Families take to van life so kids can enjoy green time over screen time

With Covid restrictions resulting in Queenslanders experiencing more flexibility and adapting to a work from home / anywhere lifestyle, camping and caravanning has continued to be the preferred holiday option across Australia, with many ‘Cara-fans’ and young families opting to make it a more permanent option.

Data from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia shows that parents with their youngest child still at home account for 35 per cent of caravanners and campers, making them the largest lifestyle segment for 2020 and a trend that does not appear to be waning in 2021.

According to Jason Plant, Caravanning Queensland Trade CEO, while grey nomads still lead the convoy, families with young children are quickly catching up as more parents see and experience the benefits of green time over screen time.

“With two-thirds of Australians now working from home, many have taken advantage of their new lifestyle flexibility and invested in caravans to spend more time with their families and reconnect with nature,” says Mr Plant.

“We’re seeing people of all ages and especially families embrace life on the road, some more permanently, and redefine the meaning of flexible work arrangements.

“The benefits of these lifestyle changes are well documented, research from the ‘Real Richness’ report highlights families who go caravanning and camping are happier, more optimistic, less stressed and the holiday style is a great opportunity for children to learn important life skills.”

This growing wanderlust for the nomad life is positive news for the upcoming Let’s Go Brisbane Caravan and Outdoor Show which offers something for all level of explorers, from novices to experienced nomads. Kicking off from Thursday, October 28, the Show offers the perfect opportunity for new or seasoned caravanners to prepare for their next outdoor adventure, discover new and exciting tech, brush-up on old skills, learn new ones or get
hands on with a great range of activities.

Weekend adventurers Todd and Alissa, hit the road with their family most weekends as they see the benefits of getting back to basics and spending quality time with their children in the great outdoors.

Alissa notes that disconnecting from the everyday and being out in nature enjoying the van life has not only improved her health but also brought the family closer together.

“Added to this, through camping, our children have learned basic life skills such as making campfires, campfire cooking, bushwalking and using their imagination to make up games,” she says.

“They’ve also made new friends and had to say goodbye to others when the holiday is over, teaching them the importance of valuing connections and appreciating every moment.”

This experience directly reflects recent data from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia which showed more than 90 per cent of campers believed caravan and camping trips enabled children to learn about the environment, taught them how to engage socially and brought families closer together.

For anyone itching to hit the road this Christmas, or wanting to learn more about the lifestyle, Caravanning Queensland’s Let’s Go Brisbane Caravan & Outdoor Show provides opportunities to chat with industry experts and attend masterclasses on items such as weights, safe towing techniques and how to correctly load your caravan.

According to Mr Plant, the COVID-safe event will showcase over 100 exhibitors including the newest models of caravans, motorhomes, campervans, camper trailers, tent trailers, recreational products, and accessories.

Caravanning Queensland’s Let’s Go Brisbane Caravan and Outdoor Show will be setting up camp from Thursday, October 28 to Sunday, October 31 at the Brisbane Showgrounds. Gates open at 9:00am until 5:00pm daily. For tickets or further information, please visit the Let’s Go Brisbane Caravan and Outdoor Expo website.