Camping is a fun, cost-effective way of having a holiday, but it can become something of a headache if you have kids in tow.
With any active holiday you want to get some fresh air and enjoy being outside, not wrestling with unhappy kids who are bored and looking for something to do.
If you want to experience the great outdoors but are dreading lugging a load of gear and organising a small army, then these ten tips for camping with kids should come in pretty handy.
Pick your campsite wisely
Before you even set off you need to make sure you have picked the right site – get it wrong and you’re on a hiding to nothing. With kids, look for a site with attractions nearby to keep them entertained, and one with facilities like toilets and washing stations in abundance.
It’s good to talk
It is of course easy to overlook that you are going on holiday to spend time together and have fun – and the best way to find out what everyone wants is by simply talking to them.
Speak to your kids, ask them what they want to do while you’re away and look online at the campsite together to get an idea of their expectations. That way, you’ll know there will be plenty that they want to do that will keep them entertained and everyone happy.
Do your homework
Another tip to take on board before you set off; organise well in advance. You need to take pretty much everything you will need for the duration of your trip for you and your family, so make lists and plan in advance because once you’ve set off, turning back won’t be easy.
Get the kids involved in the process
Central to your entire trip away is of course your tent, and putting it up can cause a lot of tension and arguments if you aren’t all pulling in the same direction. Involve your kids in putting up your new home for a few days, be patient and help them to learn. There will be no one bored and waiting round with nothing to do.
It may be easier for you to book through a major nationwide camping operator – that way you know you will get a good quality site with plenty of facilities. There are plenty of family orientated operators, which will ensure a child-friendly destination with plenty of things on site, like swimming pools and kids clubs to keep everyone happy.
Get the right equipment
It pays to have the right equipment to hand in order to make your trip as comfortable and easy as possible. From having a mallet to help put up your tent to having a cool bag and Tupperware for days out, visit your local camping store for ideas of what you might need.
Join a members association
If you plan on camping regularly it may pay to join association – that way you will get cheaper pitch rates and all the info you need to get ahead.
If you can afford it there are a new wave of campsites that cater for a wide variety of campers. Gone are the days of muddy fields and freezing mornings; welcome to the age of camping in style and comfort. Your kids will thank you for it.
Food for thought
Depending on your budget, you may want to cook at your campsite and for that of course you will need to take some food with you and buy the rest when you arrive. Make a meal plan and think of the equipment you need. A good quality camping stove will make life easier for you when it comes to feeding your brood.
A date for your diary
Another great way for you and your kids to get the most out of your camping break is to make them keep a diary of your time away. That will make them feel more involved in your break and give them something to treasure in the future.
Contributed by Charlie Curtis-Jones from Brentwoodradios.co.uk. On the beach, up a mountain or on a camping trip, walkie-talkie consumer radios are a great way to keep in touch.