Marie from @Astrovan_family, our ambassador, has been traveling with her family in her Volkswagen T4 since the birth of their little Hugo. She shares her experience on the roads with a mini-vanlifer and gives you some tips to dare the family vanlife with confidence.
And to discover the portrait of this pretty family and their various articles, it's found here!
To travel peacefully with baby, we realized that it was practical to equip yourself a little bit! And besides the car seat, we have spotted some essentials for you:
- The bed: Hugo sleeps in a hanging bed that we made ourselves, which also serves as a play space. It's a bed secured by nets, and from where it cannot fall!
- The foldable high chair: super practical! From 6 months and after, it will allow baby to eat at our height, in a comfortable and safe position. That's why this space-saving chair is a must-have for us!
- The bath: several solutions are available to you! Collapsible bathtubs, mini-pools, the washcloth... It's easy to adapt in the end! The important thing is to pay attention to the hygiene products (biodegradable) that you use to bathe in all circumstances.
- Toys: We've often been asked what toys we took from Hugo. To be honest, not much ! Children have a knack for playing with everything around them: sticks, pebbles, pot, … We simply take a small bag (tote-bag), in which we put these favorite toys, including the Playset. Washable silicone coloring set found here (Hugo loves it!)
- And finally: the baby carrier (physiological). Indispensable for walks, for shopping, for hugs, etc. It saves the clutter of a stroller in the van! For Hugo, this was essential because babywearing has many benefits for toddlers.
We tend to think that traveling with a baby can complicate planning the trip. And yet....During the road trips, we realized that it was all about anticipation ! When you have the equipment that suits you, the organization is mainly a matter of anticipating a baby's schedules (meals, sleep, etc.)
Here are a few tips we apply with Hugo:
- Knowing the habits : As parents, only you know your baby's habits, and that's your forte! You will know when to arrive on the spot to have time to prepare the baby's meal for example. You'll know when to hit the road so baby can nap on the way, etc.
- Arrive at the spots earlier: to be able to anticipate mealtimes and nap times in particular, take the time to land. Take the time to enjoy the place, to have time with baby, to have time to prepare meals, and to avoid doing everything in a panic. This will allow you to be less stressed!
- Rolling around during naps : usually our little ones tend to fall asleep as soon as the engine starts or as soon as they get into the baby carrier for the ride, and so much the better! We take the opportunity to ride at that time, or to do the hike we absolutely wanted to do!
- Knowing that you can find anything, (almost) everywhere : everywhere you go, you will find a store or a pharmacy that will sell diapers, milk, etc. You'll avoid overloading yourself and it'll make life easier!
And finally, for us, it allowed us to slow down, and to take more time to travel and discover the places we were visiting! Thanks baby ! 😊
I assure you: traveling with a baby can obviously be a source of questions, and that's NORMAL. But ultimately like everything: Being a young parent means asking yourself questions... all the time! But no one knows your child better than yourself.
So take advantage of these moments of travel to let go, to get rid of all these parental injunctions, and simply take the time to watch your child grow up around nature.
I promise, you won't regret it!
One word to remember : relax. Let him get dirty, let him mess up a bit, let him eat a bit later, … You'll feel good, he'll feel good :)
Take the time to find your rhythm, give yourself time to adapt together. You hold all the cards for a successful family road trip!
Here are some tips we wanted to pass on to any young parent who is hesitating to go on a road trip with their baby. Finally, everything is done. Just go back to simple things and take it as it comes.