Campervanning with a Baby

Campervanning with a baby
Our rented campervan named Bubbles from Escape Campervans (www.escapecampervans.com) in our camping spot at San Juan County Park (https://www.sanjuanco.com/466/Camping-Information)

By Erin Reynolds

We recently took a family trip to one of the best outdoor travel destinations in the PNW, San Juan Island in Washington State with our 5-month-old daughter. I have included some tips that we learned; hopefully they will encourage you to keep traveling as your family expands. For more tips on camping with a baby, see https://campingforwomen.com/babys-first-camping-trip/.

 

Campervanning with a baby 1
Our daughter did not mind the occasional rainfall

 

Our trip took place in October and our journey included our daughter’s first flight, ferry and campervan stay. Naturally, we had a few stressful moments but the campervan we rented had everything we needed from snacks and coffee to a place to change diapers.

When the inevitable autumn rain started, we walked back to the van and watched the weather together. Our daughter loved sleeping between us on the foldout bed and watching the ocean on our beach walks.  We did a lot of strolling on city streets and hiking through rocky, wet terrain with baby in the front pack. All in all, we found the experience to be magical and we plan to return to San Juan Island when our daughter is older.

 

Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

 

Tips On Traveling With An Infant

 

  • Dining out takes a little more work than it used to Most of our dinners were spent eating alone while the other person took baby on a walk. Our most baby-friendly meal was homemade pastries at a farmer’s market. Next time we will rely on take-out and preparing our own meals in the van.

 

  • Flying with a small child does not have to be horrible This trip was a test run for future trips and we purposely started with a short flight (less than 45 minutes). We packed everything we needed in our carry-on and nursed during takeoff and landing. As a first-time mom, I find myself getting anxious when driving on long trips with our newborn and I found flying to be a lot less stressful than long car rides we have taken with her.

 

  • Rideshares and taxis are generally accommodating with car seats Just make sure you have had plenty of practice so you can quickly and safely install the seat

 

  • Our campervan was a great size for our family of three However, next time we will invest in a van that has a dedicated place for the car seat so we don’t have to undo the bed and redo the car seat every time we want to go for a drive

 

  • The weather is a bigger consideration now Our vacation took place in October, which is one of our favorite times to travel. However, the weather fluctuated between sunny and wet and rainy. As a Pacific Northwest girl, I love the rain and I made sure we were prepared! Our camping wear included lots of waterproof clothing, rainboots and wool socks kept us warm and dry. The campervan heater and fire kit provided extra coziness.

 

  • Speaking of packing, I was surprised at how much longer it takes to pack for a family of three! Make sure you have extra time to prepare.

 

  • “Try to get some sleep” is the most annoying thing you can tell new parents. But, if you can, try to get some extra rest the night before. Make sure to allow time for naps during the day, for both you and your baby. This is a great part of having a van, you can draw the curtains and sleep on the side of a busy street!

 

  • But also….coffee! Since you probably won’t be getting enough sleep, at least scout out some good local coffee shops and/or pack your own.

 

Campervanning with a baby is something all new parents should do!

 

Blogger and Guest Author at

Erin is a stay-at-home mom, MBA student and host of travel-inspired craft classes. She loves exploring at home and around the world. Her international experience includes volunteering in Cambodia and an internship in Dublin, Ireland. She lives in Bend, Oregon with her daughter, husband, cat and dog.

28 thoughts on “Campervanning with a Baby

  • February 18, 2020 at 8:14 pm
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    Living the campervan life with an infant sounds so exciting. Of course, there are some limitations, but seeing the baby grow, born with the instinct of travelling and being always on the move, learning and grasping things, under a different situation and in a different surrounding, seems so satisfying.

    Reply
  • February 18, 2020 at 3:38 am
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    This sounds like so much fun, even with the extra effort involved! Kids of all ages can benefit from travelling, I’m sure she had a blast!

    -Jennifer

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  • February 17, 2020 at 8:54 am
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    Erin, your family trip to one of the best outdoor travel destinations at San Juan Island in Washington State with your 5-month-old daughter looks very beautiful and I must say, you are very courageous as I had never gone for campervanning with children. I loved the idea of preparing a meal in the van instead of going out. And I second you that flight with small kids are very horrible as to handle them on our laps for several hours in a squeezed place is really torture and so it is good to opt for a road trip with babies.

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  • February 17, 2020 at 2:53 am
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    First of all, let me tell you that your baby is so cute! She looks like an angel. Hats off to you for travelling with a 5 month old. I have seen many travel-loving parents give up on travelling after having a baby. Thanks for sharing the tips, especially the ones on dining and getting some extra sleep. Keep travelling!

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  • February 17, 2020 at 1:14 am
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    Love this! Babies are so easy to travel with. I honestly wish I Had done it more with my first!

