Planning a family camping trip can be daunting the first time you do it. I know, because I’ve been there! But once you have a couple of successful trips under your belt, planning will become second nature.
Travelling (and camping) with the kids is most definitely not the same as travelling as a couple. There’s a lot more organising and preparing that needs to be done. Once you have all this in place you’ll be laughing all the way to a great holiday.
I have been camping ever since I was a child and I loved it! Running free and climbing the dunes, it was great. Now as a mummy, with my very own family, we took our first camping trip when our first born daughter was just eight weeks old! It was such a wonderful experience to have and we’ve been camping ever since. It’s great for the kids, they love being wild and free and even us as parents are so much more relaxed and laid back too. Yes, we’ve had a few bad experiences, being woken up in the night by a leaking roof, torrential weather storms, setting the tent on fire, you know, the usual 🤣 but if you can make it passed those bad days and head back for another camping trip, then you’re a winner in my eyes!So let’s get started, here’s my top five tips on making the most out of a camping trip.
1. Lists – I couldn’t go anywhere if I hadn’t of made a list! They honestly do make me feel like I have my life in order somehow.
Start with the basics ; what equipment will be needed, tent, bedding, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, fridge, lights, stove, gas, chairs, table, pots pans, fire pit, clothes, wind breaks, towels, medical items. You can find hundreds of camping check lists on the internet, print one off and get ticking ✔️
2. Budget – Set a budget! Keep a look out for coupons and deals. Add in transport costs, accommodation, experiences, do your research online about local activities and price up day trips. Talk to the kids before you go and make sure they understand you’re all going to work together to keep the trip on a budget, so that you can afford to do the experiences they want to do the most.
After estimating all of your costs you may find that you’re a little over budget, but don’t worry. There are plenty of ways you can cut back or adjust to make it work. For example, pack picnics for lunch instead of pub lunches on your travels. Reuse water bottles. Meal prep. It all adds up!
3. Accommodation – This can be a tricky one. Now, I always like to camp by the beach, so if there’s not a beach in walking distance then I ain’t going! But that doesn’t mean to say that there aren’t better campsites next to the lake or among the hills, that’s just my personal preference. Do your research and scout around, compare prices. There are lots of bargains to be had out there. Will you need electric hookup? Or can you survive with just the basics? Most sites have electrical plug sockets in the bathrooms for things such as hairdryers, straighteners, shavers etc. So we rarely use electric hookup.
4. Food – If your kids are anything like mine, then you know you’re gonna need to do a pretty decent food shop as they eat like what, every three seconds throughout the day? Another list sounds like a good idea right about now; get your shopping list sorted with an easy meal plan – make a daily menu, it’s a great way to save time and money. Prep meals before you go, tub up hearty campfire meals like casseroles, curry’s and chilli. Tip them in the cooking pot, pop it on the fire and watch it cook. Potatoes cooked on the camp fire have to be my all time favourite, by far!
Individual cereal boxes are brilliant for the kids in the mornings, pre cooked pasta and sauces for lunch, warm them up on the stove and hey presto! Pack picnics for lunch and don’t forget the snacks! Slow cookers are ideal if you have electric hookup. Toasting Marshmallows on the open fire is a great experience for the kids. In fact, I only mentioned about going camping to them last night and the first thing they said is “can we make s’mores?” Hell yeah we can!
5. Entertainment – Traveling is all about finding unique experiences and creating lasting memories. Hunt around online and see what’s on local to your destination. Parades in the town centre or a surf lesson on the beach. You’ll have a great time wherever you end up. Depending on where you camp, a lot of campsites will have child friendly entertainment on during the day, kids clubs during the evening and maybe a kiddies family disco at night.
Pizza for dinner, a bonfire on the beach, a rainy morning playing cards together – you may discover that the best moments are the least extravagant.
….. and off you go!
Planning a family camping trip takes time and patience, but it’s worth it!
A well planned trip is an enjoyable and carefree trip — Have fun!
nay nay x