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Old 04-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #1
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Tips for traveling with kids!

Hi everyone, I'm new here and new to this whole RV thing My husband and I just bought a 2014 Jayco Jay Feather 228 and are planning our first trip for a couple weeks from now. We have 2 4.5 year old and an infant. I was hoping that some of you more seasoned travelers might have some good tips and tricks for me to try. It is important to me that the first trip is a success, so that my kiddos stay excited and love this new investment we have made!


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Old 04-24-2014, 08:04 AM   #2
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As a first-time expectant father (October), I'm also VERY interested in what the community has to say about this! I grew up outside, and it's important to me that I pass that on to my kid(s), and the only way to keep it going is if they have fun.


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Old 04-24-2014, 08:57 AM   #3
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I think your answers are going to vary wildly based on the individual kids - I have a 5 year old and a 3 year old. They are bith very different in how much "planned activity time" they need to stay out of trouble.

I know that I can get about 60-90 minutes of good driving time before they need an activity to break it up.... Even if it just stopping for breakfast or lunch. It takes about 2 hours to get to our seasonal site so I usually leave one hour before a meal and then we have no issues on the way up.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #4
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Having 3 of my own and gone through this with all of them starting at 2 and births, shorter trips are easier and will make a more enjoyable experience for all. Planned activities are good and all, but lets face it that hard plans always go south when it comes to kids. Naps, not interested, hungry you name it. I have found that keeping it on my radar and then springing it at the time worked better so that no one was let down if it doesn't happen. Typically the older ones.

First I would suggest you take your kids to the park or playground while someone sets up the site. It's safer and easier. I keep my kids in the TV until we are set or unhitched under certain conditions if no park is available.

Next I always have bubbles and chalk on hand. Kids can't resit either and they can do it for hours. Cards, bikes and board games are favs now too, but with your ages probably not there yet. A favorite DVD or two for dinner prep or rainy day is a must have too.

Screen doors and steps are a hazard and should be kid proofed IMHO.

Sleeping we did pack-n-plays and kid proofed lower bunks.

Feeding was a portable folding high chair that was light weight and transported easily.

Just roll with it and try to do to much out of gate until you get in your groove. A frozen or chilled heat and serve meal helps too.

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Old 04-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #5
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Welcome RV mommy. You should join our 228 group, there are about 12 fellow 228 owners in the group and we share topics specific to our model. As far as travelling with the kids we have an 8 yr old and 4 year old. As much as we try and limit these types of toys when we are travelling we get the kids setup with their iPads, we also have a portable DVD player so they can watch a movie or two while we travel. Planning a lunch break at a mcdonalds or somewhere that has a playland helps them blow off a little steam as well. We have made numerous 8 hour trips with the kids and they have handled it well using these options. The tip of sending them to the playground when you are setting up is a great tip. We do this, my wife takes the kids to the park, I do my setup part and then she comes back and does her thing inside and I take the kids back to the park.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #6
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I went from Ottawa to PEI 3 years ago with my sons (4 and a 7yr old)... took us 2 days of travelling, 1350km (850 miles) to get their and 2 days to come back.

Don't expect them to be admiring the scenery... Depending on their age, some might sleep a little...

Our trick was leaving very early.... 7AM both days.... we had a rule... you can get a movie on your own personal little DVD player after 1hr of driving...

Then we would have a stop for gas and a stretch and leave again...same rule 1hr of driving then a movie...

They were pretty good... but by 2-3PM they were getting fed up with the driving!!!!

This year we will be doing a similar travel to lenght for our summer vacation... but they now have tablets in addition to the DVD players...that keeps them busy...

But you could also resort to the Gravol approach.... puts them to sleep for a little while if they are too agitated...LOL!
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:27 AM   #7
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We have a 4 year old and 2 year old. For the ride there, we do a variety of things, ranging from books to toys to watching a DVD on the portable player to their Leap Pads.

Once we get there, I set up and my wife will take them for a walk or over to a playground or something. While it'd be quicker to have both my wife and I setting up, we find that the kids get cranky if nobody is paying attention to them and that just makes everybody cranky.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:58 AM   #8
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We have 3 -- 8,6,2. Oldest 2 are girls and 2 yo is son. They just love being outside a day. We give the 8 and 6 a bit more freedom to explore on their own around the campground so they really like the independence. They almost always meet another kid or two to play with -- which has helped us as adults meet new people too.

Last year for the youngest we brought along an 8 sided play yard we set up as place he could be on his own a little and we not have to worry about fire pits or him wondering for the 1 min our back is turned.

We do keep a mesh bag in the trailer with some beach/sand toys that comes in handy whether we are at the beach our mountains. There are several board games in the trailer -- Jenga is the most popular with them. We also take bikes for everyone (2 y/o is obviously in kid seat) and take a few rides together. Part of older kids independence is being able to ride by themselves a bit. Very rarely do they get to watch movies/tv inside. Maybe if the weather is bad or late in the evening as they go to bed we will turn on something.

Every kid I know loves camping -- assuming the parents are too uptight and restrictive. We are vigilant about safety, but want them to look forward to the trips as much as us -- so far that has been successful.

Keep in mind these trips are as much a vacation and escape for the kids as they are for the adults. Because of this they special treats they wouldn't get at home -- maybe an occasional soda or piece of candy.

You're kids will love it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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Oh one other big hit with our kids is making "coffee can" ice cream during a couple of the summer trips. You might want to google it. It's super simple and the kids love sharing something they made.
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Old 04-24-2014, 08:51 PM   #10
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Methods for keeping the kids entertained during the drive will vary with each kids interest.
As far as set up at the CG goes, when the kids were small my wife would take them to the playground as I leveled the TT, hooked up the water, sewer and electric lines, opened the slideouts and awning. As they got older they were drafted in helping me set up camp.

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