We travelled in a small camper with our two boys for eight months and hardly ever argued with each other. We laughed a lot and enjoyed it equally as much and were asked again and again: How do you manage in such a small space?
We are happy to pass on some tips:
- Travel slowly, have few plans and no expectations. That way, spontaneous and short-term decisions can be adapted to the mood of the family. If it was too hot, we drove into the mountains or to the coast. If the family needed to relax, we stayed in a restful place a bit longer, if we felt like peace and quiet, we searched an exciting nature trail.
- Although spontaneity is great, a daily routine for the family is as important in a camper as it is at home. Or perhaps even more important. The size of the camper space seems to increase the more a routine sets in. Cooking your own meals and eating “in” can also help keep a routine.
- We tried not to drive more than twice three hours (i.e. six hours with a longer break in the middle) and after a long driving day we tried to have at least two days off. That was not always possible, but as a principle it was a good guideline.
- If we had to drive a lot within a short time, we tried to give the family a nice incentive. “When we arrive there will be a swimming pool or a playground!” or “When we arrive we will go and watch a movie.”
- We always try to find an overnight stop and be parked up for the night before dark. Finding a place to stay in the dark with hungry and tired children is anything but great!
- We often started our days with much laughter. Loud pop music for breakfast (music in the camper disarms many difficult situations and bad moods) is great; the four of us even danced on our two square meters!
- If one member of the family felt like the ceiling was dropping on him/her, a little walk in the fresh air sorted the problem out. Fresh air is good in every situation!
- Provide plenty of exercise! We often sat long hours in the car and got too little exercise. To compensate, we went for walks in nature whenever possible. When we stopped at suitable service stations, our boys would get out their foldable kick-scooters and do a few rounds to lose some energy.
- And even if we sometimes stayed in places that weren’t too great (e.g. a petrol station or supermarket car park), we always felt at home as soon as we lowered the curtains/blinds in our camper. We had made it homely, hanging up some pictures/drawings and it was home, regardless what was going on outside.