Living in an RV with kids is more rewarding than you might think. Yes, it’s not as easy as traveling without them; they have different needs and what can sometimes seem like a mile-long list of wants. But traveling with them opens their eye to new learning experiences they simply cannot get at home.
So if you have little ones, be sure to bring them along on your RV adventures. You won’t regret it! With these tips and tricks, you will all have a fantastic time.
Plan In Advance as Much as Possible
A wise person once said, “There’s no such thing as bad weather; just bad clothing.” So it is also true with planning. When you’ve got kids, the more you plan, the better. Have a specific itinerary and get their input beforehand on things to do that interest them. Once you arrive at the campground and set up camp, Wifi is usually available, but you don’t want to take the chance of having little to no internet availability and/or cell signal and expect to plan things once you get there.
Bring the Electronics
While you should plan for as many outdoor activities as you can (you’re camping, after all!) there will be times when rain or other bad weather events will hamper your nature time. We know that screen time should always be limited, but when you’re stuck in an RV as it’s pouring rain outside, those electronic games will be a godsend. Even better, if they can bring along a friend, that will greatly increase the chance of them being happy on the road.
Establish Rules and Review Campground Etiquette
Most kids are used to rules and know the drill at home – it’s no different when you’re camping on vacation. Establish similar rules to your home on wheels and let them know in advance so they’re not surprised. In addition, every campground and RV resort has policies and general etiquette, so be sure the youngins are aware to respect the campground rules and also your temporary neighbors.
Reserve a Campsite that Suits You All
The location of your campsite within the property can make a difference in the overall safety and enjoyment of all. For example, if you have very young children, you may not want to stay close to a lake or river, as it can be a water hazard for babies and toddlers. Similarly, you may or may not want to choose a site close to the playground at a busy campsite. For some kids, the noise may be too overwhelming or too much of a distraction when it’s not playtime.
Infants and Toddlers Need Forward-Facing Seats
Many RVs do not have this feature, but it is a requirement by law that infant and toddler car seats are installed in any vehicle. For any child 2 and under, forward-facing seats with seatbelts must be installed. Be sure your RV or other recreational vehicle has this.
Try to Arrive During the Day
Some kids need a little time to get used to their new surroundings. If you pull into a strange campsite in the dark and then expect them to go right to sleep, that can be a real challenge, especially if they tend to get anxious or active right before bedtime. Try to time your arrival for early to mid-afternoon, so you have time to set up camp in the daylight, and they have time to take it all in and get comfortable. In fact, if they’re old enough, involve them in setting up camp process, it will keep them occupied and they’ll feel included in the effort.
Get Outside Early
Right after breakfast, before they get a chance to settle into their electronics, make a point of leaving the campsite to go explore. Whether this is taking a hiking trip, exploring the nearest town or attractions, or just walking around the resort or campground, it’s the best way to make the most of your much-needed vacation and not be couped up in the RV all day.