Our travel plans for this year were more significant than ever. When expecting our son Leo, we decided to make sure that this guy is into traveling like his sister Nina. We were thinking about going for a longer adventure in Australia and New Zealand. Maybe even live in some country for a while. We were dreaming, yet it didn’t work out, as 2020 had different plans for the whole world. There is this sweet quote – “When one door closes, another one opens.” When Riga airport’s doors closed, another four doors opened for us, and we became “camper van guys”. So this is our story on how we travel with a camper and two kids.
How we opened 4 doors instead of one
Our new four-wheel friend lived just a couple of kilometers away from our summer house. We moved there together with our 3-years-old daughter Nina and a newborn son Leo when quarantine started. Although GaBo (name inspired by letters on the governmental sign – GB) is only 27 years old, previous owners acquired the “younger” version and gave away their buddy in our hands.
We could see how carefully previous owner Vilnis and his wife took care of GaBo. Like their old friend and faithful ally in their trips to the Baltics, Scandinavia, and the Balkans. They said, “If the weather is nice, we take GaBo and stay by the sea”. GaBo still has various stickers from different festivals and parties onboard, which reminds of all the exciting places. We understood that this is not just a car. It is a lifestyle we want to try and take our family for a new adventure.
We understood that this is not just a car. It is a lifestyle we want to try and take our family for a new adventure.
I couldn’t say I love traveling by car, but…
We usually don’t rent a car every time we travel. If other cheaper options are available for moving inside the country – we use them. Yet, traveling by car with kids is an excellent idea. First, you can have quite an independent traveling schedule. And also can reach almost every place, usually even where tourists’ busses can’t go. In the morning, you do not need to wait for anyone to make you a hot coffee. As you can make a perfect espresso on the wheels. That is the joy of independence!
I’m always getting nervous when driving 110 km/h on the highway my 3-year-old kid suddenly screams, “Mom, I have to pee!”. And it sounds like “If we don’t stop right away, you will regret it for the rest of your life”. Having a camper simply helps to save your nerves.
Huge advantage – almost unlimited luggage. I mean, you can take more than anything with you! This reduces a lot of stress as no matter how old your child is, you need many things on the trip. Imagine that you have 140 cm wide and 200 cm length bed in your car, a hot shower, a fridge, and a toilet. I don’t know how about you but I’m always getting nervous when driving 110 km/h on the highway my 3-year-old kid suddenly screams, “Mom, I have to pee!”. And it sounds like “If we don’t stop right away, you will regret it for the rest of your life”. Having a camper simply helps to save your nerves.
A house on wheels
It’s a tiny and well-organized house located anywhere you want. By the sea, in the middle of the wood, or the city center. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we are laughing that our living space became smaller and smaller. Tiny summer house at first, and now a 6-square-meter camper van.
During our first trip, I was surprised at how well everything is organized. There is a place for everything – small and big shelves in every corner. Originally this car is suitable for 5 people – two adults and three kids. One big bed is unfoldable on the ‘second floor,’. Another one turns out of passenger seats’ downstairs.’ There is also a removable table and a cute extra unfoldable chair. It is a real luxury of space.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, we are laughing that our living space became smaller and smaller. Tiny summer house at first, and now a 6-square-meter camper van.
GaBo has 40l of freshwater that can be used for cooking and shower. The fridge is a little bit smaller than a standard half-sized fridge and got a tiny freezer for the ice cream. There is also a gas stove with two burners. Everything here is working on gas or car battery, or from the electricity when plugged in the external source.
During our first ride, I realized that like every house, this one also needs keeping – we got a floor brush and a doormat right after we left. Only an oven and a washer are missing, but you can’t get everything, right?
How to enjoy the journey
I’m not sure I can spread the word about how to make a perfect camping trip. Maybe not yet, because we have been traveling only for two weeks in the north of Estonia. But one thing is evident for me after three years of traveling with kids in various parts of the world. You can’t be in a hurry if you want to enjoy your life together. I guess we have found a perfect way how not to be.
But one thing is evident for me after three years of traveling with kids in various parts of the world. You can’t be in a hurry if you want to enjoy your life together.