Don’t forget the children
A motorhome trip, a holiday the whole family can enjoy!
Traditionally, family holidays under canvas or in cramped caravans can be a little testing for even the most organised of parents but you can really enjoy a relaxed holiday with all the freedom of camping in a fully equipped motorhome.
A motorhome trip can be significantly less expensive than a traditional hotel or villa holiday too since our motorhome hire rates are based on the cost of the vehicle with no expensive supplements for additional rooms. The ongoing costs of campsites, fuel, motorway tolls etc. are also much the same regardless of how many passengers you take so adding more family members only makes the per head cost of a trip better value. Our larger motorhomes cost relatively little more than the smaller ones so the hire charge too is a little easier on families.
It’s well known that kids (of all ages!) love camping and a motorhome affords far more luxury than a tent. Whether you are planning a trip staying on recognised campsites or intend to find the quietest secluded spots each night, our motorhomes offer great accommodation for families thanks to the separate sleeping “zones” where the younger family members can be tucked away leaving Mum and Dad to enjoy a little adult time.
The entertainment in a motorhome doesn’t stop when the driving starts either since passengers are allowed to travel in the accommodation area of a motorhome whilst moving so everyone in the party (except the driver of course!) can still play games, watch DVDs or just sit back in comfort as the route unfolds (there are certain restrictions applying to seating arrangements whilst travelling of course – see below for details).
With Europe (and particularly France) being so well equipped for family motorhome holidays (the campsites are often crammed with family orientated facilities) taking a motorhome to a campsite allows children to meet other children in a purpose built environment and large sites tend to have entertainment that you can just walk to too.
Wherever you stay, having a fully functional self contained kitchen in your motorhome means that you can feed your family cheaply, healthily and at times that suit you – no waiting for the restaurant to open or having to settle for nothing but unhealthy take aways.
If planning a day out to an attraction you can take the motorhome with you, so you don’t have to worry about packing all the things in advance that you may or may not need. Those of you with very young children will certainly appreciate this!
Most Theme Parks and major attractions in France have parking which is suitable for a motorhome and many have campsites close by. Having your own private toilet and bathroom that you can use if you don’t want to get up and get dressed to use campsite facilities in the middle of the night with your young ones is a real bonus too and may be useful whilst on the road for those unplanned emergencies!
If you intend exploring a part of Europe that is new to you, you may enjoy the flexibility of basing your holiday in multiple locations, pre-booking campsites in advance to take advantage of the best facilities but of course, there is no better way of exploiting the flexibility of a motorhome holiday than simply following the road with no real plan in place. And, if the weather, beaches, signts or company looks nicer in one region than another, you can simply decide to go there instead!
Some practical issues you will need to consider if travelling in a motorhome with family are:
What size van do I need? This depends of course on the number in your party but to help you choose which interior layout suits you best, have a look at our vehicles page. You should think about where your children will sit whilst being driven, where everyone will sleep (i.e. how many and what size beds you need), how much storage you need (all of our motorhomes have adequate storage for the number of passengers but if you have to carry push-chairs etc, you may want to consider a larger vehicle).
What are the laws relating to children travelling in motorhomes? The regulations vary from country to country within Europe so if you plan to travel outside France (and all of our vehicles are permitted to travel to any European country at no extra cost!) it is a good idea to study the regulations for the countries you plan to visit first.
In France every passenger travelling in a moving motorhome must be seated in a proper seat with a seatbelt. It is illegal to travel in the beds or to be moving around inside whilst travelling. Children are prohibited from travelling in the front (cab) seats until aged 10 years old. Children under 10 years of age must be seated in the rear and use a seatbelt or an approved child seat. However, a very young child in an approved rear-facing safety seat can be placed in the front seat. Children seated in the front seat must be seated in a child restraint appropriate to their weight and age.
Babies up to 13kg must be carried in a rear facing baby seat. A child between 9 and 18kg must be seated in a child seat and a child from 15kg up to 10 years can use a booster seat with a seat belt or a harness.
It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers under 18 are appropriately restrained. For further advice and information, visit www.theaa.com
How many seats with seatbelts do motorhomes have? All of our motorhomes have the same number of seats with seatbelts as the number of sleeping places. This is not always the case with hire vehicles so be sure to check everyone can travel in safety and legally before booking.
Can you use the kitchen, toilet and bathroom facilities whilst moving? No, it is not wise to move around inside the motorhome whilst actually moving but all of our motorhomes are totally autonomous which means that wherever you stop, all the equipment (kitchen, toilet, shower etc) can be used – there is no need to go to a campsite or find electricity or water.
Do motorhomes have power outlets to operate DVD players etc? Yes, all of our motorhomes have 12v outlets in the cab and accommodation areas which can be used whilst driving. The 220volt outlets only work when plugged into an external 220volt supply.
Can I rent or buy Child Seats instead of bringing them from home? If you do not want carry a bulky child seat from home, the best place to buy them in France is at the local Supermarkets on arrival – they generally have good stocks at very reasonable prices.