Travelling with your kids can be a wonderful experience for the whole family, especially if you are camping. You will have the time to bond with your family and give your kids experiences that they will remember for their whole lives. If you are going to be travelling with children, however, there are a few things you should know to help you have a fun and safe trip. Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your family campervan trip.
Photo by @theamericanfieldtrip
It is well worth taking plenty of time to research and plan your trip. You will want to plan your route with things like rest stops and destinations in mind. If you are travelling by campervan, you will want to make sure to find family-friendly campgrounds with activities such as swimming or hiking that you can do with the family in the event that you get in too late to go site seeing but too early to go to bed.
Safety is always important, but never so much as when you are travelling with your children. Make sure that you are following all laws for child restraints in the area where you will be travelling. Small children should be restrained in approved booster seats or half-booster cushions. Older children should be in approved restraints. And, no child under the age of 12 should be sitting in the front seat.
Keeping the Kids Busy
Children are in constant need of stimulation– unless they are napping. Make sure to pack plenty of activities they can do while you are travelling. Crayons are a great way to entertain children. An electronic device such as a tablet can also be useful for games. With an individual set of headphones, they can play games, listen to music, or watch videos. If you want to cut down on screen time you can also play games together such as 20 questions or license plate alphabet.
Keep in mind that a campervan is not well insulated for sound. As any parent knows, children like to be active and they tend to make plenty of noise. If you have a choice, try to find other families to park beside. Another family with children will likely be more tolerant of noise than an elderly couple, for example, because they will be making plenty of noise themselves.
If you have neighbours who are less likely to be tolerant of noise, you might try taking the children away from the campsite for swimming or hiking or some other activity. Getting them to use up some of that energy before settling in for the night could get them calmer and quieter. You might also talk to them before starting out on the trip about how to be a good neighbour.
Photo by @theamericanfieldtrip
If you are travelling in a campervan, you will have no privacy. This is a fact that you will simply have to live with. As parents, you can still have time alone with your spouse when the children are sleeping. You might sit simply sit outside the camper, enjoying the stars and one another’s company as you sip a glass of wine.
So, where will you go? There are so many wonderful places in New Zealand to take a family trip. Here are a few.
• Rotorua – Geysers, hot springs and bubbling mud all make this city a popular attraction for anyone interested in experiencing the geothermal wonders of the earth and learning about the Maori culture, as well.
• Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park- The kiwi bird is one of the most important birds in New Zealand culture. It is also endangered. Come to hear keeper talks, feed the birds and meet many other species native to New Zealand.
• Akaroa Harbour – You can swim with the dolphins. There are several varieties of dolphin living here, including the elusive Hector dolphin. Akaroa Harbor is one of the only places in the world where you can meet the Hector dolphin. Tour operators take great care to ensure the dolphins are protected and your tour fee helps with conservation costs.
• Hobbiton – This is where the Lord of the Rings Movies were filmed. Come and visit a real Hobbit village. Join a tour group or explore on your own.
• The Beach – There are so many stunning beaches in New Zealand, it would be impossible to list only one here. All you need is a swimsuit and a picnic lunch to enjoy one of New Zealand’s most popular attractions.
There are many adventures awaiting you and your family in New Zealand. One of the best ways to see and experience New Zealand is by renting a campervan and driving. You can do and see whatever you like at your own pace. You will also be creating memories that you and your children will cherish for a lifetime. If you are looking for the campervan to take you there, visit Travellers Autobarn.
Looking for more tips when travelling with your family through New Zealand? Check out our Family Campervan Tips section
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.