Full-timers are not strangers when it comes to a good time and weekend warriors know how to make the most of their time on the road, but when it comes to adventure – nothing compares to living the RV life with your children.
Preethi and Daniel from Local Passport Family know a little (or a lot) about adventuring with kids in tow. They currently document their family travels on their blog and share snippets of their exciting lives through their posts on Instagram.
As of now, they have traveled to 62 countries – 43 of those with their five children ranging in ages from one to ten years old. It should be no surprise that they would have some advice to share for what it takes to RV as a family.
When asked how they got their kids acquainted with the RV life, they answered with a few pro tips they’ve learned along the way.
Tip: Don’t Be Afraid to Start
When it comes to getting everyone used to the idea of RVing as a family, the method that works the best is to just dive right in. Jump in with both feet and start exploring. Don’t hesitate. Simply pack up and head out. The rest will begin to fall into place once you’re actually on the road. Learn from other RVers on the road, and follow these helpful tips for first-time RV owners.
Tip: Learn from Your Kids
It turns out children are masters at adapting to their surroundings, so follow their lead when addressing the RV lifestyle. Some kids will adapt quicker than others, but the easiest way for everyone is to grow and experience RVing together. Being on the road is the greatest teacher, so observe your kids and address their individual needs and concerns as you go about your travels.
Tip: It’s Easier Than You Think
As with most things in life, the RV life included, getting your kids acquainted with being on the road is much easier than you think. For Preethi and Daniel’s family, boondocking became second nature once they got the hang of supply rations. Don’t overthink it.
Tip: Bring Enough Activities for Your Kids to Be Engaged
Whether it’s puzzles or crafts, board games or video games, it’s important to have activities available while on the road. Keeping your kids entertained 24/7 can be overwhelming and exhausting, so have options where they’re able to entertain themselves in between campsites and destinations. Try these family games perfect for the campground, including indoor games, outdoor games, and no-equipment games.
Tip: Have Plenty of Books Available
Bring along a few favorite books in physical form so your kids can feel their progress as they read and smell the pages as they turn them. However, since space is valuable and limited inside the RV, it’s wise to bring a kindle for a wider selection of stories. Many books can be “checked out” through library apps, which eliminates the struggle of storing stacks of books and saves you from spending money on physical copies along the way.
Tip: Bring Proper Equipment for Road Schooling
Depending upon when and how long you’re on the road, helping keep the kids up to date on their schoolwork is important. Make sure laptops and tablets are packed, within reach when needed, and all chargers are close by. Use a portable power station to keep devices charged if you plan on camping off-grid. The proper equipment not only makes it possible to stay connected through virtual classes, but it doubles as a way to reach out to friends and family along the way. Boosters can help strengthen WiFi connections at campsites with weaker signals further encouraging active learning through road schooling.
Tip: Allow Your Kids to Learn Organically
When traveling, every stop can serve as a learning opportunity. Encourage your kids to soak in their surroundings, ask questions, and explore what’s unique about each destination. Being inquisitive is one of the best parts about being a kid, so nurture that quality. Take the backroads through small towns and new cities and watch their eyes open and their perspective widen – you won’t regret it.
Tip: Be Flexible When RVing
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to know and plan for every minute of every day when it comes to RVing. Itineraries should allow room for flexibility. The kids will be learning organically, and they’ll enjoy seeing you do the same. Explore nature, discover local plants, and discuss animals in the area. Doing so creates memories and bonds that are sure to last a lifetime.
Tip: Learn What’s Important to Your Child
Despite what most parents expect, children don’t require the amount of stimulus most adults try to provide. In fact, children can get by with far less planned, structured activities and be left to their curiosity once in a while. As a result, you’ll be able to learn what’s important to your child and, in turn, how to incorporate those interests in activities going forward.
Tip: Find What Your Child Connects With and What Motivates Them
Once you’ve learned what piques your child’s curiosity, you can use those interests to connect with them. A newfound fascination with rocks? Make a point to go gem mining or rock climbing. A sudden focus on the creation of film and movies? Plan a movie night and let them pick the film for the whole family to watch. An unexpected talent in cooking? Allow them the chance to plan a meal. Parenting is all about meeting them where they are – being on the road doesn’t have to change that.
Getting your kids acquainted to RV life is a group endeavor. Give your children the chance to make decisions on the trip and see where the road takes you all from there. It might be surprising how much you learn about your kids and yourself along the way. After all, the RV life isn’t just about the destination itself – sometimes it’s more about the journey you take to get there.
What are some of your favorite things to do with your kids on the road? Tell us in the comments below.