We met JD & Steph at the Caravan & Camping show in Melbourne, they were in the planning stages of their Big Lap – gathering all the information they needed for their huge adventure. We were excited to hear about their plans and the todoingfamily.com was born. They love to share their experiences and through their socials, website & Youtube channel they are helping and inspiring many other families along the way…Here are some of their top tips, links and clips…
REAL STORIES | REAL FAMILIES!
Were we crazy for taking our 3 boys out of school, moving the family into a caravan and heading off to travel Australia? Possibly!!! But with almost a year of fulltime living in a caravan behind us, we are so glad we took the leap of faith, and so are our boys. Our son even wrote an article about Travelling Australia as an 11 year old boy.
During our time on the road, we have learnt a stack about living in a caravan. Organization, schooling, planning and general lifestyle are all different to life at home. Prior to travelling Australia, we had never before owned a caravan. If you’re heading off soon, here’s what you need to know.
Our family are closer, we are far more knowledgeable about Australia, and we have gained valuable life skills all round.
When it comes to organization, different people have different approaches. At home that’s fine, but on the road, in a small caravan, you really do need to give it extra thought and effort. Living in a small space, we find that organizing our belongings, having a place for everything and daily routines all help in keeping everything running smoothly.
Cutting down on the number of things you have with you, helps too. The matra ‘less is more’ comes to mind here. Every item should have more than one purpose, cutting down on clutter.
The kitchen can be somewhere where things can get out of hand. You really need to think about what you have in your kitchen, and what you actually need. In this video we show how we organize our kitchen, and our kitchen must have’s.
Meal planning helps us to stick to a budget and ensure we have enough food, particularly when travelling in remote areas. Always take a little extra…you never know who will turn up to dinner.
School on the road
One of the most common questions we are asked is about our boys’ schooling. As a teacher and Mum, I have reached the conclusion that there is definitely no ‘single right’ answer to this question. Your children are going to learn so much on the road. Daily they will get history, geography, map reading, science and culture lessons…the list goes on.
As long as they continue to read, write and practice some maths, the rest tends to happen naturally as you travel to so many different locations. You can read about different options for school on the road here .
Our boys have learnt so much about Australian history through visits to many important places
Living in the caravan is one thing, but you are there because you want to get out and see Australia. Having a plan will help a lot.
One of our favourite sources of information are other travelling families, through direct chats and following them on social media. For example, we originally didn’t plan on visiting Cape York and the Old Telegraph Track, but after hearing about it from others, we went ahead and had the time of our lives.
The other great source is kind of old school, but still very relevant. Information centres offer so much more than just brochures. Many now have significant displays and experiences for the kids too.
A little bit of forward planning has helped ensure we don’t end up like the car on the left!
We had a very steep learning curve moving straight into our new caravan just a few weeks before we departed. It was a crash course in tiny living, but one that all of us embraced. We quickly found our roles, stuck to a plan and put in place organizational techniques to keep everything running smoothly. Learning to live in a caravan became a great experience and education for all of us, changing our lives for the good, forever.
Moving into a caravan for the first time, we all had a lot to learn, including using a dump point. It gets less scary!