Just because you have decided to travel around Australia it doesn’t mean your immune from sickness on your travels. Imagine living your dream and caravanning with your kids, when bam, everyone gets gastro! It’s definitely one of the worse parts of travelling with kids.

We don’t get sick often now, it’s probably because we are outside in the natural elements every day and that has reduced our illnesses. But if you’re lucky like us it will strike when you least need it.

Thankful for the emergency centre at Moura QLD
Thankful for the emergency centre at Moura QLD

Some of our worse “sick” moments since travelling with our kids:
1) Being woken in the middle of the night with 2 little girls simultaneously vomiting all over the van, in a free camp with limited water.
2) Cape York with a child who had a 40-degree temp.
3) Struck down with the flu and being told by doctors I needed to travel 900km to seek further assistance.

The reality of travelling is no matter what you do you will probably get sick. Plus living in such a tiny space makes it a lot harder to stop it from contaminating the whole family.

Caravanning with kids: What to pack when illness strikes

Handy to have in your medicine cabinet


Gastro in a van is an absolute disaster! But with a few items in the cupboard, it could reduce the mess and stress.

Caravanning with kids gastro must haves

1. Vomit bags are great for car sickness and saving your van from being decorated with the nasty mess.
2. A Collapsible bucket is a handy addition to any travelling family. Not only can it help to catch the vomit but it also helps with all the washing.
3. Pine O Clean wipes and baby wipes are really handy to help with any clean ups.
4. Make sure you always have pain relief for adults and children in your van. If you have space then store some Hydralyte in your medicine cupboard for those “just in case” moments.
5. Inner health plus always helps put the goodness back in sick tummies.

If you do end up with vomit throughout your van and you can’t get the smell out of it, don’t stress! A great little tip I was given was to sprinkle a little bicarb soda on the item that smells i.e mattress and leave it in the sun to draw the smell out. Worked for us!

Cold n flu

Is really common but if your children are under 6 years of age like ours, it’s difficult to get certain medicines. So here’s some items in our cupboard that have helped us:
1. You need the basics like Vicks, panadol, nasal spray and Cold n flu tablets (for the adults).
2. All Natural Kids cold lollies help your child with fevers and cold symptoms. You’ll find these in most pharmacies.
3. Vicks Vapo Steam liquid is handy to have when your children have a cough that keeps them up all night. Those nights always happen when we are in Free Camp with no power. All you have to do is boil the kettle, place some hot water in a bowl and add some Vicks Vapor-liquid. In no time it will fill your van with a Vicks smell and help with coughs.

Other items to consider having in your caravan:

1. Digital thermometers are fantastic for a quick and accurate temperature reading.
2. Stingose for those bites you get.
3. Band-aides and bandages
4. Bushmans or Insect repellent
5. Tweezers are handy to have as our children are always getting splinters.
6. Cold pack
7. Aqua ear
8. Dettol
9. Pain relief for all the family
10. St Johns First aid kits are great to have in your car and caravan.

When severe sickness hits you and your family make sure you get yourself to a caravan park. It’s much easier to have power and water for all the washing you might have. If something doesn’t feel right then seek medical advice as soon as you can. 13health is a great number for advice in Queensland or look for your closest hospital/doctor. It’s really important to stay hydrated! When you are feeling up to it then smoothies and soup help put the goodness back in. And don’t forget to have plenty of rest. A couple of days of movie marathons or Ipad overload won’t kill your kids.

In Australia, we are lucky to have a pretty amazing health service available to us. Before we left on our trip we were always told that it’s difficult to see a doctor at times as they don’t like travellers. We have never struck this at all. Sure clinics can be fully booked but you still have the opportunity to present yourself to a hospital.

Be careful where you store your medicines in your caravan. Most medicines will say they need to be stored below a certain temperature (30°). In summer your cupboards can reach high temperatures quickly so try to find a cool dry place for them to be kept.

Remember catching a viral is just a short temporary bug. Caravanning with kids doesn’t need to be complicated as long as you are prepared. I hope this tip has helped some future travellers.


Sick child in hospital
Caravanning with kids can have some emergencies at times

Travelling with kids is an adventure!