Vanlife with kids may sound like a crazy idea to most people, and can you blame them? Small spaces, travelling, limited storage… It could easily be a recipe for disaster. But surprisingly, travelling in a van with kids can actually be one of the most fulfilling, rewarding and wholesome experiences that your family can have. Whether you’re considering vanlife with a baby, toddler, kids or teens, these 20 families below are proving that vanlife with a family is #goals when it comes to building a strong family unit.
Vanlife with kids is an awesome idea
From raising well rounded, adaptable and resilient kids, to strengthening your bond with your child, to providing a hands-on educational experience that no school could ever offer, vanlife with kids is worth the effort and pays dividends.
Kids experience adventure to the fullest.
When you are living in a home on wheels, the prospect of travelling to different places every few days can be incredibly invigorating. New terrain, people, towns and cities allow your kids to develop an open mind when it comes to ways to live, what is “normal” (no such thing!), and what adventures are possible in this big, wide world of ours. When you’re not spending 40 hours of your week at work, you fill the time going on adventures, exploring the areas where you plan on camping for the night. Have a spare hour before dinner? Take the kids on a bushwalk around the campsite, keeping an eagle eye out for the native wildlife (and take note so the wildlife doesn’t intrude in the middle of the night and rummage through the bins!). Time to kill after breakfast or lunch? Take the kids for a swim in the nearby lake and teach them how to hop rocks. Make shapes out of clouds, teach them how to rock climb, surf, skate, you name it. THe freedom of travelling in a van usually goes hand in hand with extra leisure time to fill with adventures, games, daydreaming and sports. The world is your oyster, waiting to be discovered, and your kids would absolutely love that.
You get to teach your kids the real world.
Trust us, traveling with your child can make them smarter. If your child is school – aged, take the opportunity to teach your children the school curriculum in the most hands on way you can. Why learn about mountain erosion in a book when you can take them to the mountains and point out with your hand the different colours of rocks in the mountains and what minerals are in them?
You get to experience different cultures firsthand.
Depending on where in the world you are, a typical holiday may consist of one town, city or country. For vanlife families, they can experience the diversity of our country and world through life in a van. This could mean travelling across border lines to nearby countries, possible in Europe, Aisa or the Americas, or experiencing your own countries diverse cultures in different states, such as Australia. Experiencing and celebrating the differences between how people live, eat and talk will teach your child to be open minded, empathetic, understanding and adjustable.
Schools are not the same as before.
We are lucky to be living in an age where alternative learning environments is both recognised and acceptable. While going to school is the traditional means to an education, home schooling and distance education is becoming more and more popular. And, thanks to the Covid pandemic, educational resources are becoming digitalised to make learning by correspondence easier and more effective for all ages.
We have already got your interest piqued, so we’re now going to show you 20 families who chose to embark on vanlife with their kids, and enjoyed it to the fullest. To give a diverse overview, we’ve included families all over the world.
1. This Is Bus
Make sure you’ve got your coffee cup and a comfy chair ready, because you’re in for a good hour of scrolling with the This Is Bus instagram feed. Dustin and Amanda are travelling in their stunning 40foot bus with their two kids Ezra and Maezyn, homeschooling and living the dream (seriously, their feed is incredible). Check out their feed for some pointers on how they homeschool, how they manage their kids sleeping situation (spoiler: cute bunk beds), as well as general van inspo for the layout and interior design possibilities for a converted bus.
2. Life In Olli
There must be some written rule somewhere that vanlife families are inherently ridiculously good looking. Case in point. Mindy and Spencer and their cutie patootie daughter Nyah travel around Australia in their Sprinter. Their feed is definitely worth a scroll, especially for tips on storage hacks, such as the discreet doll house they built for their daughter that is hidden behind a secret wall near the lounge. An excellent example of creativity and function coming together.
