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8 reasons to caravan with kids

Tayla O’Brien reveals why more Australian families are embracing the good old-fashioned caravan holiday.

By the end of 2016, more than 56.5 million nights were spent caravanning or camping by parents and children and it’s easy to understand its surge in popularity. Here are eight reasons to hop on the trend and take to the road for a family holiday that's equal parts adventure and convenience.

1. You're in control

Travelling with kids can be unpredictable, but a caravan means you have ultimate control over your holiday. Families can choose where and when they go and how long they plan to stay. Flexibility is a necessity when travelling with kids and caravanning provides just that. If someone gets sick or your little ones are having one of those trying days, you can just chill out and start again tomorrow.

2. There's a 24/7 kitchen

No longer will the sound of hungry little monsters be heard begging for snacks hours before finding somewhere to eat. A caravanning holiday means that food can be prepared simply and ready to fill empty tummies at any time. Parents can save time and money through meal prepping, meaning no slaving over the stove or blowing the budget at expensive restaurants.

3. Meet like-minded people

Many lifelong friendships are made on holidays and with so many families choosing to caravan these days, it’s easy to meet people on a similar journey. While quality family time is great, sometimes connecting with other adults to share stories and tips is just what you need. There are even social media groups connecting people on the road.

4. There's no place like home

Packing up and leaving everything behind can be daunting for the most seasoned nomads, so it can be even more difficult for kids. It’s important to make children feel as comfortable as possible and caravanning offers the chance for families to personalise their accommodation to suit their needs. You can also offer kids their own space — whether it be their bed or another part of the van — to decorate and keep their treasured toys.

5. Quality family time

Whether you're after a digital detox or time away from the regular routine, caravanning is the perfect holiday to have quality time together and become closer as a family. Roast marshmallows together by a campfire, play board games, invent games on the road and unite over living the simple life.

6. Oversized luggage? No worries!

Everyone knows that the smaller the person, the more luggage they require, so packing to go travelling with kids can seem like an impossible task. But don’t stress about trying to squish all their belongings into the boot of the car or into a single suitcase: there is another way. Caravanning means you can bring along the pram, the high chair, the bikes, the surfboard and anything else you want, without excess baggage charges.

7. The perfect balance

Caravanning lets travellers experience the best parts of camping, with a little more comfort. Unlike camping, plenty of storage means you won’t have to live out of a suitcase and there’s no need for an endless cycle of unpacking and repacking as you move to the next destination. You'll have enough wiggle room for the necessities and a few creature comforts.

8. Focus on the fun times

Rather than blowing your budget on expensive accommodation, plane tickets and meal costs, a caravan holiday allows you to save up your money to splurge on unique activities and experiences that the kids will remember forever.

This article appeared in volume 53 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.

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