Dreams really can come true and adventuring does not have to stop after having kids. After we bought our ’93 VW Eurovan, just after having our second daughter in the spring of 2015, we had been dreaming of hitting the road for an extended Van life adventure. Now, 3 years later, our family is ticking off the dream and going on a 3 month adventure starting this Saturday!

I am pretty sure our Van life experience will look a lot different than Van lifers without kids. Sleepless nights will happen if the kids are restless and in need of extra cuddles instead of a late night of drinks. Or for us, maybe at times, it will be a mix of the two. Regardless, we will see amazing places, enjoy some quality family time and hopefully meet some new friends along the way.

Packing Small

Our van is small and so packing is incredibly tight especially with two littles that love to sleep surrounded by a fortress of 10 stuffed animals.  Our hope is to convince them that their fortress is strong with only 3 stuffies and a blankie each.

We also have alot of adventure gear to pack. While we have decided to leave some of our gear at home, we are doing our best to bring alot of it along.  This trip is such a great opporunity  for our family to get out climbing, surfing and hiking.  A little bit of Jenga skills and adding an additional storage piece attached to our hitch will hopefully do the trick.

Home is where our Family is

Preparing for this trip has been exhausting. We moved out of our place at the end of August and have been staying at my parent’s house for 2 weeks.  The change has been challenging for our kids   but we know that it will all be worth the effort. We talk alot as a family that “Home is where   our family is” and that all the preparation will in actually let us be together.

During the trip we plan on doing a whole lot of free camping and budget or free activities. But we are not going on this trip with nothing saved. After going back to work after maternity leave, saving up some money and lucking out on a bit of extra cash, we will be able to afford the necessities (and some extra fun) for the road. Read more about how we are affording the trip in the post “Finding the Money for a Family Van life Trip‘.

Our Route

From Calgary, Alberta we are heading southbound and spending time in Yakh BC camping on a friend’s plot of land for a couple of nights. After crossing the border we hope to check out the wild spaces in Idaho including biking the Hiawatha Trail and climbing in the City of Rocks.

After exploring Idaho, we are heading to the Dirt Bag Family Festival in Utah. The festival is being  put on by the Adventure Mamas Initiative. I am especially excited for this because I will have  a chance to meet up with friends that I met on Instagram over 2 years ago!  After the festival, we will continue to explore Utah  as the weather cools. Then we will spend some time adventuring in California before heading up the Oregon coast to the Vancouver area.

What am I most worried about?

Our kids are used to us taking them away on adventures so the close quarters and adventure lifestyle do not worry me. Maybe it’s because our family recently fell ill but my biggest fear is if our family gets sick on the road and more specifically stomach sickness. People do not usually talk about how they deal with sickness on the road! Here is hoping for a clean bill of health for the trip. Or at least some good quality cleaning equipment and natural air fresheners.


Check out our  previous Van Trip  post “Something else has broken – Adventures in our VW Van”



By Annika Mang


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