3. Familia Sin Fronteras
You might need to press the “translate” button a few times to follow this family, but boy oh boy is it worth it. This family of 6 is just about the happiest and most optimistic vanlife family out there – definitely a good source to follow if you want the warm and fuzzies when looking at van inspo. They’re honest, true and real in their posts, and you can’t help but smile at the outlook they have on their family adventure in a van. “This trip has been a dream but it has also involved work, creativity and perseverance. “Sin fronteras family ” for us is not just a trip, it is a project as a family. I always say the important thing is to take the first step, not lose focus and listen to the heart …”
4. Never Say Someday
Full time vanlifing since 2019, this family of 4’s feed will tick all your boxes. That is, if your boxes are: 1. Epic nature shots with their kids, 2. Inspirational posts that tell you to get out there and Just DO IT, and 3, vanlife with family AND a pet dog. They originally had a Sprinter which they converted however have recently bought a 2017 Airstream Flying Cloud 28’ RB for some extra space for their growing boys. With an aesthetic renovation due in the coming months, stay tuned for some interior design inspo from this inspiring family, who simply don’t say no to opportunity. In their own words,” Go for it. Set the goal. Make the plan. Work your ass off to bring it to life. Take it from us — you won’t regret it! 😉”
5. The Fites
The Fites are one of the most instagram-friendly and inspiring families embracing the vanlife and tiny home lifestyle. In fact, it was their van layout that really opened our eyes to the possibilities of travelling with kids and having a van layout that made the best use of space for a little family. Throughout their time living in a van they had another baby, and were able to build a fold down moses basket in the wall of the van (who does that! So cool!). Currently they are in the middle of converting a bus into a tinyhome to give them the additional space that their family of 4 needs
6. Our Home On Wheels
Giddi and Jace live in a van and travel full-time with their baby, Juniper, and their dog, Lotus. They converted their Sprinter van in March of 2016, a hard slog of 7 months of working on the van with little previous experience (and no vlogs / tutorials and the like around to help guide them through it). and have been travelling in it ever since. Not strangers to making money on the road, they’ve been able to fund their travel by selling their handmade jewelry, as well as collaborating with brands on social media for some extra dough. They’ve just sold their iconic yellow van though, so stay tuned to their account for their next build!
7. Mali Mish
What’s more challenging than vanlife with kids? Vanlife with kids AND pets. That’s right, this family of 5 is also travelling with 2 cats as well, proving that if there’s a will, there’s a way. Following their travels around the world, their 4×4 sprinter certainly has had a lot of thought put into it when it comes to utilising every inch of space. When they started travelling in North America in 2008 it was a far simpler time, however since having kids, their time on the road has been even more fulfilling than they expected. “A common question we get asked is how the kids handle the constant movement and change that accompanies our traveling lifestyle. What they don’t realize is that not everything changes. We are their constant. The kids can always count on us for being there right beside them, day in and day out. “
8. Pine Pins
Selina and Frank of have an incredible aesthetic style and adventurous spirit and started their vanlife journey in south of Germany. Their account details a combination of build elements from a new van they are converting to give them extra space since the addition of their son, as well as moments captured from their travels. “Being spontaneous and free to go where ever we want to is one thing that is really amazing to us. Nothing needs to be planned or booked… just take the road that looks good to you and explore some new routes.” .
9. Van Life Straya
If you’re after the most photogenic vanlife couple who have recently had one of the most photogenic little vanlife babies, look no further. Claire, Luke and their little Beau are living full time in their van, travelling around Australia. This self converted van is stunning to say the least, and with another little tiny human living with them, they absolutely nail their insta feed, showing healthy lifestyles, stunning location and happy family pics in their feed. #goals
10. Liam Perkins
This family of four is travelling across Europe in their converted sprinter van. Their honest, heart on their sleeve instagram account details the beautiful moments of vanlife that we all aspire to, as well as the hard truths of the difficulties that you’re likely to experience. Breakdowns, tiny spaces, as well as honest accounts of what vanlife in lockdown (in winter no less) has been like for this family of four. Nonetheless, your heart will be warmed up again by the beautiful moments they share with their daughters throughout their travels, proving that the time spent away with with kids is so wholesome and worthwhile it will leave you reaching for your van keys before you know it. “Spending so long in cities you forget you can see the universe above you. I used to love looking at the stars as a child, now I get to do it with my own children.”
