Moving into and living in a caravan means downsizing. Clothing, toys, gadgets, kitchen supplies, technology, tools, basically everything you own. So what do you buy someone for Christmas, who is travelling in a caravan.
With Christmas coming up, sitting in our caravan whilst travelling Australia, we thought we would share our top presents for children who might be heading off on a trip, lap of Australia or a similar adventure.
We’ve even included links online to save you a trip to the shops, and if you’re not sure how to get something to someone, anywhere in Australia, take a look on how to get mail or presents anywhere in Australia.
Kids love night walks. They get to experience the world in an entirely new way, spotting nightlife, hearing animal noises and enjoying the magic that is completely different from daylight hours. A headtorch is the perfect gift to get even the most nervous child out and about in the dark. Inside the caravan, camper or tent, it will make life easy when children are reading a book or grabbing a drink during the night. We love our USB rechargeable torches as we don’t need to worry about purchasing batteries.
Rechargeable Head Torch Lamp
Perfect for a game of night tiggy, riding a bike at sunset or exploring the local campground for night time animals, a head torch quickly becomes a necessity. They’re also very handy to find that elusive toilet or shower block at night!
2. Hydration Pack
There are so many amazing walks around Australia, and the kids are going to want to get out there and enjoy them. But the adults don’t want to be a pack horse, carrying supplies for the entire family. Kids will love having their own hydration pack. Our boys drink so much more water from their packs compared to drink bottles, because they can drink as they walk. You’ll also want to take some snacks, or even lunch with you, so make sure to choose a pack that has an extra pocket.
Water Bladder Hiking Back Pack
These back packs have been everywhere! From exploring deserted caves on the Nullarbor, to hiking in the Outback, following gorges and going on the odd bike ride, these have seen it all. Carrying water to keep everyone hydrated, made simple.
3. Travel Towel
It might seem boring, but these have been a very handy present. Hiking to and from a beautiful swimming hole, the last thing you want to carry back is a heavy, wet towel. Travel towels pack easily into the smallest bag, and will not weigh the children down when wet. They also dry super fast. We keep ours in our hydration packs, even when we don’t think we will be swimming, they are great for the unexpected, or for emergencies (or sick kids in the car).
Quick Dry Micro Fiber Towel
Throw one of these in your backpack and you’re good to go! We keep them in our hiking packs and they’ve been used for quick dips to cool off in rivers and watering holes, or as our full time towels when camping in the tents. They dry fast, fold up small and are very light weight.
OK, it’s not all business! There will be times that the adults need to rest, and the kids need to be kids. Almost every family we have met on the road has Lego with them. It’s the perfect toy that can be used over and over again in different ways. You will be amazed that with just a small tub of Lego, kids will construct whale sharks, forests, the Old Telegraph Track…whatever they have been seeing and doing. When meeting other families, Lego is the perfect ice breaker to bring kids together and make new friends. As sample of basic blocks with some Lego people is perfect. Lego is always a winning gift!
Lego Play Set
One of the best ways to make new friends and encourage a bit of chill out time is lego. Place out a mat, spread out the Lego and watch the kids come and play from all angles. A multi use set allows everyone to play, share and create.
5. Walkie Talkies / UHF Radios
Kids love independence, but for parents it can be worrying to let them out of their sight. When it does feel OK for them to go exploring, perhaps for a walk with new friends around a caravan park or a jump on the jumping pillow, or a lap on their bikes, walkie talkies provide peace of mind. Whether it’s time to call the kids for dinner, or if someone has a tumble and needs help, it’s great to be able to talk at the press of a button. Kids also love using them to play games with friends. For the adults, we find it handy to use UHF radios when parking the caravan.
Rechargable UHF Walkie Talkie Radios
Encourage your kids to explore the local caravan park, beach or campsite. A walkie talkie provides peace of mind for adults, and a lot of fun for the kids. Many kids on the road have them, providing a new way to play and make friends.
6. Audio Headset or Headphones
As much as we want our kids to be out and about, there are times that they need some quiet time, or we need a break in the car. Headsets are perfect for listening to audio books (our boys spend hours listening to books each week), watching movies in the car, and may be required for online lessons with some distance education providers. If going this route, you may need to purchase a headset that also has a microphone.
Head Phones and Microphone Set
Whether it’s for a skype call with classmates or friends at home, playing their latest game, listening to an audio book or just wanting some music chill out time, headphones with a microphone have a lot of uses.
7. Drawing supplies
Encourage children’s creativity with a selection of stationary. Kids will love a new set of textas, pencils, gel pens and stickers, plus their very own sketch book. Think about organizing it using a pencil case or small tub, or perhaps purchase a ready made kit. This is something that can be refreshed throughout the year, and doubles up as supplies for school work for older kids. You might like to also add construction materials such as glue, scissors, craft sticks, pompoms, or small craft kits to a present pack.
Drawing & Sketching Art Supplies
Kids need down time, and drawing or sketching allows for that and opens up their minds through creativity. Sketching what they have seen, creating an amazing vista, new Lego creation or plans for their next sand castle or fort.
8. Water shoes
There are so many amazing water holes and beaches, but some can be quite rocky or have sharp edges or coral. Rock shoes or swimming shoes that can be worn in the water will protect children’s feet. A word of advise…don’t be tempted to buy a larger size to allow for growth, they will fall off in the water!!! If buying for a present, measure the child’s foot and check the sizing online.
Quick Dry Water Shoes
Perfect for a winding gorge walk, exploring the rocks by the beach or even walking out and swimming in those murky rivers, lakes or watering holes. We wear our rock shoes for walks where water is likely, allowing the quick dry properties to come into their own.
9. Snorkel set
To be fully transported to the magic of the underwater world, children will need a snorkel set. A face mask, snorkel and flippers will let you child explore the coral and observe colourful fish in their natural environment. We have seen children as young as 3 years learn to snorkel. Again, ensure the flippers will fit their foot snuggly so they don’t get lost to the ocean floor!
10. Drink bottles
Our boys have two drink bottles each…one that stays in the caravan and one for the car. Older children can be responsible for filling their drink bottle before getting in the car. A drink bottle next to the bed (check out Harry’s storage tip video) is one less excuse to get up at bedtime. Colour code them if you have more than one child, or use name labels to know who it belongs to. Our hot tip, choose a design that will not leak when turned upside down, and that seals well!
Insulated Metal Water Bottle with Straw
Having a water bottle is essential for any travel, and one that is insulated and leak proof makes it perfect for kids. Metal water bottles can take the drops, knocks and rolls as well. Our kids have two water bottles, one for the car and one for their bunks in a bike water bottle holder.
11. Pocket Knife / Utility Tool
This one is the perfect present for older children and teenagers. Being out in nature provides opportunities for good old nature construction. Children also love whittling sticks. They will think you are so cool for buying them a pocket knife or utility tool. For safety, we have strict rules around their use and a central storage location. Children can also use their tools for helping to tighten screws that rattle loose whilst travelling.
Pocket Knife Multi Tool
We keep these in a safe place, and our kids have to check them out to use them. They use them for wood carving, bike repairs, building forts with string and twine and so much more. It’s a little bit of independence that also helps their overall learning experience.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully helps with some practical ideas for gifts and presents for travelling kids this Christmas. Click each photo to take you to our choice products and to purchase online to beat the Christmas rush!