Top 10 Tips for Campervan Road Trips with Kids.
Top tips for road trips with kids so you can make your next motorhome holiday with your family one to remember (for the right reasons!).
Family road trips are an awesome way to holiday with your kids. They offer the freedom to make your own itinerary and travel at your own speed, and the flexibility to stop anywhere that sparks interest.
We know road tripping with your kids makes for an amazing holiday, but it does take a little bit of preparation and prior planning before you hit the road in a campervan or motorhome.
Here’s our top 10 tips for road trips with kids – with some preparation you can make your next motorhome holiday with your family one to remember (for the right reasons!).
1. Plan your day with stops in mind
A good rule of thumb for anyone driving long distances is to stop every two hours for a break, and this is even more important when travelling with your family. Everyone will appreciate a stop for the bathroom, a snack, and a leg stretch - so allow plenty of time in your driving itinerary for some stops along the way.
Make sure you plan your route ahead of time so that you’re not caught out with suddenly needing to find a roadside bathroom stop – no one wants to hear “But I need to go now!” without having the next toilet stop in mind.
Another tip is to vary the length of your stops – a short break for a leg stretch is great, but don’t forget to add in some longer breaks for meals and checking out interesting attractions along the way too.
2. Be prepared
When you hire a motorhome from Apollo it will come with the essentials on board like bedding and kitchenware, however there’s a few things worth bringing to make sure you’re prepared for travelling with kids.
We’d suggest packing a soft duffle bag for easy access during your days on the road, so that you can grab it when needed and know that you’ll be able to quickly find what you’re looking for in a pinch.
Things you can pack into the duffle bag are:
- Portable games
- A change of clothes for the kids
- First aid kit
- Rubbish bags
- Wet wipes
- Motion sickness medication
3. Get cosy
If you’ve got room, we would suggest bringing along your kids’ favourite pillows and blankets so they can be extra cosy while on the road in a motorhome or campervan.
Having an extra pillow or blanket to snuggle into while on the road can make for happier kids who might be more inclined to take a little nap along the way! Plus, having some familiar items in the motorhome can help your kids feel more settled during your family road trip holiday.
4. In-car activities are a must!
Activities for your kids to do in the vehicle while you are driving is key. No one likes to hear “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes, so pack some fun activities to keep your kiddos occupied during the drive.
We’d suggest things like colouring books, portable craft activities, games, and books. Simple things like pipe cleaners, pom poms and aluminium foil can keep the kids occupied making a variety of things.
Why not get the kids involved in packing their activity bags too – this will give them some control over the trip, and they can make sure they bring along their favourite toys and books. (Within reason of course – you probably don’t want them packing their entire collection of Match Box cars or Lego)
You can also pack things like portable tablets or video games, but we’d recommend setting a limit on screen time, especially if this is your first long trip with the family. Excessive screen time in the car can sometimes cause motion sickness and no one wants that – so while we love a bit of tech time, make sure you’ve got other in-car activities planned too.
5. Reward system
You might already have a reward system in place at home, and it can be a great tool to take on the road with you too. Rewards encouraging good behaviour can really help in keeping everyone on board happy.
You can use plenty of things for rewards – treats, craft activities, colouring books, stickers – get creative! A great reward can also be letting your kids choose the next meal or activity. You can even hit up the $1 store and get some goodies which you can whip out when needed to provide a great surprise.
6. Let the kids have a say & be flexible
Mix things up by letting the kids choose a meal, a roadside stop, what radio station to listen to or what game to play next. Having the kids have a bit of control can go a long way in keeping the crankiness at bay and will help make them feel like they have more control and involvement in the way each day is structured.
It's also important to remember things don’t always go to plan when travelling with kids. Be prepared to change your plans if necessary and stay flexible to make sure the whole family is happy, comfortable, and feeling included in the day’s activities and itinerary.
7. In-car games
Games you can play in the car are a great way to get the whole family involved and keep the kids occupied without relying on video games and portable tablets. There so many classic car games you can play, like “I Spy”, “Would you rather?”, the “license plate game” and so many others. These games are great because everyone can play, and you don’t need anything prepared to start playing - other than your imagination!
8. Don’t forget the snacks!
Snacks are an absolute must for any road trip. Grab some re-usable containers and pre-portion out your kids’ favourite car friendly snacks.
Some tasty treats mixed in with their usual snacks will add for a fun surprise – but keeping the snacks healthy overall is the way to go. Overly sugary snacks will leave your kids with too much energy to sit still, and then the post snack sugar crash can leave you with some unhappy campers!
9. Free attractions on the way
Why not break up your road trip with some fun (and budget friendly) stops along the way! There are many great free attractions for road trip stops with kids across Australia. Here’s a few ideas –
- Beaches: Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Take a break from driving and enjoy some time with your feet in the sand while the kids play in the waves and make sandcastles.
- National Parks: There are plenty of National Parks across of Australia, most of which have free entry (check each state for entry costs and conditions). Go for a walk, have a picnic and enjoy a break outdoors in nature.
- Botanic Gardens: Most major cities around Australia have stunning botanic gardens which you can visit for free.
- Historic sites: Many historic sites have free entry and are fascinating to visit.
- Waterfalls: Take a break from driving and enjoy the soothing sounds of a waterfall.
Don’t forget to check entry fees and conditions and plan your road trip stops ahead of time.
10. Staying at a campground = facilities!
Campgrounds are a fantastic resource for your family driving holiday in a campervan or motorhome. There are many reasons why staying at a campground or holiday park is a great option for keeping the whole family happy on your motorhome holiday -
- Facilities: You’ll have easy access to things like toilets and showers, plus some have cooking facilities like BBQs and outdoor kitchens too.
- Keep the kids busy: Some campgrounds also have pools and playgrounds which will keep your kids occupied – plus they can make new friends by finding kids to play with along the way.
- Access to nature: Campgrounds are often located close by to nature so you can take the opportunity to enjoy some great outdoor activities with the kids like hiking, fishing or kayaking.
We’d suggest booking your campgrounds in advance to make sure they have space for you. Check out the Apollo app for campgrounds that fit in with your itinerary.
Ready to book your family road trip?
There’s so many places across Australia you can explore with your family on your next motorhome holiday. The first step is to book your Apollo camper today.
Hiring a camper means you can be flexible and stay and play as long as you like. With 10 branches across Australia, you can even pick up your camper at one location and return to another – it’s easy as with Apollo!
Looking for more inspiration for your Australian road trip? Check out our blogs -
Looking for places to stay?
Apollo works with a number of campground networks – we recommend downloading our ApolloConnect App or find out more info on places to stay.