When you think of heading off indefinitely with your camper trailer in tow and living a nomadic lifestyle, you may not picture doing it with your young children. For so many people, the thought of taking off on the open road is merely a dream they wish they’d pursued in their younger years or something they hope to do in the future, once the kids have flown the coop and life has slowed down a little.
Life with kids can be super stressful on a regular day, so it can be hard to picture yourself and your clan travelling around the country in a camper trailer. How would you all fit? What would you do when the going gets tough? How would you cope with being together 24/7? What about the kid’s routines? There are so many things to consider.
But kids and campers are actually a great combination, and it can work. Of course, there will be adjustments that need to be made and things that the entire family will need to get used to, but it can be one of the most rewarding decisions you make for your family, and the memories of the experience will last a lifetime.
If your kids haven’t started school yet, it’s even easier to set the wheels in motion. Even if they have, there are now a tonne of resources available for families that allow children (and even adults!) to learn and complete school work on the road.
Keep on keeping on!
It’s not going to be a walk in the park, and although everlasting memories are on the way, life on the road is not all smiles and rainbows. Many full-time nomads with kids say the first month is the toughest as you learn to adjust and the reality sinks in that this isn’t just a short trip, it’s the new normal.
The life lessons and experiences that both you are your kids are going to gain are second to none, seeing Australia up close and personal is something that even many adults haven’t had the chance to experience.
Remember, however, that adjustments take time, and although it may seem tough at first it does get easier. So, push through those initial struggles.
No matter how old your kids are or how many you have, there are some things to consider but nothing that can’t be tackled.
The functionality of your camper is key
If you’re travelling long term, you can’t compromise on functionality or space. You’ll save yourself some serious headaches and make your life much easier. You wouldn’t skimp on quality in your home, and your camper is your home now.
You want a camper trailer that’s comfy and not cramped. Make sure you have selected a camper that suits your needs. Be it where you’re heading, what kind of car you drive or more relevant to your style as a family. There’s something for everyone in our Ultimate Camper Trailer Buying Guide, so download this before anything else, so you have an idea of your options and what to look for in a camper trailer.
Mars Campers have a heap of features that make it simple and hassle-free to travel with kids and keep them happy. Of course, kids (especially young ones) want what they want, and they want it now, so having an easy routine and having things where you need them when you need them is ideal to making fulltime travel a dream and not a nightmare. This isn’t just for the kids of course, this is for you as parents too!
We’ve given our Camper Trailers a bit of thought.
– The option to have all the beds off the ground, meaning the camper is prepared for all sorts of weather, and you won’t have to squash a family of 4 into a bed if you were hit with heavy rain. Nobody likes sleeping with a foot in their face, no matter how cute and small that foot may be.
– Cook in your trailer with your own kitchen. As we mentioned above, the kitchens in our campers make life just that little bit easier, meaning you’re not having to navigate strange and questionable communal kitchens at each campground.
Yep, that means no stumbling around in the dark to and from your site or queuing up when you have screams of ‘I’m hungry’ and tantrums on the way. It’s also convenient and liberating to be able to pull over on the side of the road and have lunch or make a quick
milo after a chilly hike. Being able to whip up a quick snack or grab something from the fridge with ease as you press ahead with your drive makes the adventure feel more authentic. Also ideal for defusing family tension, while also saving you money and time with unnecessary detours for take away food.
Having your camper behind you with everything you need not only makes life much easier and saves you money on lunches and snacks, but it’s also perfect for those with allergies or dietary requirements, you control what you eat, when you eat and how it’s prepared, just like at home!
– Mars Campers have lots of space in both the annex and the main interior, like table space for when the weather is horrible outside, for school work, keeping the kids busy or some much needed quiet time when you have work to do. It also gives you some space. We love our family, but it’s important we get some space at times to unwind and enjoy our own time.
Here are a few handy investments to make life easier.
Keep it clean!
Purchase a camping washing machine, just a small one. Yes, doing the washing isn’t the first thing you think of when considering camping, but it’s gotta be done! You’ll thank us when you see others having to trudge over to the campsite laundry with kids in tow. Relish not having to wait for a machine or scrounge around for coins every time you need a load done. The convenience it allows for you and your kids means it pays for itself very quickly.
Keep hunger at bay!
Look at buying a Dreampot. Nomads and recreational campers all over the country can’t get enough of them, and it makes cooking a breeze. You can still make sure that after a long day your kids (and you) can have a wholesome meal with little fuss, even when you don’t feel like cooking. It’s a nifty little invention this one!
Not a fan of the Dreampot? That’s okay, our camper trailers come equipped with a kitchen as is, and you’d be surprised how many people feel that the modern design and functionality of our camper kitchens means cooking is no longer a chore. Particularly if you’re making a mean feast as the sun sets over beautiful landscapes or simply boiling hot chocolate under the stars.
Stop and smell the roses
Stop and let the kids (and you) experience things without rushing through. Let them be kids and make sure to break up the drive into smaller sections. Don’t try to see too much in one day, instead slow down and take it all in.
Remember that you are now on parent duty full time. There will be no handing off the kids to Nan for a few yours or even going to a 9-5 job. From the moment they open their eyes till the moment they close them, they are yours. This can be scary, but it can also be really exciting to have the opportunity to bond closely with your kids.
More the reason to take it slow and embrace the time together– relax when you have the chance!
Another great perk of travelling around with the camper trailer is that you are doing most of your living outside. Besides being able to get in touch with nature and experience Australia properly, the kids are encouraged to run themselves ragged more often.
Being cooped in a small space all the time isn’t good for anyone. You’ll find this in bigger vehicles like a caravan, but with a camper the annex and outdoor space offer versatility.
Early to bed kids are the best kind of camping kids.
Like we talked about earlier, make sure you Incorporate lots of stops, and when you do, make them kid-friendly. You can still have a cuppa and relax by a playground or a creek, but your kids really can’t get out much energy and have fun at a museum or art gallery.
Think outside the box for entertainment
Book into family caravan parks get the kids into group activities. Jumping pillows, craft classes, games and everything you can think of are staples in a lot of caravan parks around the country nowadays, but you can check websites ahead of time to see what’s on.
Activities like camping and fishing are great while you’re away with your kids, but there are also some less full on options for when your kids need a rest.
Think about what’s around you, like local libraries and story time. The local shopping centre may be offering activities, or even the hardware stores like Bunnings will have weekend craft workshops.
All of these everyday things are easy (and cheap), will keep your kids engaged and busy while at the same time giving you a little while to kick your heels up and Zen time.
Routine is important and can be tricky to manage on the road. Keep in the mid-day naps if the kids need them, but don’t stress too much if kids miss sleep because you were out exploring. Little ones are resilient!
A tip for letting the kids sleep while you get some extra km’s in is to try to plan big drives around naps.
In saying this, you shouldn’t let wanting to keep to a routine stop you from seeing or doing amazing things. Don’t miss the unforgettable sunset because of bedtime, or the penguins coming into the shore because of dinner time. Lifelong memories with the family are worth more than a good night’s rest.
If you’re feeling inspired, take a look at our range to see what camper suits you and your family best. Mars campers are always willing to help out and select the perfect option for you.