Caravanning With Kids

Caravanning with kids offers a unique opportunity for families to spend quality time together while exploring new places and experiencing the great outdoors. Overland travel with kids is an excellent way to help your little ones connect with Australia’s diverse nature while also promoting an active lifestyle.

Caravanning as a family involves some pre-planning to ensure you have a relaxing & fun time once you hit the open road. Books and games are a great start, along with a reliable internet solution and potentially a homeschooling program if you are planning to travel longer term with the kids. Read on for tips on planning a road trip, packing your caravan, preparing meals on the road and choosing the best family caravan. Whether you’re visiting beaches on the Gold Coast or hiking in Tasmania, we’ve got your family-friendly caravan destinations covered. No matter where you go, a family caravanning holiday will be sure to provide a fun and memorable adventure.

Planning a Road Trip

Planning a road trip can be a fun and exciting experience for the whole family. That said, being well-prepared is essential to ensure your trip goes smoothly. The first step is to determine your route and destination. Australia is a vast country with countless places to explore. With that in mind, it’s important to choose a course that will cater to your family’s interests and preferences. Once you have determined your destination, it’ll be time to plan your stops. To confirm availability, it’s wise to book campsites and caravan parks in advance. Additionally, planning for fuel stops and rest breaks is a good idea so everyone can stretch their legs regularly.

Packing a Caravan

Packing a caravan before a road trip requires thorough planning and organisation for a safe and enjoyable journey. First and foremost, it is crucial to distribute the weight of items evenly throughout the caravan to avoid tipping or instability on the road. It is also important to secure all loose items to prevent them from shifting during travel, which can cause damage or accidents. Lastly, ensure that the tires are properly inflated, the brakes and lights are functioning correctly, and your towing vehicle is good to go mechanically. Once you’ve completed these steps, you can rest assured and enjoy a smooth and worry-free road trip.

When it comes to being prepared for a family holiday, it’s essential to consider the length of the trip, the number of family members coming along, and the destination. Besides comfortable clothes, toiletries, a first aid kit and medication, it’s wise to stock up on plenty of snacks for the kids. Additionally, bring books, tablets, and games to keep them occupied for long stints on the road. If your kids will be studying while you’re away, pack all necessary school supplies and plenty of extra pencils and paper. Be sure to research the weather conditions for your destination and pack accordingly. Bring sunscreen, hats, sunglasses for sunny days, and warm clothing for cooler weather.

Family Meal Planning

One of the best parts of travelling in a caravan is having access to a functional kitchen. To take advantage of this luxury, some meal prep is advisable. Whether you have a small family or many mouths to feed, simple meal planning will make a world of difference.

The two most important goals when cooking in a caravan are saving time and space. Try using space-saving items such as a collapsible dish rack, an over-sink chopping board or food storage containers that fit well in your fridge. In addition, we suggest prepping meals as far in advance as possible and cooking a few items at once. This should help save time and energy and get your family meals on the table.

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Travel Activities for Kids

Long car rides can be challenging for kids, but with some creativity and a bit of planning, you can easily keep them entertained. It’s good to involve youngsters in vacation planning. This can include researching and discussing exciting stops along the way or coming up with fun games and activities to do during your journey.

Outdoor activities are a great way to keep kids engaged and active while caravanning. Scavenger hunts and nature walks are fun and educational ways to keep your kids moving. If driving through a national park or nature reserve, consider taking a short hike or going on a wildlife spotting expedition.

Games are another great way to keep kids entertained during long drives. Classic games like I Spy or 20 Questions can be fun for all ages. Remember to pack the iPad and a small stack of books so the kids can entertain themselves independently.

Homeschooling While Travelling Australia

If you’re considering more long-term caravanning with kids, you will likely want to assess homeschooling options. Different opportunities are available for continuing your children’s education on the road, all with varying requirements. There are many positive statistics & reviews on the outcomes of homeschooled children. Homeschooled students often outperform their counterparts who attend traditional institutions of education & also tend to have above-average verbal capacities. In a recent NSW Government study, homeschooled students outperformed traditional schooled kids in every aspect including written & numeracy.

There are three ways to homeschool your children while travelling in Australia. These are maintaining enrollment at school, distance education, or homeschooling. If your child’s school is willing to provide an exemption, they can stay enrolled and deliver schoolwork to be completed while on the road. However, this option depends on your state legislation and the school’s stance on it.

