Do you have a family camping holiday coming up that is filling you with fear; will anyone get any sleep, will the children be too hot or cold, will the tent blow away? If so you need to check out our 5 top tips for camping holidays with children where we give handy hints from our own personal experience and help to make your impending camping trip one to look forward to.
To begin with, well done for choosing a holiday that involves camping with children. Many people will call you bonkers but actually you have a real adventure ahead that the children are going to adore. Camping is a really inexpensive way to take a holiday, get loads of outdoor time, have loads of fun and see different parts of the world.
Lets look at ways in which you can make your trip really enjoyable:
1.Check that the campsite has facilities for children
If you are going camping with children you need to make sure that you keep this in mind when choosing your campsite, are there age appropriate activites like parks, swimming pools and kids clubs? These things will make the trip a lot of fun for your kids and will make life a lot easier for you since your children will be happy and entertained.
Go on nice walks and day trips but make sure to mix this up with allowing the kids plenty of time to do things that they love too, and everyone will be happy.
Kids clubs might sound a little hellish but they are actually a great way for you to be able to go out in the evening and kick back a little. From my experience children love these evenings and you might even manage to fit in a glass of wine while they dance the night away, tiring themselves out ready for great nights sleep (that’s the plan anyway!)
2.Arrive in daylight
Make sure that you arrive in the daylight when camping with children, the last thing you want is to be setting up camp in the dark, not knowing where the children are and not being able to find anything.
Have a plan for the set up, maybe one of you could take the kids to the park while the other pitches the tent or if the children are older set them tasks to help with the set up so that they have their own job to get done.
Get the camp totally set up before heading out so that you know where everything is, this will make things run much more smoothly.
3.Know where the kids are at all times
Camping with children can be tough because you have to have eyes in the back in your head, the children are ‘free’ at all times and if you have a flighty toddler this could be a recipe for disaster.
Something I have always found useful is to take wind breakers to form a make shift garden around your camping area and take some of your kids favourite toys. This allows them space to roam freely without you having to worry and gives them the boundary that they need, if the children want to go outside of the ‘garden’ area they must ask and be accompanied by an adult.
Putting bells on the bottom of tent zips is a nice idea since you’ll be warned when little ones are trying to leave the tent.
Older children aren’t such a worry and its your call as the adult to let them know how far they are allowed to wander on their own. Let them know at the start of the holiday what the expectations are.
4.Take as many adults with you as you can
The more adults that you can persuade to go on your trip the better! Camping with children needs to be fun for everyone, them and you, and the more help you get the more you’ll be able to relax.
If you have friends with little ones that get on well with your children then invite them along too, your children will be kept entertained and you’ll have more pairs of adult hands around to muck in.
5.Try to relax and enjoy your trip
Don’t make your schedule too heavy when you are camping with children, rushing around like a headless chicken will add stress, just plan a few fun activities and go with the flow, it doesn’t matter if you are later out and about than normal or have later nights, you are on holiday so relax into things and don’t put too much pressure on yourselves.
Perhaps you could relax some of the rules from home, after all camping is a very different experience, you don’t have the space you do at home, facilities are totally different and even a bird chirping outside of your tent can be an unexpected noise, so keep relaxed and your children will likely follow suit.
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