This post, on taking an RV trip with young children, was first published as a guest post for Canadian RV rental company Canadream. Full disclosure: I did not receive payment for writing this post, but I did receive a discount on my RV package in exchange for my writing work. As ever though, all opinions are mine and I would never recommend anything that I don’t genuinely believe in – our RV trip with our children was awesome!
If you want to read a more in-depth diary of how our RV trip went, head over to this post on Paul’s blog.
When we embarked on this family gap year, taking an RV trip with our two young children didn’t figure highly on the bucket list. Our children are active, noisy, messy and not great with confined spaces so we didn’t really think the two were compatible. Oh, and my husband doesn’t like camping.
But this year is all about new experiences, challenges and not sticking to what makes us comfortable. So, one warm July afternoon we picked up an RV from CanaDream’s Vancouver station and spent 2 weeks seeing what Canada has to offer. Guess what? We LOVED it. Here are our top 5 reasons why we recommend an RV trip with young children.
One thing we’ve realised during our first few weeks of full-time travel with our children is that when you’re moving between locations every few days, the packing, unpacking and repacking gets tiresome. In an RV, you can move around as frequently as you like but you only have to unpack once at the start of your trip, and then pack again at the end. SO much easier, especially with young children in tow.
When I was little there was nothing I loved more than camping. Camping trips, camping in the garden, camping at friends’ houses. That sense of freedom and connection with nature and the outdoors is one of my favourite feelings.
HOWEVER, unless you’re camping in a country with no rainfall, there’s always a chance it will rain. Rain plus tent equals soggy children – and wet, cold children (in the case of mine at least) equals frayed tempers. An RV gives you an extra level of comfort and protection from the elements without taking away the close to nature feeling of camping, meaning everyone is more relaxed and likely to enjoy the trip.
Another bonus is the fact your RV keeps loud noises both in and out much better than a tent. So if your children wake at 6am and your campground has a quiet time that runs until 8am, you don’t have to spend 2 hours saying “SHHHHH!” in a shouty whisper. On the flipside, if your fellow campers are revelling until late while your children are sleeping, the solid walls will help make sure your little ones get a good night’s sleep.
Whatever your budget, an RV trip provides a familiar, comfortable space for the whole family to relax after a busy day. We all know that routine and familiarity can be really important, especially for very young children. When you take an RV trip, everyone only has to settle into the space once – so it becomes “home” very quickly.
Staying in hotels can often mean eating out in restaurants a lot. This can get really expensive, and it’s also easy to say yes to the dessert menu or the extra side of fries every night. In an RV, you have your own cooking facilities (check out some of my recipe ideas – all perfectly doable in an RV), fridge and dining area, so it’s much easier to grab some groceries and prepare a healthy feast for the whole family at a fraction of the cost of a restaurant.
This should really be at number 1 because it’s THE best thing about taking an RV trip with young children. They absolutely loved every second of it. From sleeping side by side in their overcab bed, to riding in their car seats looking out of the big windows, to watching the dog in the RV next door go for her daily walk. They even loved going to the campground washrooms (we did have a toilet and shower in the RV but they preferred making a trip out of it!). Our children were at their happiest during these two weeks. And we all know that happy kids make happy parents.