Motorhome Adventures with Children
We have lots of experience of motorhome holidays and breaks with our and other peoples’ children, so here are a few tips and ideas to give you inspiration.
First, the practicalities…
* Bring lots of pairs of socks – feet get damp, wellies get waterlogged. It’s just easier.
* Bring slip on indoor shoes like crocs or flip flops, to avoid damp feet, and keep the inside of the vehicle looking a little less like the outside! Jelly or water shoes are also a great idea for rock pooling or pebble beaches. They’ll want to go in the water (and why not?!), so it’s better than getting trainers wet.
* A lantern with batteries is a good idea for trips to the campsite loo or shower (if not using your own), and to leave on at night if the motorhome is too dark for little ones. We supply these with our motorhomes. Our motorhomes have blinds which keep out the sunshine at 5am, but the little lanterns make it easier for those who are afraid of the dark, or just need a bit of reassurance.
* Waterproof trousers and wellies are a must. They mean that you can get out whatever the season and have fun, and the waterproof trousers get dry really quickly hung in the shower room or campsite drying room.
* Drawing kit – a notebook and pencils, or fancier equipment if you like. This is ideal for something to do in any weather, and you can encourage all ages to keep a log of what they’ve seen, or just to draw what is outside the window (after all, it’s changing most of the time in a motorhome…).
* Scrapbook and a Pritt stick – you can clip or stick tickets from tours or visits, nice leaves or flowers, draw pictures. Back home, you could add photos.
* Paper bag(s) – take it on walks to find a list of things (prettiest leaf or different types of leaf, prickly thing, biggest pine cone etc.). Decorate it afterwards.
* Go geocaching!https://www.geocaching.com/ it’s surprising how many remote places now have these. Remember to bring some small things to put in when you find yours.
* Bird – spotting or flower spotting books. May seem a little old fashioned, but the under tens (and older!) seem to love this, particularly the books where you get points for each thing spotted.
* Fire building. You can show children how to find the right spot for a fire, which doesn’t harm any ground and can be cleared away afterwards. Then, you can build one together. In our motorhomes we supply some kit to help with campfire building, or a barbecue which doubles as a fire pit. You don’t have to do the whole Ray Mears thing if you don’t want to – it’s fine to use matches (or even a firelighter if there’s no dry kindling, we’re not purists!). For children of an appropriate age, you can show them how to whittle sticks to toast marshmallows on, or make fire bread. It’s always a good idea to bring a washable rug too. We supply a cosy fleece throw.
* Rounders bat and ball. No need to explain this, but also great for meeting other families on campsites.
* Games. We supply playing cards, Pass The Pigs and other travel games in our motorhomes. Our clients tell us it’s surprising how little the TV gets used (it does have a dvd too though).
* Cycling. Scotland (and the UK as a whole) has some great cycling, whether it’s along canal and river banks, or on more exciting mountain bike trails. Our motorhomes have 4 bike racks as standard, and we can arrange bike hire if you can’t bring yours. With younger children, we’ve been known to stop at the top of a beautiful hill on a quiet road, and let two people out for a super fun cycle down!
* Ferries. They’re great. They take you and your motorhome to exciting new places, over the water. Scotland has loads of options. What’s not to love?
The beauty of motorhomes is that everything you need is with you – with a bit of planning. We’ve even had 8 week old babies as customers! You can bring lots of snacks and barbecue food obviously (there’s a reasonable size fridge with freezer in our vehicles, which works on gas and electricity). You can also bring treats like hot chocolate and marshmallows, or buy seafood if you’re lucky enough to meet the catch coming in at the quayside. For children, pasta and pasta sauce is a brilliant, cost effective (and easy to pack) staple, as are wraps.
Many pubs and restaurants also allow overnight parking in their car parks (it’s important to ask first), and there are quite a few great campsites with pubs within walking distance (The Red Squirrel at Glencoe is one).