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10 tips for surviving camping with toddlers - Have fun with toddlers and campervans (© Anna Morris)
Have fun with toddlers and campervans
© Anna Morris

Top tips from Anna Morris, director of Bonnie Campervan on how to travel in your campervan around Scotland, with toddlers!

We have found that taking the campervan on a family trip works amazingly well! Toddlers love new adventures and the ability to snuggle up at night in the campervan as a family.

1 - Chose campsites with onsite play parks

Obviously the age of your children will define the activities and places you want to visit.

We travel with a 2 year old and his needs revolve around places to play and trying to find activities that will suit him and his parents too - this is possible! 

First and foremost it was important that the campsite had an onsite playpark so one parent can entertain the tot while the van is being set up on arrival.

2 - Arrive at the caravan park in daylight

This is extra important when with a toddler as you don’t want to be stumbling around in the dark setting the van up and worrying about your child’s whereabouts and how to get to the toilet block in the dark!

3 - Tell the campsite you have a Toddler/baby

The manager may be able to ensure that you are parked closer to the toilet block or the swings depending on what your priorities are.

4 - Chose camping locations with amenities closeby

You have already driven a distance to get here and having the campervan is so handy as you can easily drive it about once on location.

However, you don't want to go too far as you may end up with unintended naps or worse - a very unhappy toddler.

We explored South West Scotland and found Culzean Castle and Country Park ticked every box. Amazing playpark for kids, a Castle and grounds to explore. There are often events here and we met some Pirates and did some treasure hunting too!

There is an onsite campsite where we will stay next time we go back (and we will) but we stayed in a lovely quiet campsite nearby. It was friendly, and with a little playpark.

5 - Purchase or rent a mini camping chair

Big smiles all round when our wee one sat in his chair - he felt very involved and special. If you reserve Bonnie Campervan, you can include one at no extra cost when you book, just let them know you want it.  

6 - Be prepared to sit in the back of the van with your child

The van is bigger than a car and we found our tot needed mummy in the back which is fine and we made sure to have some colouring books or ‘Blippi’ videos to hand.

7 - Find somewhere with good places to eat!  

This is a priority for us as we love our food and once we found our eaterie of choice on this trip (Souters Inn) we went 3 times.

It really is everything a good quality Inn should be, friendly, comfortable, lovely food and a very welcoming atmosphere. We chatted to some local residents and the owners and felt very ‘at home’ there with our noisy toddler.

Lamlash on Arran was the perfect village to stay as we could walk from the campsite to sample some of the village pubs and restaurants. 

We particularly liked The Pierhead Tavern as our 2 year old was made very welcome and the food although simple was yummy.

8 - Immerse yourself in nature

The natural world provides the best source of entertainment for a toddler you could have. Plus fresh air and nourishment for all the families soul.

Brodick Castle and Country Park like Culzean has a playpark, a castle and outstanding scenery - what more could you want? Scotland is truly beautiful and you can’t beat the Isle of Arran for scenery.

9 - Don’t cover huge distances

People tend to think they have to visit Skye or the highlands and yes these are very beautiful places but travelling with a small child gives you the perfect excuse to travel closer to home. 

We are so lucky in Scotland that we have such diverse scenery all within easy reach.

One camping weekend, we stayed in Melrose for example, just a short drive from Edinburgh but felt the benefit from a huge change of scenery and pace. Melrose campsite is really lovely and what a beautiful village to spend time in.

Lots to see and do and we found an amazing restaurant here called Provender! Extremely good food.

10 - Use a Sheltapod/Awning

Toddlers have a lot of stuff and we found having the awning up was invaluable. We stored all our extra bits and bobs in it.

What’s very cool is that van drives away from the awning easily and you don’t have to dismantle every time! Guests can rent these extras from Bonnie too.

No matter where you travel in your campervan with your toddler, embrace the highs and the lows.

Toddler time can have its challenges, so good luck with your trip.

Surviving a campervan holiday with toddlers - Take the toddlers to a campsite near nature, where they can be free. (© Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr. from Pexels)
Take the toddlers to a campsite near nature, where they can be free.
© Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr. from Pexels