Do you have dreams about going camping with your kids? Chances are that you dream about telling stories around the fire and playing games in the sand. You probably don’t think about temper tantrums or trying to relax when the kids are bored. If you want a stress-free vacation with kids, you need to prepare ahead of time. And you can do this with these life and sanity-saving tips for camping with kids.
1. Choose Your Campground Carefully
There are lots of great places to go camping with kids, so make sure you do your research beforehand. You might like the idea of being completely isolated, with nothing to do but stare up at the stars. But your kids will probably prefer to stay in family-friendly campgrounds with lots of things to do and see and even other kids to play with.
2. Get the Kids to Help
This is one of those tips for camping with kids that depends on their age and maturity level. Try to do your best to get your kids involved at every stage of your journey.
You can start by asking them for their input when choosing a camping area. And once you are there, show them how to set up a tent, build a fire, or perhaps prepare an easy meal. Let them take ownership of as much of the trip as possible and they’ll be much more engaged!
3. Go with a Group
More is almost always better when it comes to entertaining kids. Don’t be afraid to go camping with other families or relatives with kids. It will take some of the burdens of entertaining the kids off your shoulders and you’ll be able to have some real, adult conversations too.
4. Start Small
Make your first camping trip with kids as short as possible. This will give you an idea of what it’s really like and allow your kids to adjust to the new environment. This also means that you should avoid the long car ride by choosing a camping location close to your local area.
5. Plan Age Appropriate Activities
There’s a saying about how failing to plan is planning to fail, and that applies double when you’re traveling with kids. Make sure you plan lots of age-appropriate activities for your trip. You may not need them, but better you have them than not. Some great camping activities for kids include:
- Treasure hunts
- Camping Olympics
- I Spy
- Flashlight tag
- 20 questions
- Toasting marshmallows
- Bike riding
- Water gun battles
- Sleeping bag races
- Card or board games
- Bug catching
- Bird watching
- Drawing with chalk
- Animal spotting
Pick some of these activities, or other age-appropriate ones, and make sure you pack everything you’ll need to play them!
6. Keep up the Routines
Going camping isn’t the time to break all your home routines. This will only cause upheaval and confusion for your kids. So, make sure that you keep your regular bedtimes and naptimes and make your transition back to real life easier.
7. Pack Carefully
Packing carefully is one of the most essential tips for camping with kids. There’s nothing worse than packing too much and having to lug it around or packing too little and running out of clothes when it rains. So, if you want to keep everyone entertained and happy, here are some packing extras that are also essential for traveling with kids or young toddlers:
- A bigger than normal tent so the kids can play indoors if it rains
- A raincoat and boots so kids can play in the rain
- Digging tools for toddlers
- A kiddie pool for hot days
- Sturdy toys that are multi-use like trucks or tools
Caravan Partnership makes packing even easier with options for extra room and lots of add-ons. It’s the ideal solution if you’re looking to keep the kids occupied but don’t want to carry half your house around.
8. Don’t take all your Devices
This is one of the best and most obvious tips for camping with kids. Leave the technology at home. Take your phone with you in case of emergencies but pack it deep in your bag and don’t take it out unless it’s an emergency.
9. Eat Well
Camping is about marshmallows and hot dogs and other tasty things, right? It might be, but two days of that and you could have some upset stomachs and cranky kids on hand. It’s one thing to pack snacks and meals that are easy to cook over the fire when you go camping. But make sure you include some healthier food and food that won’t upset your kids’ stomachs as well.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Go Home
There are lots of fun things to do with kids while camping. But don’t hang on to the idea of that if the reality is vastly different. Sometimes, things just go wrong. The tent collapses and lets in the storm, the weather turns cold, you didn’t pack enough food, or one of your kids gets a cold. When things go wrong like this, it isn’t always a good idea to soldier on.
If things are going really wrong and everyone wants to go home, consider heading out. You could be warm, dry, and in reach of medical supplies within a few hours. And you can always try again later.
Traveling with kids takes special skills and a lot of patience. That’s why you need our expert trips for camping with kids. At Caravan Partnership, we cut down on the stress of a camping trip with a convenient, easy booking and preparation process. So, all you have to do is book, show up, and enjoy your holiday and we’ll take care of the rest!