Caravanning With Kids: How to Avoid Disaster!
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of us who may have been considering going abroad this year for our family holiday, or maybe even for the next two or three years are rethinking our plans. The popularity of ‘staycations’ has grown in recent years, but it is set to explode exponentially now.
A popular way of holidaying in the UK, particularly if you have young children, is to go on a caravanning holiday. Once you are past the initial purchase of the caravan, it is a relatively cheap and cheerful way of exploring the country and making some memories as a family.
With family orientated sites across the country, you can keep the whole family entertained. It may be you seek large holiday parks, packed with entertainment and swimming pools to keep the family entertained for a week. Or could it be the more sedate family friendly fun of a more traditional site such as The Camping and Caravanning Club.
However, if not planned carefully, there can be some hiccups. Here, we look at some of the things to think about if you want to avoid a disaster when caravanning with kids.
Don’t forget the entertainment
Just don’t. It will ruin the experience for everyone. We go off with grand plans of paddling in the sea and long family hikes in the forests and mountains. Realistically, we know that the weather in the UK has a habit of putting a stop to even the best-made plans. The last thing you want is to be caught in a day of torrential rain or storms and not have anything to do inside your caravan.
It doesn’t have to be screen-based. Choose your entertainment wisely, and it can be a big part of the experience. Board games and cards are great for all ages and are a brilliant way of reconnecting a family. Jigsaw puzzles are another good idea. It may also be worth taking some DVDs if you have a TV in the caravan to snuggle up in front of with some snacks.
If the iPad or tablet is the go-to boredom breaker then WiFi is available at a supplement on most commercial caravan sites. The Camping and Caravanning Club provide WiFi free.
On a wet day you may discover a caravan awning comes in to its own with the extra space it provides. A caravan can be quite a small space on a wet day. An awning will let the family spread out, it is great if you have dogs too.
Don’t forget the breakdown cover
No one ever wants to break down, especially when out on holiday towing a caravan, but of course, it happens. Sadly, it will inevitably happen that one time when you let your breakdown cover run out and think ‘oh, we will never need it’. It can cost you hundreds of pounds – if not more – to have your car and caravan towed home. Why risk it? Make sure you have breakdown cover (and insurance!) that covers both your vehicle and the caravan. Have the details of somewhere you can pick up Caravan Parts to get you back on the road and holidaying as quickly as possible.
Do plan where you want to go
When you are a couple, or a solo adventurer, you can risk hooking up your caravan and going wherever you fancy on a whim. However, when there are kids involved, it isn’t quite as straightforward. Toilet stops, food stops, places for them to stretch their legs – you need to plan your trip meticulously. Before you go, sit down as a family and talk about what you want to do and where you want to go. Planning, if done right, can be an enjoyable and special activity to do as a family. The internet is a fantastic place to view caravan sites you may be interested in. YouTube offers site reviews from people who have visited before. It is nice to see a site before you arrive to give you an idea of the approach road and the size of the pitches.
Good advice is you don’t have to go far to have fun. Kids will quickly become bored on a six hour drive to Cornwall. Why not take them one hour to Scarborough instead. If we all think back to our own childhood holidays, the best bit was the friends we made and the ice creams we ate.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to avoid any major disasters when it comes to caravanning with kids. This is a huge topic to cover, but these tips are worth remembering as a basic start to a happy holiday. What would you add?