We hear so much about all the extravagant parts of van life and we are all inspired by the big trips and the full time van-lifers. But, something that doesn’t get spoken about as much as it should, is the freedom that comes along with having a van for those day trips, especially with little ones in tow.
There are SO many cool things about taking a day trip in the van, but the absolute pinnacle for us is the feeling of FREEDOM! We may only be travelling an hour down the road, but when we take the van rather than the car, it just always feels like an adventure. There’s something about van life that just gives you that feeling all of the time and there really is no beating it.
For us, another favourite thing is finding a good parking spot, popping the kettle on and enjoying a cup of hot tea or a coffee with a view. It allows us to slow down so we aren’t always rushing from one place to the next, and there are lots of the smaller moments like this to enjoy. During the summer months, we’ll stop and grab an ice lolly out the freezer for the kids. But now it’s getting colder, we can come back to the van after a long, cold walk, get the kids out of their muddy gear and warm up with a hot chocolate. Those are the moment that we all love.
Then of course there are the practical benefits of taking day trips in the van. All of the space to take everything you need, waterproofs, walking boots, spare clothes, food, games, prams or carriers, you name it, you take it! It really does make it all that bit easier when you can pack for every scenario. We find it super handy to pack a pair of pyjamas for the kids, so at the end of a long day out in the van, we can get them ready for bed, because 9 times out of 10, they’ll fall asleep on the way home and we all know how grumpy kids can be when they are tired and desperate to get into bed.
What YOU like best!
We asked all of our van friends over on Instagram to share some of their favourite parts about day trips in the van and this is what they came up with.
“We love the freedom of being able to choose a new adventure at a whim and just go for it knowing that we’ll definitely have somewhere to sleep/nap if we end up staying longer than expected. Also just being able to explore so many places you’d never expect to come across”. – @travelworthi
“Everything is there… No need to rush anywhere, we have all we need, family, food and a toilet”. – @kids.dog.van
“It’s the knowing that no matter how the day unfolds – muddy puddles, cranky kiddies, wet dog etc, we have every solution and remedy in the van. We have a games cupboard with everything for the children – colouring books, crayons, board games, journals, jigsaws, books etc. So once they are happily playing, myself and the husband can get the kettle on and enjoy a hot cuppa. Also it’s the total freedom of just being able to decide last minute to stay overnight”. – @ourvantasticfamily
“We love having spare clothes, being able to have a picnic around the table if it’s wet or cold and having things like card games we can play if we’re sitting out a heavy rain shower etc. It just feels like more of an adventure too”. – @ladybirdsadventures
“I love being able to jump in the van for a day trip and know that I have everything we could possibly need tucked away – spare clothes, swimming costumes, snacks, and having a base. That novelty doesn’t wear off”. – @van_life_family
“We love to discover new places on the way to new places if that makes sense. You know when you just pull over to explore something that looks interesting. We always have spare clothes and shoes on hand if we get muddy or wet! We love finding park ups to ‘eat out’. We don’t have sea, lake or woodland views from our dining room. In the van, we could have a different view for every meal”. – @hashtag_vanlifefamily
“Home from home, a day out with everything you need”. – @lifesanadventure_uk
“We love the comfort of the van, being able to sort out dinner while out and have a space to eat in comfort, whatever the weather is like”. – @familyfretwell
“We are mostly looking forward to the spontaneity of day trips and adventures. Being free from usual routines like nap times and meal times as we can do this whenever and wherever we go! I’m looking forward to slowing things down and being able to just pull over at beautiful spots whilst enjoying a cuppa, admiring the views and watching the kids enjoying the freedom of the outdoors”. – @vw_familyadventures