We took a toddler caravanning – and survived!

Caravan holidays – do you worry the idyllic idea may be slightly different than the reality?

More Father Ted than Little House on the Prairie?

Add a toddler into the mix and the ‘uncertainty levels’ of any situation will rise, and when you are away from your standard home comforts it can certainly be daunting.

When one of our team returned happy, healthy and rejuvenated from a family caravanning holiday we asked her to share her tips and tricks!

Over to Jean, mum of a two and a half-year-old…

Packing Light

Well, as light as you can with a toddler! We were really strict with ourselves with what we packed as we have a small car and a habit of overpacking. I say we, I mean me. So our me/you/her piles were reviewed strictly by a more minimalist (realist) husband before being added to bags. It was a week-long trip, but packing eco handwash soap meant that we could reuse t-shirts, undies and most of the little one’s clothes. We packed PLAY clothes (leggings/shorts/tees), one cosy jumper, and a rain suit for her and we were covered.

The Journey

We chose a caravan park around two hours drive from our home and timed the car journey around nap time. Although we have been phasing naps out we thought that an afternoon of running around and a slightly late night than normal would be a fair swap for a peaceful car journey! One of us sat in the back with the little one armed with snacks, water, books and one of us acted as the DJ in the front! Sing along Disney and a mix CD of familiar songs did the trick.


As we co-sleep, and caravan beds tend to be pretty narrow, we were genuinely saved by the Purple Daisies Bed Bumper. We took two (one for each side of the bed) so that none of us rolled out, and they squished really easily into our tiny car then popped back into shape when unpacked! We are potty training at the moment so the Purple Daisies B-Sensible waterproof sheets were a great help, we didn’t want to spoil any holiday mattresses! Is also nice to have your own sheets with you, a bit of reassurance and comfort for the little one when in a strange bed.


We checked in advance with the caravan site for local playparks and kids activities so that we had affordable and fun plans each day. One entire afternoon was spent throwing stones into a river, remember that with toddlers, unplanned fun is usually the best kind! Chalks came in handy, as did books, buckets and spades!


By taking it slow, not over planning or over packing and taking some home comforts along for the ride we have a really fun and peaceful trip.

What are your top tips for caravanning with toddlers??