Campervanning or camping with a pre-schooler can include very high ups and very low downs, but avoid the downs by being organised and prepared!

Another year of vanning with our little one and all of a sudden she’s now a little girl.  Although even more enjoyable we feel that she almost needs more entertainment and communication than the 2-year-old toddler of last year!

Although many of the tips suggested in our ‘Toddler’ blog are still relevant this year, we’ve got a few new tips and tricks we now use to make our campervanning trips more bearable, more enjoyable and more magical for everyone.

What are the tips:

When are on the road and moving around often we find sitting down and clearly explaining every morning the plans for the day really helpful.  WHAT’S happening today?   WHY we are leaving, WHERE we are going, HOW GREAT it will be for THEM when we get there (playground visit/beach etc) and WHAT EXCITING ACTIVITIES AND YUMMY SNACKS they can have in the car trip while we drive there.  Lots to look forward to!

You’ve probably heard this one before (and it’s also great at home) but all anybody really wants is to feel useful so giving your pre-schooler the same little tasks to ‘help’ set up/pack up each day will ensure they are kept busy and don’t get bored.  For us, this means drying the dishes (but not the glasses or knives!), watching us fill up the water tank and saying when it’s full and helping prepare food for meals.

This one’s clearly just our personal opinion but especially in Europe, you often see little kids up later than I’d usually go to bed.  Great until they wake up at ‘normal time’ in the morning and are cranky and tired the whole next day. We try to keep the same routine as much as possible as close as possible to the same one we have at home.  This means the same time eating dinner, the same before-bed routine at the same time, same morning routine.

When travelling we try to integrate one activity into our day, every day, that our little one loves ie some beach time building a sandcastle or going for a swim, otherwise as per our toddler blog, we usually google ‘Playground’ on google maps and make a trip to the closest one even if it’s just for half an hour.

3.5 years of age and our tried and tested driving activities are as follows:

  • Sticker books.
  • Puzzles (the ones from Ravensburger that you can do the puzzle in the box lid are great for car trips!).
  • Crayola washable textas.
  • The free but invaluable Australian kids apps Kinderling or ABC radio (you’ll also need kids headphones, the JBL ones are great).


Some of our must-have healthy snacks:

  • Vegetable juice
  • Canned tuna
  • Tinned baked beans
  • Tinned corn
  • Cheese sticks
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Peanut butter
  • Wholegrain healthy crackers
  • Avocado

Though it contradicts our campervanning values and minimalism principles, consider bringing as many of your little one’s favorite toys as possible on the trip. While it goes against packing light, creating a sense of home for them in your campervan is essential. During our recent 5-week trip, we carried three out of four beloved soft toys. However, after about a week, melancholy and sadness arose as our little one missed the toy left behind. To remedy the situation, we organized for Grandma to mail the fluffy purple unicorn to the campground where we’d be in approximately x weeks’ time. Nuff said.  Lesson learnt.  Bring their favourite toys/dress-ups/lego/clothes/dinosaurs/everything so they don’t have anything to ‘miss’ back home.  Oh and make sure YOU pack super light!