Worried about taking a long road trip with the kids? Find out how you can turn your motorhome holiday into a dream journey with these tops tips.
What could be more fun for kids than riding in a house on wheels? Not much! Motorhome holidays are ideal for families with young children, while teenagers secretly enjoy the nomad life too. It's easier and more comfortable than camping, yet more flexible than booking a hotel or holiday cottage. However, there are some top tips for family motorhome holidays that will make – not break – your much-longed-for annual getaway.
Go big or go home
Try to hire a motorhome bigger than you think you need. Make sure you have enough seatbelts too, as motorhomes aren't legally required to have seatbelts in the back. There are various bed configurations, but it's always worth having a motorhome with an over-the-cab bed, so parents can still enjoy the evening even after the children go to bed (and it's guaranteed to be the highlight for the nippers). Of course, travelling with children, you won't regret having an onboard toilet for those last-minute emergencies.
If you're hiring rather than buying, it's worth booking it for a day or so longer than you actually need. When travelling with a young family, it's much easier to pack up the van at home, so you know you have everything you need (and, of course, plenty that you don't need) before you go. The same goes for unpacking, especially if you arrive home late as having the option to unpack at your leisure the next day is priceless.
Long car journeys can be challenging at the best of times, but throw in a brace of hot and tired toddlers or bored teenagers and they can result in a tsunami of Haribo-fuelled emotions. However, long journeys are made ultra-easy in a motorhome provided you come prepared. Always make sure that there are enough drinks and snacks onboard, as well as a good selection of activities like DVD players or audiobooks, puzzles and games. And remember, keeping the youngest children entertained will make any journey easier for the whole family.
Bring extra wheels
For parents, the long scenic drives through the country is a highlight of any motorhome holiday, but for the kids spending hours strapped in the van is not as much fun. When travelling with my own brood, I always made sure we bought the bikes and scooters, as it gives them some much-needed freedom once we arrived at each campsite for the night.
And if you're travelling with teenagers, technology is the key. But don't forget the travel sickness pills to pre-empt the nausea of being face down for five hours playing Candy Crush. As for the younger ones, I suggest packing a newly acquired appreciation for Disney songs...
Do not be too ambitious
Campervan and motorhome holidays offer immense freedom and it can be tempting to cram in as many destinations as you can in return for your precious annual leave. But don't be too ambitious (just yet). Choose destinations with the whole family in mind, whether it's a sandy beach for the young ones, a cool surf scene for the teenagers, or a Munro or two to bag for the grown-ups. And always plan in plenty of downtime with your van, so you can sit and watch the sunset with a cold one in hand. It is a holiday, after all.