Camping is one of the most traditional types of family holiday, offering you the chance to spend time together in the great outdoors without many of today’s distractions.
Here in the USA, we’re blessed with a beautiful country filled with countless fantastic camping spots, perfect to satisfy experienced trippers and first-timers alike. However, choosing a site that suits your own preferences may well be totally different to finding one that works for your whole family.
If you want to create a holiday that you all remember for the right reasons, take a look at our ideas for planning a family camping trip …
Schedule a Short Trip
For your first family camping trip, it’s best not to trek halfway across the country for three weeks at a time.
Why? Well, if your kids discover they just can’t stand sleeping outdoors or living without the modern conveniences they love, you’ll all be stranded in a tough situation for a long time.
Start with a short trip, perhaps just a few days, without going too far from your home. As you and your family get more familiar with camping, you can then look farther afield.
Pay Attention to the Facilities
You don’t want to take teenagers at their most self-conscious on a camping trip without any showers or mirrors. Likewise, you don’t want to take young kids to a luxurious site with a wealth of facilities they’ll never use.
Look at the range of toilets, bathrooms, and local amenities. Does it offer a choice of food, drink, and supplies if needed?
You may like the thought of getting away from it all, but being within range of a convenience store or small town isn’t a bad idea for your first family camping trip.
Take Plenty of Entertainment
Make sure you take board games, books, magazines, and other entertainment options to pass those rainy afternoons or cozy nights. While sitting together and talking is a key part of the bonding experience on camping breaks, you’ll all need a little distracting now and then.
Travel versions of board games are ideal for playing inside a tent, while full-sized boards are a must if you have a bigger tent or an RV. Take games you all love and know how to play.
It’s also a great time to experiment with new games, such as challenging card classics (poker, for example).
You might also want to take some sports equipment, like baseballs and bats, or soccer balls. It’s better to take too much gear with you rather than not enough.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Hate planning your trips? Simply loading up the car and heading off into the great outdoors is a nice experience for seasoned campers, but for first-time families?
Planning is key.
Look into the local attractions, hiking trails, facilities, and more. Write loose itineraries for each day, so you create some direction without chaining yourself to a strict schedule.
You can always change your plans according to shifts in weather conditions or your family’s mood. Planning just avoids having days where you don’t know what to do with yourself and end up wasting precious hours.
Taking the right camping gear is vital, wherever you go. Make sure you all have waterproof coats, waterproof backpacks, first-aid kits, and more. You might also want to take bikes, to explore your camping site and its surroundings on wheels.
Most importantly, remember to have fun!