If maintaining enrolment is not available, families can opt for distance education. This is also a great option, but some families find it a bit more restrictive, with strict schedules and limited flexibility. Private distance education is a more flexible option but can be expensive. Families can also choose to homeschool and register with their state’s homeschooling authority. While it requires planning, it is the cheapest and most flexible option for homeschooling your kids on the road.

There are also many handy resources online to support your child’s distance learning based on their age & abilities. Tools to assist with learning to read like Reading Eggs, as well as programs to help parents teach mathematics like Maths & Learning at Home & Aspect Distance Education which provides distance learning support and programs for students on the autism spectrum. Something to keep in mind while educating on the road is the need for a solid internet solution to ensure continual access to source materials & online learning resources.

Maintaining Internet Connection While Travelling Australia

There are a few options to consider which can help you stay connected while travelling around Australia. Solutions for a reliable connection include mobile hotspots, dongles, satellite dishes and low Earth orbit satellites such as Starlink.

  • Mobile hotspots are portable devices that use a mobile network to connect to the internet. They can be used on shared data or data-only plans. These are available through your mobile provider.
  • Dongles, similar to mobile hotspots, can also be bought from your mobile provider and plugs into your laptop for on-the-go internet access.
  • Satellite internet offers caravanners an NBN connection transmitted to a satellite dish, offering excellent results for those staying in otherwise limited connection areas.
  • Low earth orbit satellites such as Starlink offer portable and in-motion connectivity options, allowing travellers to enjoy high-speed internet Australia-wide.
  • Caravan antenna based router solutions such as Out There Internet are another great way to stay connected while travelling.

Choosing a Family Caravan

With so many caravans on the market, picking a new family caravan can be daunting. You’ll want a caravan that suits your family’s needs but also feels like a home away from home. Besides having enough space for family members, large and small, there are other variables to consider before taking the plunge. Let’s look at some of our top picks:

The Adventurer “Family Range”

The Adventurer Family Range provides numerous options for families. Whether you’re a party of three or a family of six, the Adventurer offers models with up to four bunks and a queen-sized bed. These vans range from 18′ to 24′, and you can choose a non-shower model or a full ensuite.

The Adventurer has custom layouts as well as standard floor plans. This way, you have your choice and can have all the comforts you need while on your family road trip. Some of the upgrades available include off-road and semi-off-road packs. These upgrades will enable an even more adventurous experience, allowing you to go off the beaten track. If you prefer more luxurious conditions, the Luxury Pack or a designer furniture upgrade may better suit. With multiple configurations and many upgrades to consider, the Adventurer range is sure to provide an ideal set-up for your family while on the road.

Signature “Family Caravans”

Signature "Family Caravans"

The Signature Range of family vans comprises models from 20′ to 24′, with standard layouts of two, three, and four bunks. Though the Signature Family Caravans range has fewer custom options, they still offer a cosy home on wheels that can suit your family’s preferences. For example, if you plan on mostly warm-weather holidays, you can opt for an external shower. For longer family trips, a full ensuite could provide more comfort.

Duet “Extenda Family Models” and Duet “Extenda Top Up Range”.

Duet "Extenda Family Models

The Duet Extenda Family models have two comfy, compact and high-quality layouts for families wanting a camper expander for holidays. The range is customisable and can be built to suit individual family needs. Either version can be built as a caravan or pop top, including the Model range which is available up to 18’. Family road trippers can also choose from various add ons, accessories, upgrades and colours to make this caravan just the right fit.

Some of the add-on packs for these models include off-road or semi-off-road upgrades. In addition, these caravans can include more creature comforts with a luxury or designer furniture pack. The main feature of the Duet Xtenda is that the beds fold out, creating a more compact and lightweight option, which increases living space and comfort. With the Extenda, there’s no need for the bigger towing vehicle and it’s easier to store. Extenda caravans are top quality for a great price, offering a perfect option for families who love to camp.

Viscount Family V2

The Viscount Family V2 has been designed specifically for travelling families. This lower-budget option comes in two or three-bunk models and has a tried and true layout that will appeal to any family holidaymakers. It comes with an extra large washing machine, a spacious kitchen and an L-shaped lounge, making this affordable family van even more appealing.

Viscount V3

Flexibility, practicality and storage were the key ingredients that went into the creation of the Viscount V3. Sitting on a six inch chassis, coupled with all terrain wheels and tyres, this van can handle national parks and dirt roads with ease. With the option of a café dinette or club lounge, the toilet or shower on either side of the van, or the addition of a full height linen cupboard, this van is sure to please those who value their storage.

