Travelling With Kids – What’s It Really Like?

Since we set out on this full-time travelling adventure, we have received lots of lovely messages on Instagram & Facebook from families who are looking to start out on their own travels and just the same as we did, they have a million and one questions to ask. Our kids are aged 1 and 3, so our experience is likely to vary from those who are travelling with older children, but hopefully we’ll be able to give a good insight into what it’s really like travelling with kids.

How are the kids enjoying the travels so far?

This is an easy one, they’re both loving it! Kids are very adaptable and even back when we had an actual house in SW Scotland, they wanted to know what we were doing on a given day, so they love the busy nature of travelling. There is always something new, whether it be a new walk, a new play park or a new place to park for the night. Probably the best thing for them is having both ‘Mummy’ and ‘Daddy’ about all day to have fun and spend time with.

The one thing that they don’t like though, has to be the long drives; in Belgium and Germany we were driving around 30 minutes each day which was fine, but in Norway we sometimes did up to 5 hours, which of course they weren’t overly keen on.

Is travelling like one big holiday?

For us we have to say no. We thought we’d be overrun with excitement on the lead up to setting off travelling, but interestingly, we didn’t get nowhere near the same excitement compared to our 1-week holiday to Sardinia the previous year. We think this is because of the long process in embarking on such an adventure, from selling the house, giving up your job and working through your notice period etc, that by the time you’re due to set off, it just feels normal. This however is not to say it doesn’t feel good. Travelling is different to a holiday in so many ways; you feel free, not committed to mortgage repayments or bills, not caught up in what’s happening at work. Every day is an adventure, a new experience, something else to learn. On the other hand, the reality of travelling full time means that you simply can’t splash out in the same way as you would if you were just on a 1- or 2-week holiday. We have to be careful with money and budget carefully because we simply can’t visit every paid attraction on our route. Instead we make the most of the free activities and enjoy the outdoors by going on nature walks, playing by the beach or swimming in the sea.

What did you pack for the kids?

This is a tricky one because the kids have so much stuff, but with a weight limit of 3.5 tonnes to consider, we had to be careful not to overload the motorhome. For the kids we packed one box of toys each and these sit at the end of their beds along with a few reading books. We were selective with their clothes too but made sure to pack for all weathers. One useful tip would be to pack two pairs of pyjamas, one long-sleeved top and trouser set and one short-sleeved top and shorts set. This is because on really hot days, the motorhome can stay stuffy all through the night and on cooler days the motorhome can get fairly cold during the night. And remember to pack stuff for the rainy days!

How easy is it getting out and about with the kids?

This really depends on location. In Belgium and Germany most of the Aires are official motorhome parking stops located in the village or town itself so you can park up, open the door and head out for a wander with the pram or with the bikes (kids seats attached). However, Scandinavia, especially Norway is totally different. Most stops that we stayed in are wild camping stops located in the middle of nowhere. These stops are great for the views but not so great for getting out and about with young kids. We have a pram which we use for getting out and about in towns, an Osprey carrier for walks in the countryside and we also have bikes. Between these 3 items we can pretty much see what we want to see.

What do you do on a rainy day?

It’s nice to think you’ll have glorious sunshine every day, and if you choose to spend a year touring the Mediterranean then you might not be far off. But for us touring from the UK to the top of Norway and then to the bottom of Spain it’s inevitable that you’re going to get your fair share of bad weather, and so far, we’ve had everything from 30-degree heat, torrential rain and epic thunderstorms.  We try not to let the weather stop us from exploring but It’s safe to say you should plan for rainy days just in case you simply can’t be bothered to get drenched or blown around like a rag doll. Things we have taken for rainy days include; arts and crafts, toys and DVD’s (though we can only watch these when we have charge on the laptop and/or are hooked up to electric). With the extra time on our hands, we are also trying to learn some French and Richard’s working away at learning the guitar.

What are the sleeping arrangements and do they sleep well?

When we committed to travelling, we started to research what motorhome would be best and what layout would give us the best balance of space vs ease of living. Originally, we decided on a rear lounge layout that would give more floor and seating space. However, the thought of making up the beds for the kids every night put us off and we eventually settled on a rear bunk bed layout in the Rimor Seal 9.

The benefits of having bunk beds is that it gives both Piper and Jack their own space just like a small bedroom and they can personalise them with their own teddy’s, toys and fairy lights etc. Another great benefit to the bunk beds is that if they’re having a particularly bad day, we can get them to bed for some chill out time or simply for a nap. In terms of how do they sleep, probably better than they did at home! Bed time is 7 o’clock and they’ll often chill out for half hour before finally going to sleep and then they’ll be up around half 7.

Top Tips:

  • Choose a motorhome with bunk beds for the kids
  • Keep journey times as short as possible
  • Make the most of the free activities
  • Pack arts and crafts or games for rainy days

Get in touch if you are planning a similar trip to us! We are more than happy to help if you have any questions that we haven’t covered. Just post a comment in the box below and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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