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Family holidaysare both unforgettable memories, and sometimes everything but a moment of rest. So going with your family in a small space like the van, with all the problems that come with it, it can quickly become a bit tedious. But taking your children on a road trip also means making them discover unusual landscapes,refocus on what matters most, spend time together,really, or even relearn to look at the world through their eyes. So we’ve compiled our best tips for a successful roadtrip with children (tested and approved by all Blackshepherd.esse.s who are lucky enough to be parents).

Plan your itinerary and your “night-spots”

We agree, the road trip is freedom,and once you have tasted it it is difficult to do without. But sometimes with children, freedom quickly becomes complicated if unforeseen events happen! Try to prepare your itinerary to the fullest,for example by preparing a small selection of places to sleep through the Blacksheep Van or Park4night app. Not necessarily necessary to impose specific stops, but knowing that you have under the elbow some nice and quiet places to park the van, prepare food and spend the evening, it allows to have peace of mind and focus on the main: enjoy!

Check kid-friendly activities and addresses on the way

Just like the spots where to sleep, prepare some addresses and activities that will suit both you and your children. It can be a tree-climbing route, an accessible hike, surf lessons… Making sure everyone makes the most of their vacation is also the perfect equation to have memories full of your head and go home having succeeded in their vacation.

Travel light

A van is not very big, so at 4 or 5, you quickly end up walking on it. Choose bags over suitcases,as they will be easier to store and handle. Try to limit yourself to one bag per person so you don’t drown in your belongings! Check out our list of road trip essentials, to help you pack your bags.

Don’t go too far

The important thing is the trip, not the destination. We all know this adage, and it is all the more true when you go on a road trip with your children. Make sure you don’t make big trips on one block, but spread out the journeys across your entire road trip. Find a lake along the way and take a dip, stop in a small village and eat ice cream, fork through a mountain pass and cook in front of the view… The possibilities are endless with a van, and the road will seem much less long and complicated!

Have a stock of distractions under your elbow

If you ever have to make large stretches of road, prepare a good stock of distractions to prevent your children from getting too bored. Games to play together in the van, books for breaks… Enough to occupy the whole small company during journeys that can quickly become long!

You can also prepare a bag or a small surprise suitcase to go out in case of slack, whim … Your little bag full of snacks, toys, books or anything else your kids love can save you in the event of a crisis and keep them busy!

Get them involved in the life of the holidays and the van

Turn preparation moments into meals that can be tedious for kids to share to cook together. Choose easy recipes,which you can make as a family (to see recipe ideas to make, click here) for more user-friendliness. For water management, you can organize a small contest to find out who is the fastest to shower. You can also establish a small routine for going to bed or up with the installation or folding of the bed…

Ask them what they want to do,if you hesitate about the program, don’t hesitate to ask them what they prefer! They will feel like “great” to choose and will be more involved during the visit or activity.

We warn you, going on holiday in a family van will be tiring, you may come home exhausted but it will allow you to create unforgettable memories. Living together for several days in such a small space will allow you to create strong bonds with your children: they will surely come back grown and more fulfilled. And after a few days of rest, there’s a good chance they’ll ask you “When do we leave in a converted van?”

10 December 2020