Are you dreaming of hitting the road with your little ones in tow, ready to embark on a life of adventure and freedom? Well, if the idea of living the van life with kids both exhilarates and scares you, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you are envisioning a year-long voyage across the country or a short weekend getaway, navigating the world of nomadic family living requires some profound knowledge.
In this blog post, we’ll share some practical tips and tricks to ensure your van life experience with the kiddos is fantastic. From staying organized and creating a cozy home on wheels to working with bad weather and dealing with the inevitable challenges, buckle up as we embark on this epic journey together.
Tighten those seatbelts, secure those car seats, and get ready to unleash the ultimate guide to living the van life with kids!
How to Live in a Van with Kids
Life on the road can be tricky, but all it takes is discipline and a few tricks to make it work, especially with children. That said, here are some tips on how to live in a van with kids:
Decorate Your Van
Bringing kids with you means you should be ready to entertain them, and one of these begins by decorating your van. If you’re from Texas, you can start by installing durable Texas car magnets with your kid’s favorite cartoon characters or anything that will remind them of home.
Other decorations you can place inside and outside your van:
- Pictures of your family
- Wall decals and car magnets
- Curtains with kid-friendly designs
- Fairy lights
Everyone Should Have a Place to Sleep
Comfort should be a priority for those who are sleeping in camper vans. Even though it looks small and compact outside, you can maximize the space inside by creating a designated sleeping area for each family member. Remember that it also depends on how many kids you take with you, but the key is to utilize every nook and cranny of your van.
For instance, babies and toddlers should have their own bassinets or cribs. Meanwhile, older kids can sleep on bunk beds or convertible couches. You can also consider installing hammocks or rooftop tents for additional sleeping space. It’s all about how you use the inside since you’ll spend most of your time there.
One of the biggest challenges of living in a van with kids is staying organized. With limited space, things could easily get lost in the mess if you don’t put things away as soon as they’re not being used. Fortunately, you can find countless storage ideas on the internet coming straight from experts who continue to live the van life.
Some things you can try to improve organization in your camper van:
- Label storage bins for your kid’s toys, clothes, and belongings.
- Use collapsible storage containers to maximize space.
- Utilize the door and wall spaces for hanging bags, shoes, and other items.
- Assign designated areas for different activities like cooking, eating, and playing.
Keep Kids Entertained
Being on the road for extended periods can make kids restless and bored. Fortunately, entertainment is easy to obtain nowadays through video games. However, screen time should also be limited. Therefore, you can introduce other forms of entertainment to keep your kids engaged and stimulated.
Here are some ideas for keeping your kids entertained on the road:
- Bring books, coloring materials, and other crafts.
- Play classic road trip games like “I Spy” and the “License Plate Game.”
- Encourage outdoor activities like hiking, biking, and swimming.
Consider the Temperature Inside the Van
If you’re from Sunny Texas and want to travel to cold locales, such as the mountains or northern states, invest in proper insulation and heating systems for your van. You want to ensure your kids don’t freeze their toes off, so you must find a reliable heater that can keep you warm even in negative-degree weather.
At the same time, your air conditioning system should work in top condition if you’re traveling to warmer places. Maintenance is necessary so that it won’t waste too much energy. Overall, it’s essential to keep the temperature inside the van comfortable for your kids’ health and well-being.
Steer Clear from the Rain
Van life works best if you stay outdoors since that’s where all the action is bound to happen. Depending on where you’re going, endless activities await you and your family. It’s why you should know the weather and avoid going to places where rain is frequent or wait until it subsides. It’s where your ability to plan your itinerary will be put to the test.
Try to make a schedule for the week and consider what the weather would be like on those days. Of course, no weather is ever predictable, but having a schedule is your best chance to spend a lovely time with your family in nature without the interruption of rain. Weather apps can help you plan your activities as early as possible.
Set Reasonable Expectations
Living on the road won’t always be picture-perfect, like those Instagram photos you see being shared by influencers. It can be challenging, especially if you’re not used to small, cramped spaces. Expect things to go wrong, for kids to have meltdowns, and for plans to change. But also expect lovely moments that will make all these bad experiences worth it.
It’s why, for families, it’s best to live the van life during the weekends only since it can easily overwhelm you. You will want to return to your daily routine at home, and that’s okay. If you’re determined and want to give your children the taste of freedom with no strict schedules before they go to school or have personal obligations, you can always find a way to make the van life work for you and your loved ones.
Expect the Unexpected When Living In a Van
As a parent, you want to give your kids the best life possible by introducing numerous experiences they can learn from. Living on the road may be a great option if you want them to know more about the environment and the people around them. Unexpected situations will arise, so you must be adaptable and ready for anything. All it takes is your patience and preparedness to face these issues head-on.