What are the true advantages of van life for (big) families?

 Van life is often seen as a perfect solution for adventurous couples, but in fact van life offers several advantages for families.

Here we’re diving into the wild world of van life, but with a twist – we’re zooming in on how it can be perfect to those with big families like ours!  

This way of traveling offers a lot more than adventure and can be just what you need to make that perfect family trip come true, on a quite affordable budget.

Let me tell you about some of the positive points we find in this type of family travel and why it is so convenient for us.

1.    Budget

Travel in a campervan can be an easy way to travel a lot in a budget. More so if you are a big family.

If you started your research for your first van trip you probably noticed that the price per night sit around 100 or 120€. I know, it can seem quite a lot.

But when you consider that in that price you’re including:

  • Stay: your van is your home where your entire family can sleep every night during the entire trip without any additional costs
  • Meals: you can cook as much as you want so you don’t need to go to restaurants. Also, you can buy everything you need in the same supermarket and optimize food costs
  • Car rental: you can go everywhere with the van so no additional costs for transportation either.  

suddenly 120€ per night for 4 our 5 people isn’t that much, is it?

As a big family of 5 we usually pay that amount only for the hotel room. Sometimes even more. Without kitchen we often must go to restaurants to have balanced meals. And knowing we are specifically talking about road trips we still have to rent a car multiplying the costs.

Vanlife is an amazing money saver for us!

Also, it is quite simple to adapt your trip to a certain budget. Or review your itinerary and overnight stays to make some economies and accommodate some activity you didn’t count on initially.

This isn’t possible with other way of travelling.  

2.    Freedom

Thought I advise you to have a rough idea of itinerary so you can search for an overnight place or optimize your time on the road, the beauty of van life is that you can change your plans immediately if you need or want to.

This, for me, is one of the biggest advantages of van life for families.

Did you though to be able to arrive to a certain point but the sunset is too beautiful to be missed? No worries, you can just sleep nearby.

Weather is not cooperating? That’s ok. You can change or adapt your itinerary for the next day or so to run away from the rain.

It also allows you to adapt your trip to your kids needs if things are not going as you imagined at the beginning of the adventure.

Having all you need at the same place, ready to go, including your bed, is a luxury that gives you infinite freedom to go where you want, when you want.

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3.    Flexibility

When we travel as a family schedule flexibility is everything!

A home on wheels allows you to adapt your schedules on the go to easily meet the needs of each member of your family.

Imagine being able to cook anywhere. Or to comfortably rest whenever you or your children are tired. This kind of flexibility is just perfect for life on the road. More so when you have small kids with you.

Imagine being at the beach, enjoying a beautiful sunset while you cook, kids playing nearby. No need to pay extra for the view or leave early to find a restaurant. Amazing right?

Your baby gave you a complicated night? Leave later without paying for late checkout or just stop for a nap along the way.

This possibility of adaptation is just priceless.

4.    Adaptability

Doing a road trip with a campervan is the simplest way to adapt your trip to your travel style.

In fact, you can choose, day by day, what your stay is going to be like, and the choice is quite large.

If you are dreaming about waking up surrounded by trees, birds chirping, no one around you, just choose to overnight in a forest.

Your kids are asking for a swimming pool and some friends to play with, and you didn’t quite mind a hot shower? You can simply choose to stay at a camping site.

Want to be the first one hitting the waves at sunrise? Just stay at the beach parking lot (if it is allowed of course!).

You can even choose to park the van for the night and sleep at an hotel or Airbnb for once!

That’s the beauty of travelling on a campervan. You can adapt everything, everywhere, whenever you wish!

5.    Kids-friendly adventure

From our experience kids simply love it! They are always enthusiastic about this kind of travel.

Kids love the idea of having a “home” on wheels and are usually the first ones to adapt to the small space, well before us!

Van life encapsulates in itself a sense of adventure and discovery that suites well the young minds! And in fact, I never knew a child that, having tried van life, didn’t want to repeat the experience! And I can say I know a bunch of them!  

6.    Family bonds

Traveling in a campervan is more than ride around and visit places. It really is a lifestyle in itself and a very particular way of experiencing the places we are visiting.

Van life is full of freedom and joy. It gives you an amount of flexibility that no other way of travelling can offer. It is a lifestyle that can deeply connect you to nature, your surroundings, and the people you are traveling with.

But let’s be honest here! Van life has its limits too. Space is one of them. And the lack of certain commodities can also be an issue for some people.

Travel in a camper van with a big family is certainly the best way I can possibly imagine to bond deeply with your kids, share unforgettable adventures, find balance, and develop a profound team spirit. 

Family travel is always amazing, but I’m pretty sure that after your first camper van road trip there’s nothing your family can’t do together!

I hope I’ve convinced you…

… because van life really is amazing and has so many advantages for families!

All these previous factors convinced us from the beginning, and I’m honestly persuaded that van life can be perfect for families for all the options it offers on the go.

I understand that van life isn’t for everyone. Because van life isn’t a way of travel. Is a lifestyle!

But there is just one way to know if it is for your family: try it!

Let me know in the comments if you have specific questions about van life as a family!

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by Le Voyage de Zoé. A family of 5 exploring the world !

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