Thinking about including your young kids or grandkids in your RV Lifestyle? Here are a few things to consider…before you go RVing.
Taking your kids or grandkids along is a great way to make them a part of your RV lifestyle.
You can visit state parks, national parks, historic sites, and popular vacation destinations like Disney World.
Before you leave home though, take a look at some of the most important considerations for including minor children in RV trips.
Let's Talk about Safety And Comfort when you have kids or grandkids in your RV
Keep in mind that most RVs are not designed for car seats to be used. And each state in the US has a different set of safety requirements for children.
If your RV travels include children under the age of 8, a travel trailer pulled behind the family SUV is a more appropriate way to hit the road.
You can still use a motorhome, but make sure that you have child seat options or a child seat designed specifically for an RV.
There aren’t a lot of forward-facing seats in a motorhome and that is very important for small children.
And don't forget while we are thinking about safety – children are more prone to cuts and scratches, or even rubbing against a little poison ivy, and the savvy RV traveler will be prepared.
A first aid kit, calamine lotion, and various ointments and lotions are a necessity for the whole family. Don’t forget to pack along the EpiPens and any medications or prescriptions for all passengers
RV Travel is more enjoyable when everyone has a few of the familiar comforts of home.
For younger children, this could include a favorite blanket or pillow, a favorite toy, or some other favorite item that helps your little ones feel more at home on the road.
Where To Go with Kids or Grandkids in Your RV?
One way to make children feel more like part of the adventure is to include them in planning where to go.
Offer choices between different state parks, let children take turns picking the national parks or historic sites to stop at, and offer exciting options like Disney World, Six Flags, or other theme parks.
Swimming pools will be a welcome distraction for the whole family on hot summer afternoons.
If your camping trip doesn’t include boondocking nears a cold mountain stream, make sure that you have scheduled stops at campgrounds or RV parks that have a pool on site.
Meals And Snacks for Young Children
The pantry should contain at least one favorite food for every family member.
In the case of small children, it may be easier to plan out a variety of favorite foods.
When it comes time to cook, including your grandkids in the meal prep will give them a sense of purpose and make them feel like an important part of the RV lifestyle.
Even small tasks like setting out the tableware or slicing bananas with a butter knife are great for getting children involved and active.
Pack along some fun foods, and finger snacks like grapes, crackers, or cheese sticks. Maybe you need 7 EASY No-Cook Recipe Ideas for Your Next RV Camping Trip.
Avoid sugary cakes and candies, and be careful of the “messy” factor of some foods. The easier it is to crumble, crush, or spill, the more you will have to make time for cleaning up after the little ones.
Don't Forget the Games and Entertainment
You already know how bored kids can get on a rainy day, so be sure to plan for times when getting outside isn’t an option.
Games that the entire family can play, like Parchesi or Candyland, are perfect for passing a few hours.
Since board games require a lot of space, card games or games like Yahtzee can be a lifesaver on a rainy day. Check your local new or used bookstore for books on how to play hundreds of card games.
Cell phones and video games are intrinsic parts of our modern society and even small children have learned to tap and swipe on a smartphone to play games and communicate with others. You might want to limit when these gadgets can be used on the days you can go outdoors, but even then it can be helpful for children to have a camera in hand.
Where To Stay with Kids or Grandkids in Your RV?
Sleeping arrangements will be an important part of long journeys.
Small children may need to take naps throughout the day, and everyone will appreciate a comfortable bed to sleep in at night.
Similarly, it may be a good idea to make frequent stops along the way. Giving small children a chance to breathe fresh air and move around for a bit can go a long way towards keeping them enthusiastic and motivated.
The best thing to do on a family camping vacation is to plan on a mix of camping locations.
A longer trip should include getting closer to nature with a few boondocking stops as well as time for social interaction at an RV park or family-friendly campground.
The boondocking sites are a great chance for educational experiences, one-of-a-kind encounters and photo opportunities, and more. And if you are new to boondocking, we got you covered there, too!
Campgrounds allow children to share their adventures with other kids, and generally have playgrounds or other child-friendly activities to help them release some of that pent-up energy.
It's All About Communication
At the heart of every RV adventure, communication is the mortar that holds the many aspects together.
Take time out to talk one-on-one with every member of your trip and talk about anything and everything. You may be surprised by the insight young minds can bring to a discussion, and giving a thoughtful ear to their problems and anticipations will help you modify your RV lifestyle in small ways that benefit everyone.
It’s okay to have firm destinations, but it is also okay to omit certain stops, or add in a couple of extra ones.
Unless you are actively taking the ideas and opinions of the other passengers to heart, it won’t really be a family excursion at all, just you taking people places that you want to go.
The RV lifestyle is an excellent way to spend quality time with your kids or grandkids.
It allows you to show them things that have changed your life and gives them experiences that may change theirs as well. As long as you keep your young family members at the top of your plans and activities, everyone can have the time of their lives.
RV Lifestyle recommends Harvest Hosts and CampersCard
We LOVE Harvest Hosts! It’s a membership program that connects RVers with unique places to stay overnight for free, such as farms and wineries. Members pay an annual fee and can stay at any of the participating host locations for one night at a time.
In exchange for the free overnight stay, members are encouraged to support the host location by purchasing products or services. This is a great way to save money on camping reservations while experiencing unique and memorable locations.
The Harvest Hosts CampersCard is a NEW discount program we’ve already benefited from. You can see in the video above how we used it while camping out at an incredible hidden gem campground.
CampersCard members get benefits, including early check-in, late checkout, and discounts on nightly rates.