Van Life with Kids: Tips and Challenges

Van Life with Kids: Tips and Challenges

Van life with kids, or the practice of traveling in a van or recreational vehicle with one's family, is a lifestyle that has gained immense popularity in recent years. It's not hard to see why - it offers freedom, adventure, and a unique way to bond with your loved ones. However, as with any major lifestyle change, there are challenges that come with VanLife with Kids. In this article, we'll explore some tips and challenges to help you make the most of this exciting lifestyle choice.

What is Van Life with Kids

Van life with kids is simply traveling in a van or recreational vehicle with one's family, often for an extended period of time. This can involve living in the van full-time or using it for extended vacations or road trips.

Why Van Life with Kids is becoming popular

Van life with kids has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the rise of social media influencers sharing their experiences and making it seem like an ideal way of life. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a desire for families to get outdoors and travel in a way that allows for social distancing.

The challenges of Van Life with Kids

While van life with children offers many benefits, it also comes with unique challenges. Limited space, maintaining a routine, and finding privacy can all be difficult. Additionally, families must be prepared to balance work, school, and leisure activities in a small space.

Planning for Van Life with Kids

Before embarking on a van life journey, it's important to plan carefully.

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Choosing the right van

Choosing the right van is crucial. Families should consider the size of their family, the amount of space needed, and the features they desire. A pop-up camper or Class B van may work well for smaller families, while larger families may need a Class C or Class A motorhome.

Budgeting for Van Life with Kids

Van life with children can be an affordable way to travel, but it's important to budget carefully. Families should consider the cost of the van, maintenance, fuel, and campground fees. They should also set aside money for emergencies and unexpected expenses.

Preparing for life on the road

Preparing for life on the road is essential. Families should ensure they have all the necessary documentation, including passports and insurance papers. They should also prepare for emergencies by carrying a first aid kit and extra supplies.

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Tips for Van Life with Kids

Now that you're ready to hit the road, here are some tips to make your van life with kids journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Creating a schedule

As tempting as it may be to just wing it, creating a schedule is crucial for families traveling in a van. Make sure to include rest days and time for activities that your kids will enjoy. Just don't forget to leave some wiggle room for unexpected adventures - like that time you stumbled upon a herd of llamas in the middle of nowhere.

Packing essentials for kids

When packing for your van life adventure, don't forget the essentials for your kids. This includes snacks, games, and toys to keep them entertained during long stretches of driving. And don't forget to pack a good supply of baby wipes - they come in handy for everything from spills to sticky hands.

Finding kid-friendly activities on the road

One of the benefits of VanLife with Kids is the opportunity to explore new places and try new things. But it's important to find activities that are kid-friendly. National parks, museums, and beaches are great options. Just make sure to avoid anything that involves jumping out of a perfectly good airplane - your kids might not appreciate it as much as you do.

Challenges of Van Life with Children

As mentioned earlier, van Life with children comes with unique challenges that must be overcome.

Limited space

Living in a van means limited space, which can be a challenge for families with kids. To make the most of your space, invest in storage solutions like collapsible containers and hanging organisers. And don't be afraid to get creative - like turning your shoe rack into a spice rack.

Maintaining a routine

Maintaining a routine while on the road can be difficult, but it's important for kids to have structure. Stick to a regular bedtime and mealtime schedule, and carve out time for schoolwork or other responsibilities. But don't be too rigid - sometimes the best memories are made when you throw the schedule out the window and just go with the flow.

Finding privacy

Finding privacy in a van can be a challenge, especially for families with teenagers. Encourage open communication and respect each other's space. And when all else fails, invest in some noise-cancelling headphones and a good book.

Making Van Life with Kids Work

Despite the challenges, van life with kids can be an amazing adventure for families. Here are some tips for making it work.

Communicating with your family

Communication is key when it comes to making van life with kids work. Encourage your kids to share their thoughts and feelings about life on the road, and be open to making adjustments based on their feedback.

Embracing the lifestyle

Van life with kids is not for everyone, but if you're committed to it, embrace the lifestyle. Find joy in the simple things, like cooking dinner over a campfire or watching the sunset from your van.

Staying flexible

Finally, stay flexible. Van life with kids can be unpredictable, but that's part of the fun. Embrace the unexpected and be willing to adjust your plans on the fly.


Van life with kids can be a rewarding and exciting adventure for families, but it does come with unique challenges. By carefully planning and preparing, and embracing the lifestyle with an open mind, families can make the most of this incredible opportunity.


Is VanLife with Kids safe?

While van life with kids can have its challenges, it can be safe if families take the necessary precautions. This includes properly securing your van, researching safe campgrounds, and always being aware of your surroundings.

How do I homeschool my kids while living in a van?

Homeschooling while living in a van can be challenging, but it's not impossible. There are many resources available online for parents who choose to homeschool their kids, and many state and national parks offer educational programs for kids. Just remember to be flexible and make adjustments as needed.

What do I do if my kids get bored on the road?

Kids getting bored on the road is a common challenge for families in van life. To combat boredom, pack plenty of games, toys, and snacks. And don't forget to take breaks and explore the sights along the way.

Can I still work while living in a van with kids?

Yes, many families are able to work remotely while living in a van with their kids. Just make sure to plan ahead and have reliable internet access. And don't forget to take breaks and explore the sights along the way.

What do I do if my kids don't like the VanLife lifestyle?

Not all kids will love van life, and that's okay. It's important to listen to your kids' concerns and be open to making adjustments. If van life is not working for your family, consider other travel options or taking a break from the road. The most important thing is to prioritise your family's happiness and well-being.

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