Image source of a well planned camping trip!
Camping holidays are a fantastic way of spending lots of quality time with your family in the great outdoors. It is cheap, environmentally friendly and most of all fun! Kids love travelling to new places and love the freedom and space that camping allows. To avoid any mishaps spoiling your break away, camping holidays with children do require quite a bit of extra planning. Unfortunately you can’t plan for inclement weather, but you can ensure you have everything you need with you, to make your trip as comfortable and stress free as possible. Using the following tips as a guide will help.
Camping doesn’t suit all families and if you’ve never camped before, it may be a good idea to do a trial camp-out before booking a two week stay. If possible ask to borrow a tent from friends or family and then either camp in the back garden or book a night or two away at a site close to home. This will ensure you’re all happy with camping, before you go and buy your equipment. Sometimes caravan holidays suit families more, as you have the luxury of sleeping off the ground and a toilet! You can extend the size of your caravan with an awning that Campsmart caravan awnings for sale have to offer. This is often a great option if you have teenagers in the family who like their own space. Travelling with toddlers and younger children will also enjoy the space of an awning to play games.
Choose where to go
This is the exciting part and is something the whole family can do together. Every family member will have different needs to cater for, so try to choose a location that ticks everyone’s boxes. Obviously where you go will be somewhat governed by your budget, lots of campsites are listed on the internet which give pitching fees to help with budgeting. As a family you may prefer to camp somewhere remote with less people and facilities, or you may like the idea of a site with lots of activities going on. Wherever you stay there should be lots of opportunity for your children to make friends easily. It may be essential for teenagers to have wifi and some sites cater for this or you may want to go technology free for your camping trip so that you can reconnect as a family. A lot of seasoned campers choose to holiday abroad, best places in the world to camp and if you holiday in a more clement part of the world, you should avoid the threat of constant rain, gales and chilly evenings from spoiling your trip. One thing is for sure, camping allows you to access stunning areas of natural beauty, whether it’s on the beach at the coast, in the countryside or close to a city that you wish to explore. Travelling with children to historic places such as Rome can sometimes be costly, especially when you consider hotel prices. Therefore camping allows children to travel to cities with their families without the associated costs. There are often campsites based just outside cities such as Rome and Paris , allowing easy access to the sights.
The first purchase you will probably consider buying is a tent, as you literally can’t go camping with kids without one! Choosing your first tent is no mean task, the choice is huge. Inflatable, pop-up, dome and tunnel tent, to name only a few. A lot of your choice will come down to personal preference and the size of tent you need. Different tent styles all have pro’s and cons when it comes to putting up your tent. Pop up tents are supposed to be easier, but you may sacrifice the space you need. Tunnel tents have lots of poles to get to grips with, but offer the space needed for a family. The best advice is to do your research, read reviews and visit camping shows where you can see the tent in action.
You may be lucky enough to buy a pre-loved tent that ticks all the boxes. Ebay and Gumtree are good sources to buy second hand. This will obviously help with your budget and if you decide as a family that camping really isn’t for you, it won’t have cost too much.
In addition to your tent you may want to consider buying extra groundsheets and even a porch where the family can leave muddy shoes, this will help to enhance your camping experience.
Another major purchase is sleeping equipment, which includes airbeds or camp beds, suitable sleeping bags for the weather and lighting for night time. Getting this right will ensure your trip goes as smoothly as possible, crying uncomfotable children doesn’t bode well for a relaxing break away! Don’t forget pillows.
Other essential purchases include a first aid kit, insect repellent, sun protection, lots of warm dry changes of clothes, games, toys and sports equipment to keep the children entertained. Preferably you own a very large car!
You may have romantic notions of your family cooking on a campfire, enjoying the delicious smell from sizzling sausages and toasting marshmallows, whilst singing songs. However in reality this is not a practical cooking facility when travelling with children, who are all starving and want their food right now! It is a good idea to buy a camp stove, but this can still be a challenge when you are new to cooking alfresco. Other options for meal times could be fish and chips, takeaway of choice, meals made at home that just needs heating up and you could plan BBQ’s. Often sites have restaurants and they usually have shops where you can purchase bread, milk etc.
Fresh food will also need to be kept cool. Cool boxes containing ice packs are a good option and often you can refreeze the packs on site. You can also buy cool boxes that run off your car battery.
Always take easy to clean non-stick pans for cooking with, so you you don’t spend hours at the communal pot washing facilities.
Finally enjoy your time together. Camping can be incredibly fun and is a great way to bond as a family. Even the simple tasks of washing up and making beds don’t seem to be a chore when it’s in the outdoors. Simple board and card games are great ways to spend evenings together without the distraction of technology. Get planning that trip now!
Where have you gone camping? What advice would you give first time campers?
*This is a collaborative post.*
Keep on making those wonderful camping memories:)