The humble camping trip has witnessed a resurrection in popularity in recent years, and not only due to the finances. This is a great way to actually spend time with your loved ones. Rather than sitting in their company while browsing your individual social media news feeds. Moreover, it’s the perfect solution to create magical memories focused on the simple things in life.
Like any other holiday, though, camping can become stressful if you aren’t prepared. This is especially true for parents with young kids. With the following preparations in place, your adventures will deliver everything you want and more.
#1. Don’t Travel Too Far
Travel is the perfect opportunity to explore the world and see new sights. While your bucket list may include trips to Sydney, London, Paris, or Rio de Janeiro, you can have fun on your doorstep. Camping is the ideal chance to embrace local attractions that usually go unnoticed. In truth, you could have just as much fun two towns over as you would on the other side of the globe.
Camping is about enjoying simple things like fishing, hiking, cooking on a fire, and sleeping under the stars. You can do all of those things without traveling for hours. This brings the added convenience of being able to return home if things get too tough. Besides, when young children are involved, a one-hour journey is infinitely better than 10 hours on the road.
#2. Sleep In The Same Tent
Your choice of tent is naturally one of the most important investments of the entire trip. If your kids are a little older, you may consider the prospect of having separate tents. Resist it, even if they beg and plead. Once it gets dark, they will get a little frightened. As such, a Coleman 4 person tent is probably your best bet. If nothing else, it’ll save you from restless nights worrying about them.
This is an important step for staying warm while it’s easy to interact with each other when you are in the same structure. Even when two tents are just a few meters apart, the barrier can be a huge obstacle in regards to your enjoyment. On a side note, setting up camp will be a lot easier when there’s one simple tent to erect rather than two or three small structures. Do not underestimate it.
#3. Pack In Advance
Ensuring that you have the right products and comforts for your holiday is essential. Some of the food can be picked up on the way or throughout the camping trip. However, the majority of items should be planned and packed in advance. Create a checklist that covers the essentials for camping, products for your itinerary, and a few backup items. The reassurance and peace of mind are vital.
Given that space in the tend and vehicle are limited, it’s best to choose minimalist packing. For the best results, you should find the right balance between having the essentials and promoting the idea of enjoying nature. The kids could get bored, though, so a portable DVD player or games console is wise. Or you could take board games as a way to pass the time by torchlight or by the campfire.
#4. Plan An Excursion
Children are informational sponges, and they will reflect your attitude. So, if you show excitement or the camping trip, they will feel it too. Nonetheless, they still need a reason to feel extra anticipation for the vacation. Kids love adventures, and planning some excursions can work wonders. This may include booking a day trip to the nearest town, water park, or theme park.
Alternatively, you may focus on the activities that can be enjoyed on the campsite or the nearby natural places. Buying your child their first Zebco fishing pole, wetsuit, or mountain bike can have a positive impact. Anything that gives them a reason to boast to their friends about the camping holiday will be a positive addition. And it might unlock a new hobby that they’ll love for years.
#5. Arrive Early
OK, one of the great things about holidaying in a nearby destination is that you can avoid the 2 AM alarm. Still, there’s no greater stress than arriving at the destination late in the evening due to traffic or unforeseen circumstances. If you’re stressed and hungry on night one, doubts will surface right away. The kids will probably complain that they want to go home, and you’ll secretly want to too.
Conversely, arriving early(ish) and setting up camp gives you the best chance of having fun from day one. The kids can check out the on-site facilities and play games while you set up camp. Once finished, you can enjoy a simple meal before completing your first activity. Whether it’s embracing nature or using the entertainment facilities doesn’t matter. Your trip will be up and running in style.
#6. Do A Test Run At Home
Leaving the home and camping under the stars can be daunting for youngsters. With this in mind, it is a good idea to do a test run in the garden. You could organize a family movie night using a projector onto the building. Or you could have a BBQ event or let them have a sleepover with some of their friends. This familiarizes them with camping and can build the excitement for the big trip ahead.
The test run is also a great time to check that the tent and other camping facilities are working as expected. There’s nothing worse than reaching your destination only to find that poles are missing or the sleeping bag zip doesn’t work. This is a key part of your preparation, not least for your peace of mind. Better still, the night in the garden will be more fun than a normal Saturday on the sofa.
Camping with kids can be great fun, but it can be a disaster too. Put the above precautions in place to ensure that you unlock the full potential of this vacation, and magical memories will await.