We love to travel as a family and one of my favourite things is getting off the beaten track and having freedom and independence to see the things we want to see. When you’re travelling with kids, flexibility is so important, yet you still want to have your comforts and all the practical things you need. My husband and son love family camping, but for me, hiring a motorhome has the same connection to nature and ability to get off the beaten path, but with more comfort and luxury! Having some simple luxuries like a kitchen, real beds and a shower is amazing – and also represents freedom. You can decide where you’re going and how long you’re staying there and can explore in whatever way fits your family best.
If you want to hire a motorhome with your family then consider hiring one direct from the owner. Ownership can be costly as you have to factor in your vehicle tax, MOT, insurances and of course where you’re going to store your motorhome. Yescapa are a platform similar to AirBnB in that they connect you direct to over 15,000 motorhome owners across the UK and Europe, so you can find the perfect one to hire.
I want to share with you some tips about going on a family motorhome holiday that will help you make the best trip ever.
1. Hire the right motorhome
My biggest tip to you as adults when considering family motorhome hire is to have a fixed double bed for you to sleep in. A good night’s sleep is paramount to enjoying a holiday and there’s no need to sacrifice you comfort. The kids on the other hand can sleep in drop down berths, berths built into expanding tops, or on converted sofas, but make sure there’s enough beds for your family to get a good night’s rest. Make sure you understand the layout and know how the motorhome will look whilst driving, at mealtimes and relaxing, and whilst sleeping. It can be tempting to go big – but you also want to consider where you’re going to be driving and parking and how much space there will be, as well as how comfortable you are driving a larger vehicle. A good compromise is a motorhome with options such as tents that can be added to them for extra covered areas – you can even have the kids sleep outside whilst you get a bit of privacy. That’s living the dream.
2. Know your options for where to park up
You know how I just talked about the flexibility of doing what you want in a family motorhome? That’s true, but also it’s best if you know your options and have a rough plan. You don’t have to set your route in stone in advance, but knowing what locations you can sleep in overnight which offer you the facilities your family wants or needs will take away any stress. You can choose whether you want overnight parking at a beach to watch the sunset over the waves, or an action parked caravan park with swimming pools and climbing frames for the kids. With Smartphones and Google Maps it’s never been easier to make a decision about where to stay, but having a shortlist will save you time. You don’t want to be spending your wonderful holiday together googling. If you’re travelling during the school holidays to popular areas, you’ll also want to check if you need to book in advance. You don’t want to turn up somewhere and find there’s no space for you. These are my must visit campervan destinations in Wales!
3. Pack old fashioned entertainment
If your kids are anything like my one, no matter how beautiful the scenery, or how tired they are running through the forest or building sandcastles on the beach, there’s going to be a point at which they complain they’re bored. Rather than let them reach for your phone, make sure you’ve packed some old fashioned entertainment.
- Family Board Games
- A pack of Cards or simple Card games like Uno
- Their favourite small toys
- Lego (if you’re brave) or other building / construction toys such as magnets.
- A soft toy or action figure – make a game out of taking photos of the toy at different locations or in different poses!
I’m not the type of parent to suggest a full week going screen free as we’re a very high tech family over here, but you’re likely to find that internet access can be quite limited, especially if you’re driving to more remote areas. Having plenty of options will help provide entertainment for the whole family no matter where you are.
4. Be prepared for the weather
It doesn’t matter where you are planning your family motorhome holiday, the weather can always throw a spanner in the works. Take a look at the advance weather forecast, but also consider the area you’re travelling in and what the range of weather can be. If you’re looking for a motorhome in the UK, there’s always a chance of rain, whatever the weather forecast says. As they say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing! Make sure you’ve packed clothes that will still let you enjoy the outdoors even in the rain, and you’ve got plenty of warm clothes to stay cosy in the motorhome. It can get really chilly at night, even if it’s warm in the day, and if you’re looking at inclement weather but want to hit the beach, having wetsuits packed can make it comfortable and cosy.
5. Meal Plan
Whether you plan on eating out at local pubs every night, enjoying fish and chips on the beach, or cooking up a storm with the family, I’d recommend planning your meals in advance. This is especially important if you’re planning on primarily self-catering. It saves a lot of money, but cooking in a small environment you’re unfamiliar with can be quite stressful, and there’s not a lot of storage space for kitchen utensils or food. Having a meal plan that you know the family enjoy will make your holiday go smoothly – and have some food in you know the kids will love even if they’re being fussy. After all, no matter how amazing, a holiday is quite a different schedule and sometimes our kids just want familiar comfort food.
I hope to share more campervan holiday tips and reviews over the coming years as this is a mode of travel I definitely intend to focus on with my family in the future. Drop me a comment if you have any questions or tips yourself!