When choosing your new family caravan, you will be spoilt for choice with the variety available at Canterbury Caravans. All their vans offer off-road, semi-off road, and luxury packs. There’s even the option to add outdoor accessories, including awnings, annexes and slide-out kitchens to create more living space, ensuring comfort for all the family.

Armed with knowledge of caravan packing, meal planning, kid’s activities, homeschooling & with the perfect family caravan selected, it’s time to plan your sightseeing destinations! With all of Australia’s wonders, you’ll be spoiled for choice regarding tourist attractions, national parks, and scenic spots perfect for family road outings. A bit of research will help you pick spots that will offer family-friendly activities for kids of all ages. There are numerous wildlife parks, museums, lakes, theme parks, and beaches at your disposal. Planning your activities ensures that everyone in your family will have an unforgettable road trip experience.

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Family Holiday Destinations Australia

Picking a family-friendly holiday destination in Australia can be quite the task. This country has countless outstanding family-friendly caravan spots, with numerous attractions and activities for all ages. Here are our top suggestions for family-friendly destinations when caravanning in Australia:

  • Great Ocean Road, Victoria
    The Great Ocean Road is a road tripper’s dream, stretching endlessly across Victoria’s stunning coastline. Enjoy the scenic drive as well as the many jaw-dropping attractions along the way, such as the Twelve Apostles, various waterfalls, and lush rainforests. There are plenty of caravan parks, including Apollo Bay Holiday Park and Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park.
  • Gold Coast, Queensland
    The Gold Coast is a popular family-friendly caravan destination with many fun attractions, including Dreamworld, Sea World, and Warner Bros. Movie World. There are also world-class beaches perfect for swimming, surfing, and relaxing. Fantastic campsites and caravan parks can be found, such as BIG4 Gold Coast Holiday Park and Tallebudgera Creek Tourist Park.
  • Cradle Mountain, Tasmania
    Cradle Mountain is one of Tassie’s true gems, perfect for families interested in nature, wildlife, and hiking. There are many caravan parks to choose from, but we suggest Cradle Mountain Holiday & Caravan Park. More active families with older kids can enjoy hiking trails, waterfalls, and spotting local animals such as wombats and Tasmanian devils.
  • Port Stephens, New South Wales
    Port Stephens is an excellent destination for families with a caravan, offering a range of family-friendly activities such as dolphin watching, sandboarding, and camel rides. There are plenty of amenity-filled caravan parks, with Fingal Bay Holiday Park and Halifax Holiday Park being our top picks.
  • Barossa Valley, South Australia
    Barossa Valley is a superb destination for families who love nature, history, and good food. This picturesque part of South Australia has many fun caravan parks, such as Discovery Parks – Barossa Valley and BIG4 Barossa Tourist Park. Besides incredible local produce, the Barossa offers local museums, conservation parks and numerous walking trails in this region.
  • Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory
    Kakadu National Park is perfect for adventurous families who appreciate wildlife and the outdoors. There are several caravan parks, with our top choice being Aurora Kakadu Lodge and Caravan Park. The national park has an abundance of family-friendly attractions, including Aboriginal rock art, waterfalls, and crocodile-filled wetlands.
  • Margaret River, Western Australia
    Margaret River is a beautiful spot for beachgoer families who enjoy time outdoors and good food. The region offers caravan parks such as Margaret River Tourist Park and BIG4 Taunton Farm Holiday Park. Families can soak up the sun at some of the best Western Australian beaches as well as visit caves, local chocolate factories, and natural parks in the area.

There’s nothing better than spending quality time with our kids and a great way to do that is in a caravan. Imagine exploring the sights of Australia on a road trip with the family, teaching your children about the wonders of the world, while exploring Australia’s diverse landscape. Luckily, there are so many choices available you are bound to find the perfect family caravan to ensure your family holiday is everything you dreamed it would be. While choosing a family caravan is a big decision, many options are available to suit any family’s needs and preferences. With a good plan in place, everything will go smoothly on the road trip. All you need to do is find your route and destination, consider booking caravan parks in advance, and plan activities and family meals. Careful preparations and organisation while packing your caravan will guarantee a safe and enjoyable journey. With a travel plan that considers the length of the trip, the number of family members, and the destination, your family adventure, caravanning with kids, will be a treasured memory forever.