11. Riley Travels
These are the first vanlife family pages on Instagram even before the whole craze had started, so it’s safe to say that they are already pioneers in the art of living in a van as a family. The family of five are now living in Australia in their VW Kombi, but they also go to many wonderful places around the world.
Jinti, her partner Chris and daughter Aya has transformed an old school bus into their loving home, as they go to different destinations around the world. One thing that makes them a standout is Jinti’s writing style, which is very different to ones on the list. Her writing style is exciting, captivating, and they never leave a stone unturned when it comes to telling stories of their life on wheels, from her struggles in breastfeeding to travelling to different places around the world. They also maintain a blog where they tell their stories in detail, enough for the vanlife enthusiasts to be inspired.
13. The Blonde Nomads
This family explores the different charms of Australia and document their experiences beautifully on their Instagram account. They used to travel full time in their caravan, but have since opted for a camping trailer rig which gets them pretty much anywhere! It’s a great insight into how it’s not the wheels that make the lifestyle, but the family! They are best known for their drone photos and their feed is decorated with different strokes of color, enticing their followers to follow them in their adventures from the Land Down Under.
14. Nomads with a Purpose
These guys are the heavy-hitters of the vanlife family community, celebrating a whopping 6 years living in a van. The large family of seven travel the States and their feed is an inspiring collection of adventures, from hiking, rock climbing, snowboarding, surfing.. you name it! The mother Robyn and her 17-year-old daughter Gabi are the ones maintaining both the Instagram account and the blog, documenting their lives living in a van. They keep their bodies healthy with lots of exercise and feed their minds with lots of fun experiences while living and travelling in their RV.
15. Brookhart Pack
This family may not have a huge social presence, but what they lack in followers, they make up for in sheer size of their home on wheels! Their truck, bought in 2017, can go just about anywhere and handle just about anything, including 40 inch deep drifts of snow. Their feed is full of photos documenting their simple and charming vanlife. As of their last post, they are in Sedona, Arizona with their little baby boy. They have shown that living the vanlife (or should we say, trucklife) with a baby is totally doable and enjoyable.
16. Kallie and Dylan
Formerly known as civilian.life, this Australia-based family has been living in their converted bus for years, and this family of five has been chronicling their amazing life for their followers on Instagram. A top account to follow for all the family vanlife feels, plus inspo on bus conversions – theirs is one of the best we’ve seen! “Over the past couple of days travelling around in Daisy it’s really hit us how good we have life in Bertha. Having all your worldly possessions at your fingertips wherever you go is an amazing thing. Most will never experience this but those who do or have will know exactly what we’re on about. Coffees all day long, lunch and snacks whenever you want. Choosing whatever board you want for a surf after checking the waves first hand. Never having to look around for a public toilet. Having a nap whenever you want. The list goes on for a while”
17. Trip in a Van
This family of five has sold everything they own for a trip all around Australia. As of this writing, they have finished two laps around Australia in their caravan. Luckily for them, Australia is so big that they can do another 5 laps and still not see everything! To subsidise their lifestyle, they make money in a few different ways: selling merch, partner marketing (their following is a whopping 161k!), affiliate sales, the list goes on. Definitely a savvy family who have their work-life balance in order.
18. Life and Travels in a Kombi
If you thought you needed a bus, campervan or even Sprinter or Transit to travel with your kids, then Life and Travels in a Kombi is here to tell you you’re wrong! This family has been roaming all over Australia in an old VW Kombi. They managed to transform the classic vehicle into their home sweet home. As you scroll through their feed, you’ll be swept away with a wave of wanderlust, instantly wanting to pack your bags and live the vanlife with them (well, maybe not WITH them, it’s a Kombi after all). They take gorgeous photos of beautiful places they have visited, from Wollongong in New South Wales down to Darwin, and all throughout the Northern Territory. Another charming point for this vanlife family is that their children have an innate love for nature, adventure, and the great outdoors. “We’ve spent our time immersed in the gems of the coast… rainforest walks, pristine beaches, plenty of waves, and sunsets that stopped us in our tracks. We camped in palm tree forests, and even indulged in a little luxury retreat! Our cups are full to the brim, and I think we’ve found a new favourite destination on the east coast!”
