Interview on Mother's Day with our founder Julia

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For Mother's Day we have prepared a little interview with our founder Julia, who is also a mum and a camping lover. Julia and her two little daughters aged 3 and 5 years spent many nights in a RV, among others in winter at -10 degrees for skiing in Tyrol and in summer at +35 degrees in Death Valley (USA) .

Julia, what are your personal success factors for a trip with the kids?

A good planning and preparation of our trips with the kids is the A&O and best of all the parents' responsibilities are clearly shared when packing, so that everything comes along :). A few days before we start, I already have the laundry in view, so that everything is washed and dry, which may accompany us in clothes. Meanwhile I have made a small packing list for important clothes and things like sun cream, sun hats, baby monitors etc., which I go through while packing, so that nothing is forgotten. The children are involved as much as possible, they can choose and pack their toys and think about what else they should take with them. This way the excitement and anticipation of our trip increases for everyone :).

Is there any special equipment that should not be missing on a camping trip with children?

  • Baby high chair & baby bed: If you have a baby on board, I definitely recommend a baby high chair and a baby bed. With the high chair it is always safe to be at the table while eating and the parents have their hands free. The high chair is also a safe place where the little one can keep busy in between while you do things yourself. The baby cot serves the same purpose - a safe and comfortable place for the baby to stay with freedom of movement.
  • Books, cuddly toys & toys: In the camper there is a lot of space for these things and there are always phases of the day when at least my kids can withdraw with their toys, go on trips with their dolls or "read" all their books. There is plenty of room for this in the sleeping area, living area or simply outside and with the usual things it is a bit like home - which is nice for children.
  • Rainwear & rubber boots: According to the motto "there is no wrong weather, only wrong clothes", because camping is a great way to be outside in the fresh air. Hiking through puddles and watching earthworms can really be fun and the sooner you just accept the weather - which works better in suitable clothing of course - the better rainy days are.
  • A Kraxe for hiking: we like to go mountaineering or hiking and have bought a Kraxe quite fast, so that we can also do more demanding and longer tours. The Kraxe is also a good place to take a breather on short walks.
  • A woollen blanket for outside: So that we parents can determine the end of our "outside time" ourselves. The most beautiful evenings of the year are those in a woollen blanket under the starry sky :).

By the way: From 01.06. we offer some equipment for children as extras, so you don't have to buy it yourself if you are interested.

How do you choose your destinations and who decides where to go?

In the past we travelled to many different places and were never in the same place twice. That has changed with the kids. We just have a few hotspots that we visit again and again - for example a farm in the Dolomites - we are always happy to see the people and animals there and it is a wonderful balance to city life. We also notice that the children love the regularity - they all know what to expect and that you will simply feel comfortable there. Every trip there is an adventure in itself and a lot of anticipation. Some regular destinations are already set. But we mix. With new destinations it is often a common discussion like "do we want to go to the mountains or the sea again" and then we look for a nice place and camping site. Before we decide on a place, we research the "suitability for children" (are there e.g. simple hiking trails or discovery paths for children, a swimming pool, a child-friendly campsite etc.). We choose and decide together with the kids - but always in such a way that the parents can also support the decision :)

How do your children survive the long trips?

If we have a really long trip ahead of us, we try to start in such a way that as much sleeping time as possible is included in the trip time, i.e. very early in the morning or in the evening. I pack a lot of activity possibilities, books, toys, cuddly toys and music should not be missing. Games such as "I see something you don't", "Guessing car brands" or "Counting passing campers" also work well. We don't take many breaks - I still find it remarkable that the kids allow this - but when the air is out, we stop and take a proper exercise break in the fresh air.

What was the most exciting camping trip you have ever done?

We were on parental leave with our eldest daughter for a month in the USA and travelled there by RV. It was incredibly beautiful, very impressive and of course very exciting. We saw a lot of places like the Rocky Mountains, Valley of Fire, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Malibu and Los Angeles. The great thing about travelling by RV is that you always have your stuff with you and create a familiar environment for the kids that is clean and safe. At the same time you are very flexible and mobile and you can discover the world together.

You have also been travelling with the RV in winter. How was that? Cold?

Outside yes (laughs). In the campers there is a very well-functioning independent heater, so it's cozily warm inside. Camping in winter is different, but absolutely recommended. You just don't open the door of the camper and out you go... What I think is great is that even in this time of the year you are outside a lot (much more than you would be at home) and the atmosphere of winter camping surrounded by snow is simply breathtaking. It's great to be on a campsite with a nice swimming pool and wellness facilities. Then there is a lot of variety for young and old and you arrive back home relaxed :)

Why would you always recommend camping with children?

Camping with children is a great adventure for young and old. Once the camper or RV is packed, travelling can be incredibly versatile and decelerating:

  • You're flexible and mobile, so you can discover many different places and, depending on your mood or the weather, you can even decide your route spontaneously.
  • A further plus point: You only have to pack once :)
  • In camping, the daily tasks are FINALLY and they are also fun together! There is time and inner peace for many intensive moments of reading books and telling stories, e.g. in a maxi-bed or for joint discovery tours through nature. And it creates freedom to let yourself drift.
  • Plenty of fresh air clears your head and gives you new strength for everyday life.
  • With plenty of storage space, you always have your things with you in your camper or RV and create a familiar, clean and safe environment for the children.
  • Travelling and living in a camper or RV is an unforgettable adventure for the whole family, which can be remembered for a long time together.

Thank you, Julia, for this insight into your own travel experience with children. Finally, is there anything else you would like to share?

If you don't know it yet, you should definitely try camping with children - it is definitely an experience worth having with a high potential for repetition :).

Finally, I wish all Mamas a wonderful Mother's Day and furthermore a good persistence and a lot of strength in the current time!

Interview of Soumaya with Julia (founder of FreewayCamper) to 10.05.2020

Did you know: We offer some extras for travelling with children (e.g. camping baby high chair, camping baby bed, child seat, Kraxe), which you can book if you wish.

For your parental leave we have put together an extra package (all details can be found in our blog). And of course we are always looking forward to an exchange of ideas and experiences.

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