Are you planning a big caravan adventure? A lap around Australia perhaps? A trip down the coast to a remote beach or a family-friendly caravan park? No matter what trip you’re planning, you need to think carefully about how to manage the politics and logistics of living shoulder to shoulder with your nearest and dearest for an extended period. Because no matter how near and how dear, they will annoy you. A lot, at some stage.
How catastrophic this annoyance is to your adventure depends on how well you plan for and manage these tricky situations. The good people at Roma Caravans Melbourne have been around for a long time, so they’ve seen all the caravanning hiccups. Here are their tips so you come back from your trip happy and full of fond memories. They reckon they just might save you thousands in therapy!
Whether you’re unsure about your itinerary or feel very strongly about how you should fill your days, get everyone involved in the planning process – including the kids. Sit everyone down and have a relaxed chat about what everyone would like to do on your adventure. Being involved in the planning gets everyone invested in the holiday, and if they’re invested it will matter more to them that you all have a great time. Plus who doesn’t love to plan a trip!
Buy the Right Caravan
There are a number of questions you should be asking yourself before purchasing a caravan. It’s a big investment, and you want it to be something that brings you years of happy memories and bonding moments with your loved ones. Here are some things to consider (again get everyone’s input on this to get them excited and feeling positive about the whole thing):
- How many people will it need to accommodate?
- Will I want something that’s quick and easy to set up (good for short says) or more elaborate (fine if you’re staying put for a while)
- What kind of tow vehicle do I need?
- How self-sufficient can I be? What power requirements will I need?
- What mod cons are essential versus just nice to have?
- Make sure you do your research, talk to some experts and purchase a caravan that meets all your ‘must have’ needs and as many of your ‘nice to have’ needs as possible.
Ensure You Have Reliable Phone Coverage
Apart from that fact that you’ll need mobile reception in case of an emergency, when you’re living in close quarters with people you’re going to need access to the wider world. You’ll want to be able to talk to someone else if you need to vent some frustrations. We all do it, it will help keep you sane. So make sure you have a good phone plan with reliable coverage (you can check coverage along your route and at your destination before setting out). It’s amazing how much better it can feel to tell someone not involved just how utterly impossible <insert loved one’s name here> is being. Get it out, calm down and move on. It’s better than having continuous confrontations over the small stuff.
Know Your Triggers
Do some self-reflection before you head off, and work out what sets you off. Do you get hangry (angry when hungry)? Do you tend to snap at people if you don’t get a solid 8 hours sleep? Maybe the heat makes you cranky? Whatever it is, we all have them and it’s completely human to get annoyed sometimes. The trick is to understand what might triggers you in this way and try to head it off at the pass. Pack snacks so you can keep your blood sugar levels up. Ensure your caravan has reliable air conditioning or some good fans to circulate the air. Make sure your sleeping arrangements are comfortable and the noise is kept to a minimum at night, where possible. Keeping everyone rested, cool and fed can make a world of difference to everyone’s mood.
Wake up, eat, socialise, go to bed and repeat. With the same people everyday, this can get old. In your ‘normal’ life you generally have the opportunity to shake things up a bit and keep you out of a rut, even if it is just going to work. The good news is that you are sitting on a gold mine of potential new buddies at any caravan or camping site. People with shared interests, probably the same stressors, and likely many are looking for a new friendly face to give them a break from the same people they’ve been living in a confined space with. If you’re keen to make friends outside your travelling group, try smiling at people you pass at the site, have a chat over the BBQ or at the toilet block. If you’re open to making friends and send the right signals to let people know, some great mates can be made while caravanning. These new mates might have kids who can entertain yours, or a partner to get your out of your hair! The possibilities are endless.
Travelling with people can be tricky. Add to that the pressure of living with others in a confined space, and you could be looking at a stressful atmosphere on your great adventure. No one wants that! Sit down and do some planning before setting off, think about yourself, your travel companions and how you can create a comfortable trip and manage the stress levels as best you can. Control what you can control. You will always have surprises along the way, that’s part of the magic of caravanning, but a bit of planning and self-reflection will help you enjoy a wonderful trip of a life time. Which is what it’s all about, really.
Roma Caravans was established in 1928 and Roma Caravans Melbourne has been one of the main caravan dealers Melbourne Victoria-wide for well over 50 years.
Article courtesy of Caravan Industry Association of Australia & Roma Caravans Melbourne