19. Wander Horizons
Wander Horizons is a family travelling with their little girl born in March 2020. They are travelling in their renovated Hymer S660 motorhome across Europe, both living and working in the van. Based in Germany, their instagram account is a stunning collection of beautifully photographed moments of the small family embracing time together.
20. Behold Little Ones
This account follows a family of 5 (soon to be 6!) as they travel in their van seeking nature, adventure, and wholesome fun. Their eldest daughter is 7, followed by their 5 year old and 2 year old. When not in their van, they are out exploring some of the most stunning and remote national parks in the States, hiking with their 3 kids and proving that kids can exist beyond the digital devices that so many are glued to.
Ready for your vanlife family adventure? Check out our top tips and considerations when converting a van for travelling with kids here.
If you’re after a little more travelling family inspo, we’ve included the below accounts of some families who travel around the world with their kids – proving that you need more than just a set of wheels to create an unforgettable travelling lifestyle for your little ones to grow up in. Here are some of our favourites.
This British family of four has been to 30 countries already. They have visited exotic places such as Indonesia and Mauritius, to cosmopolitan destinations such as Singapore and Dubai. Their photos are rich in color and beauty, guaranteed to keep you mesmerized (read: hella jealous) with their travels.
The Nomadic Neals
This American family of four sold everything they own to travel full time. Currently based in Texas, they have been to different countries such as Thailand, Fiji, Australia, and Indonesia. Their family photos, sometimes in matching outfits, makes for a cute (sometimes corny) photo blog. The photos of the places they visited, meanwhile, are totally captivating.
Kiwis in Bare Feet
Before embracing travelling full time with kids, the couple used to teach in South Korea. Since then, they have left the expat life and they have visited 51 countries as a couple and 30 as a family of five. Sonita, the mother, has been impressing moms around the world with her skills in raising three children while exploring different places around the world. They were featured in major publications such as The Daily Mail and Stuff. Right now, they are based in New Zealand with the newest addition to their family, Noah.
Where The Kids Roam
This account comes with a warning, and for good reason. As “One of NatGeo’s Top 10 Igs to block in 2020” their amazingly curated photos will leave you green with envy, bouncing with wanderlust and itching for your passport. As of this writing, they’re currently staying in Jordan and they have documented the glorious splendor of the Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, putting all the known adventure channels to shame. This family of five has been to a huge number of different countries around the world, showing their kids the different scenic spots and man-made wonders kids their age would only be able to see in books or online.
The Miljian Family has been traveling the world for four years now. They came from Italy, but they have reached a number of different countries already, going as far as Bali, Indonesia, where they are currently based. This family has captured the essence of travelling with kids perfectly, and their trips to different places easily puts a smile on everyone’s face. You can clearly see how happy the family is. Their high quality content is enough to tempt those who want to try travelling with their families.
The Bucket List Family
They are the most popular travel family account on this list with 2.6million followers. As of writing, they are now in Hawaii, but they have been to so many different countries, such as Tanzania, the Falkland Islands, the Cook Islands, Seychelles, and even Haiti and Uganda. They are consistently showing their family growth to their followers, and all their ups and downs are documented, showing to everyone that travelling as a family is not always a happy experience. Still, that adds to the authenticity of their posts.
Eric Stoen | Family Travel
Eric Stoen takes his family with him to the most diverse destinations in the world, from colorful Mexico to mystifying Morocco. Eric alone has been to 97 countries, but he has been traveling with his children to 62 countries. Eric’s photos are enough to stroke the wanderlust in you, and his children enjoy every single bit of it.
Travel the World Family (@traveltheworldfamily)
This British travel family has been documenting their journeys to different places around the world but they are mostly roaming around the European continent. Their stunning photos are indeed eye candy, but what makes them a total standout is that they have such fun and insightful views on the world around them. Even though they are based in Wales right now, they have reached some far places such as Mexico and even Iceland. Their funny captions are also worth a read.