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California Dreamin´ Planning a trip with kids in campervan

One of the nicest parts of travelling happens before you leave: planning, investigating, reading. It’s the perfect excuse to get together with friends who have already been in your destination and listen to their stories from a different perspective, from a more attentive hearing. It’s the perfect excuse to read articles, magazines, books, to figure out maps and go through pictures of the very many places you are going to visit. The aim is to assemble all this imaginary, to put the pieces of the puzzle together in our heads, to fit them and move them until the puzzle is complete and we feel it is a perfect trip. When you feel that there is no excess or lack.

The first thing that impressed me when I first began looking for inspiration for this trip, was the great number of amazing and different places to visit. Luckily, we are travelling with our children, so that narrows down the possible destinations and includes others without a doubt.

I am now sharing with you my first draft plan and some of the criteria that helped me plan this trip with our two children, Francesca (6) and Juani (3).

Photograph by Courtney Adamo in Somewhere Slower

Travelling pace

It is better to avoid being ambitious and leave out some destinations for a future trip. When travelling with children, it is a good idea to enjoy every place and give it the time it deserves. Also, I recommend avoiding long hours on the road or running from place to place. We must plan free time. We should always choose places they will enjoy. Open air spaces surrounded by nature are the best choice, such as parks and beaches. We should always choose places where they can walk or run freely and avoid touristic or crowded spots.

Travel route

Our trip begins and ends in San Francisco. We are renting a motorhome in San Francisco and we will head south to Los Angeles making some stops on the way. We will return through another route, visit some parks and head north back to San Francisco. The total length of the trip is 21 days

  • San Francisco.  2 nights.
  • Área de Santa Cruz – Monterrey – Carmel. 2 nights.
  • Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. 3 nights.
  • Santa Barbara. 2 nights.
  • Area de Los Angeles – Venice. 3 nights.
  • New Port. 2 nights.
  • Sequoia National Park. 1 night.
  • Yosemite National Park. 3 nights.
  • South Lake Tahoe. 2 nights.
  • San Francisco. 1 night.

Plan ahead the places you want to visit

It is always a good idea to have a list of places at hand such as children-friendly places we have been recommended or that have inspired us and we would like to visit. While on trip, you will leave some of them out and others will be added, but having options is a fabulous idea. It gives us confidence and we may avoid uncertainty and grouchiness when visiting new places especially with children. These are some tips I gathered for Venice, CA


Photo by Courtney Adamo in Somewhere Slower


Just let time pass and enjoy sunsets, wide beaches and good food.

Have you already made this trip? Are you planning a similar one? Or maybe know where to find useful tips? Please, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. It’s very useful to all of us who are looking for inspiration. Thanks!



Photographs liveswrite,  Ryan LongneckerCourtney Adamo. Translated by MA.