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    • February 17, 2020 at 4:53 am
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      I am so great that we decided to keep traveling with our little babe! It is a totally different experience but it is amazing to get to see the world through her eyes. I am not sure if I am brave enough to travel internationally with her yet, but I hope to soon!

      Reply
  • February 16, 2020 at 10:02 am
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    I have always wondered what was like to camp van with a baby. Thanks for sharing

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    • February 17, 2020 at 4:56 am
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      Thank you for reading, I am glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  • February 16, 2020 at 12:34 am
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    That’s great that you are able to keep traveling even with a baby. That’s good to know about rideshares & taxis being accommodating. I always wondered how parents handled that! Glad to know you had a successful trip and I am sure your tips will help future parents.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2020 at 2:58 pm
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    Great post!! I know a lot of people who want to travel or go camping with their babies and I guess your post covers all the questions and queries. I would love to recommend them this post, you wrote it really well and easily written.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2020 at 10:23 am
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    I have been thinking of trying a campervan holiday for sometime now but have not been able to convince the Mrs but will share this post with her. My kids are older now and they want to do this kind of a holiday and I can see why this would be a great way with the kids . A different holiday but with a bit more planning a great experience. I must admit your choice of visiting PNW, San Juan Island in Washington State looks like a great destination as well. Thanks for sharing this rather different way of holiday .

    Reply
  • February 15, 2020 at 7:57 am
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    Campervanning with a baby: I imagine that it would be challenging, but you made it look easy. My friends just visited us with their 2-year kid, and we didn’t travel with a camper, nor camping. During the week we traveled, I noticed how much we had to adjust with his rhythm: eating, changing pamper, walking, playing, sleeping, etc.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2020 at 7:39 am
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    These are very useful tips for traveling with an infant. I started travelling with my daughter when she was 8weeks old. It can get stressful at times but trust me it just gets better. Camperving is a fun holiday to have with kids of all age groups.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2020 at 4:39 am
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    How fun! We camped with all three of our boys since they were about six weeks old. I don’t miss all the STUFF we had to take with us now that our youngest is three. But they grew up camping and still absolutely love it. Thankful we live in a location where we can go two hours and the weather can be 30-50 degrees colder!

    Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 7:57 pm
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    Quite a read. At first, it seems almost impossible to go campervanning with a baby but after reading this detailed post, it’s not a bad idea. Thanks for this.

    Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 7:55 pm
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    Hey I have a question for you. Do you think it made a big difference to have a shorter flight first for the baby. I will be flying to France with my baby in May. She’s 6 months now. Do you think it will be a bad thing having a 8 hour flight as her first flight

    Reply
    • February 17, 2020 at 5:02 am
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      I think the shorter flight helped to put my husband and I at ease. Our baby didn’t seem to mind the flight as much as we thought she would, so I would be willing to try longer distances. An 8 hour flight is definitely do-able, just make sure you get extra naps and food in, too!

      Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 6:34 pm
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    Those are great tips for travelling with an infant! I agree that it’s hard to dine out with a baby and that it’s probably best to have meals in your van.

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    • February 17, 2020 at 11:12 am
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      That’s an informative and helpful post for people who have babies and they want to go caravanning. I’m not sure I would be that brave.

      Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 5:04 pm
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    Great tips. Looks like you guys had a pretty fun vacation. I didn’t even know that camping in a van that you can rent even existed. That’s amazing.

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  • February 14, 2020 at 3:42 pm
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    This is so interesting! I was just talking with someone about how difficult it must be to travel with kids (I travel a lot but don’t have children) and how I’m in awe at the folks who pull it off. This sounds like an amazing way to spend time with your little one!

    Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm
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    I haven’t done campervanning and camping with my newborn baby yet but not sure if I want to do it. I am still in two minds about this but the appeal is I do love the outdoors and it does save on costs compared to having to get a huge hotel room for four of us. Reading this post has kinda given me hope to give it a go 😀

    Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 2:29 pm
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    It’s great to start camping from a young age like this. I wish we had started camping when our kids were babies.

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  • February 14, 2020 at 2:07 pm
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    It looks like you had a great time. We tried traveling with a 1 year old and while we had fun, we decided to wait till she was older. It was just not as relaxing as vacations without a baby are but to each their own!

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  • February 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm
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    Pretty awesome that you are camping with an infant! I haven’t ever gone camping in an actual tent. You go girl!

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  • February 14, 2020 at 12:39 pm
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    Traveling with an infant seems so scary and daunting. You make it look so damn easy!

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    • February 17, 2020 at 4:57 am
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      I am the oldest of four kids and my parents brought us all over the place, so I actually found traveling with a baby to be easier than I thought it would be!

      Reply
  • February 14, 2020 at 12:18 pm
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    You made it look so easy! I waited until my kids were toddler age before we took them on long road trips or camping with us. Your tips are very helpful for people who would want to go on the same adventure with a baby in tow.

    Reply

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