RV travel with grandchildren can be a fun experience that creates lasting memories — or an utter disaster. Before you hit the road, be sure to read these important tips. That way, you and your grandchildren will enjoy RVing together. Who knows? It might even be the start of a multigen vacation tradition for years to come!
CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn helpful ideas and tips for for rv travel with grandchildren, including:
- Tips & Tricks for RV Travel with Grandchildren
- Make Sure Everyone’s On Board
- Keep In Mind Their Ages
- Include Kids in Planning Process
- Ensure Vehicle is Running Well
- Prepare Activities to Enjoy Together
- Be Ready to Compromise
- Final Thoughts on RV Travel with Grandchildren
Tips & Tricks for RV Travel with Grandchildren
Taking a trip with your grandchildren is a beautiful experience, especially after your own children have grown up. After all, they say that spending time with your grandkids is just like having your own kids, plus all the joys and minus the responsibilities.
Taking an RV trip with your grandchildren is a great way to bond with them and teach them something new. It can also give their parents a break while you’re away.
So for those reasons, here are some helpful tips and tricks to plan an amazing RV trip with your grandkids.
Make Sure Everyone’s On-Board
If you’re planning to take your grandkids on a trip, then make sure everyone’s up for it. That includes:
- Any travel partners, like a spouse or friend
- Your grandchildren
- Both of their parents
Time has a way of softening the way we remember our experiences, and you might actually forget just how much work travel with children can be. So, take stock of your own patience, ability, and limits before you commit to this undertaking. Being responsible for your grandchildren 7 x 24 takes a lot more energy then having them for a few hours one afternoon.
You’ll also want to make sure your spouse or travel partner, if you have one, is supportive of bringing the grandchildren along.
Part of being a good grandparent is all about being respectful of their parents’ wishes. The parents ultimately have the final say, so you need to make sure they are okay with you taking their children on a trip. Be open-minded to any concerns or caveats they have and be willing to compromise.
Don’t forget one of the most important stakeholders in this deal: Are the grandchildren themselves up for the trip? This is especially important because you don’t want to end up driving around with unhappy campers! Sure, they will have their moments, but ultimately, you want this to be a fun RV trip that they are looking forward to.
So, make sure everyone involved agrees that taking an RV trip with your grandchildren is a good idea before moving ahead.
Keep Grandchildren’s Ages In Mind
Depending on your grandchildren’s ages, consider that a “no” may really mean “not yet.”
Of course, RVing with a baby is a lot different from RV camping with toddlers. Likewise, RVing with kids that are in elementary school differs greatly from traveling with teenagers. Each age brings its own joys and challenges.
Still, an RV vacation is one of the best vacations for grandparents and grandchildren to enjoy together.
With younger children, you’ll need to look into RV child seat laws, bring extra equipment and safety gear, and child-proof your RV.
As your grandchildren get older, they might be more likely to fully enjoy the adventure and make less work for you. They may even be helpful in helping to care for the RV on the trip.
Finally, if your grandchildren are school-aged, you may need to work around their school vacation schedules or weigh out whether their parents and school will be supportive of them being out of the classroom for some real world learning.
Remember, in addition to packing essential gear for RVing, you may also need a letter of permission to travel with grandchildren of any age.
Related Article: Best Trips to Take with Baby as a Grandparent
Grandparent Grandchild Trips: Include the Kids in the Planning Process
Once you have the green light, let the planning begin!
Kids love to be included and considering they’ll be a big part of this trip, it’s smart to include them in the planning process if they’re old enough.
Part of having a fun trip is setting the expectations. If they’ve never been RVing before, they may have some very basic questions or misconceptions about it.
If you have pre-planned the route, ask them what they think about the potential sights and activities so you know what they’d love to check out along the way. This helps you get to know their (ever changing) interests at this age. It also helps you schedule stops into your trip.
The kids can also help you prepare the RV, like helping to clean the RV, food shopping, and packing their favorite things on the trip.
Make Sure Your Vehicle is Up and Running
Your RV may be one of your most prized possession during this empty-nest time of life, but it’s especially important to ensure every safety precaution when you travel with grandchildren. Therefore, it’s absolutely a must that you make sure your RV is fully functional and running well.
That means checking the tires, seals, engine oil and fluids, and potentially changing the battery if the old one is temperamental.
Be sure there are no clogs in the bathroom or kitchen, and that you have all the tools and materials you need to make any on-the-go repairs as needed.
Most RVs are equipped with a furnace, but it can get cold inside, particularly if you’re traveling with grandchildren in the fall/winter month. In that case, you might want to supplement or replace your camper furnace. One way is to get a quality van heater to keep you warm at all times.
If you do, make sure that you have proper ventilation and little fingers keep clear of anything that’s hot. This is true in the kitchen, too.
You and your grandchildren’s safety and comfort should be the top priority, so make sure that your RV is in top condition.
Related Article: RV Sealant Tips
Prepare Fun Games and Activities
Kids can easily get bored, and if you want to have a digital-free trip, you may want to leave their tablets and other similar gadgets behind. This applies to your laptop, too! After all, part of RVing is connecting with nature and the great outdoors, as well as with each other, right?
No doubt, this will technology-free zone will be met with resentment (on their part and yours!), so you may compromise and agree to certain limits on electronic devices.
That might mean you indulge in a quick game of Solitaire Bliss while they check their social feed.
Then, it’s important to plan and prepare activities and games you can enjoy together. That might mean bringing:
- Board Games
- Playing Cards
- Age-Appropriate Toys
- Craft Materials
- Coloring Books
- Story Books
Look for campgrounds that offer plenty of child-friendly activities, too.
Evenings can be quiet when you’re RVing, so having something fun to do can make things so much more enjoyable. Think about stories you can tell about your own growing up while you’re around the campfire. (Don’t forget s’mores!) You could even bring some old family photos to help bring the past to life.
Warning: If you’re going to tell ghost-stories though, be prepared for a rough night’s sleep ahead!
Be Ready to Compromise (But be Cool About it!)
As an adult, you know plenty about life. Gen Z kids, especially teenagers, may feel they already know it all. So be sure to compromise, especially when it comes to visiting certain places they may not be interested in.
You don’t want them to be bored and unhappy.
For everyone’s sake, you want them to have a good time and be good travel mates. That’s why your ability to compromise can be extremely helpful. As long as you’re cool and unbothered, you can work through your differences.
That way, you will enjoy traveling with grandchildren and your grandchildren will enjoy traveling with you.
Final Thoughts on RV Travel with Grandchildren
This vacation season is a perfect time to go on an RV trip with your grandchildren. As a grandparent, travel with grandchildren can be one of your greatest joys. With these tips, you will know how to prepare and have an amazing time.
As long as you’re open to different things, patient, and calm, your grandkids will have fun, and you’ll be happy to have spent more time with them. You’ll be making memories that will last a lifetime.
If it goes well, you may even want to consider travelling abroad with grandchildren.
Photo credits: Feature – Canva Pro, Camper – S. B., toddlers – Martine den Engelsen (Pixabay)
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