Travelling like a snail – with your home on your back

When I was 11 years old, my parents took me on the holiday of a lifetime. It was holiday that has helped shaped me and my travel likes and dislikes.Don’t ask me how they did it, but they bundled up their four children (me being the oldest at 11, and the youngest aged just 5) and took us to Europe for a 5 month holiday in a motor-home.

Yes, you read right. For 5 months, a family of 6 travelled throughout Europe together, living in a few cubic metres of space. There must have been tense times, but as we all do, I remember the good times – and these came back ten-fold after I had my own children.

So, a few years ago, with my oldest due to start school, I decided I wanted to have one last ‘big’ holiday before I became tied to taking my holidays at times dictated by school terms.

Originally my husband was totally against the idea of a motor home – totally against, in a “no way” sort of way. The thought of two kids under 5 in a confined space was enough to freak him out. But I got my own way (of course) and it ended up being one of the best holidays we have experienced as a family.

Miss 3 behind the wheel of our ‘home on wheels’

We chose Perth and Western Australia for our motorhome experience. It is a perfect destination with little traffic compared to the East Coast and vast stretches of open and straight roads. We rented a 6 berth motorhome. My thinking in this was that it meant we had two tables – so one table could remain made up as a bed if needs be, with little inconvenience.

Apart from the fact that we saw some amazing things and experienced amazing places, such as Monkey Mia and Ningaloo Reef, the experience of being in a motorhome was fantastic for so many reasons:

• Unlike when I travelled as an 11-year-old, the seats in the cabin had seat-belts. My two-year-old also had a proper baby seat she was able to use

Miss 3 sleeps safely and soundly while we travel to our next destination.

• Meal-times were a breeze – we usually drove until the 2-year-old woke up, then we were able to pull up wherever we wanted or were able to, with lunch at our fingertips

• I could prepare lunch, while hubby played with the children outside (much better than trying to keep them happy in a cafe). We could then eat and hit the road again with little fuss

Our own personal cafe – whenever you want, wherever you want.

• There was no mad rush or panic checking out of accommodation.  Just disconnect the power, make sure everything is secure and take off

• You can stop in the most beautiful and amazing locations – relax on the bed with a book or have a cup of coffee. And if you are active and want to swim or go for a walk, arriving back to the van, with a cold drink at hand or dry clothes on hand is wonderful.

The beautiful waters of Ningaloo Reef.

You can also choose to stay in caravan parks or in a more wilderness setting. We stayed two nights in Cape Range National Park, which was mind-blowing in its beauty and tranquillity.

So, if you are considering something different for your next family holiday, consider a motorhome. With wheels and accommodation rolled into one, it is convenient, but I can guarantee you will also have great fun.

P.S If your husband, like mine, is adamant that no-one is going to use the toilet, just ignore him and use it. Especially if he leaves to go fishing at 6am. Eventually, the lure of the private little room will prove too much for him too even for him when weighed up against public toilets.

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