and crafts. Portable electronic devices might be a lifesaver for longer stretches, but don't forget to mix in some low-tech options too! Even an impromptu game of "I Spy" or a family sing-along can turn ordinary moments in the journey into extraordinary bonding experiences.
4. Ensure comfortable sleeping accommodations
A well-rested child is a much happier traveler (Adults too!). With this in mind, you’ll want to pay special attention to the sleeping arrangements in your RV. Make sure they have a quiet, designated place to sleep, if possible. It may also help to bring familiar items like your child’s favorite blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals to reinforce their sense of comfort, routine, and security. A good night's sleep prepares everyone to fully embrace the day's adventures.
5. Avoid hangry kids with plenty of snacks
Hunger can strike at any time during RV trips with kids. A well-stocked snack supply is your secret weapon. Just take care to make sure it’s not all sugar and empty calories since the extra energy and ensuing crash may lead to bad experiences. Try to include a mix of healthy options such as fruits, nuts, and granola bars. Balancing these with more sweet or indulgent treats can keep everyone in good spirits, making snack time a fun and healthy part of the journey.
It can also be helpful to keep the kids well hydrated and limit the amount of caffeine that they take in as well.
6. Keep a travel journal together
Transform RV trips with kids into a learning experience by encouraging your kids to keep a travel journal. This not only fosters creativity but also allows them to document their experiences. Drawing pictures, jotting down interesting facts, and taking note of their favorite moments create a personalized keepsake of the journey. You might consider a disposable or instant camera to add pictures taken from their perspective to add to the journal. Even the youngest children may come to love documenting their RV trip with drawings and notes!
7. Run out the zoomies with outdoor activities
Take advantage of the many fantastic outdoor spaces available at RV parks and campgrounds in between your destinations. If you have storage space in your RV, you can pack outdoor games like frisbees, soccer balls, or bikes to allow the kids to burn off some energy. Incorporating physical activities into your stops helps children and adults maintain a healthy balance of adventure and relaxation.
8. Plan regular rest stops to relax
Scheduled rest stops are not just for the driver. They can also present an opportunity for the whole family to stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air. Look for parks or rest areas with play equipment to add an extra element of fun. Balancing travel with breaks keeps everyone, including the adults, comfortable and content, and they provide an opportunity to keep the RV neat and tidy.
9. Strike a balance between flexibility and keeping a routine
While maintaining a routine can be comforting for kids, it’s also important for them to learn to embrace the flexibility that RV travel offers. You can use the journey as a teaching moment to explore unexpected places and create spontaneous memories. Try to balance structure with the freedom to enjoy the unique experiences that present themselves along the way. Learning how to balance routine and spontaneity will undoubtedly help them grow into emotionally mature adults.
10. Teach basic RV operations
Most kids love to feel like they are helping. Depending on the age of your children, you may find that you love involving them when you perform some basic RV operations. This not only adds an educational element to the journey but also helps build a sense of responsibility. Understanding how the RV works can make kids feel more engaged and connected to the travel experience. Wouldn’t it be great to see them grow up to love the RV life as much as you do?
American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It's not the destination; it's the journey." That has some application to RVing with children as well. It is important to remember that RV trips with kids are as much about the journey as the destination. By incorporating these tips into your travel plans, we hope that you can create a fun and enjoyable environment that caters to the unique needs and interests of your family. Encourage exploration, embrace spontaneity, and enjoy the moments that make family RV trips truly unforgettable.
Ready to take your kids on a trip in an RV of your own?
If you’re looking for the perfect RV for your next big family adventure, look no further than your local Transwest dealer. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is available to help you make the best choice to meet your travel needs. Check out our available inventory and visit a location near you today to help make your family RV experience a reality.