As people we are all curious explores. We love to visit new places, especially the great outdoors. That could be visiting beaches, spending time playing in rock pools, going on long country walks, finding that perfect pub, or cycling through woodland valleys. There are so many beautiful places to visit in the UK, and camping gives you the flexibility to do just that. It allows you to spend time together as a family, sharing experiences and creating memories. Camping with children might seem daunting, but it’s easier than you think. Here are my top tips for creating the perfect family camping trip.
- Choose a destination that will suit all the family. There are thousands of campsites across the UK, some will be near beaches, some near to towns and cities, and some in the middle of nowhere. Pick a campsite to suit your family’s agenda for the holiday. It could be you choose a campsite in the Summer near to beaches, and one near local attractions or beautiful walks when the weather is slightly cooler.
- Obviously the tent is really important. It’s your home and base for your camping trip, imagine a home away from home. It needs to be spacious for the family, have comfortable separate bedroom areas, and have a family living area. Tents come in all shapes and sizes, but with a parent who is travelling with young children I would look for one with darkened bedrooms to keep out that early morning light, so your child stays sleeping for longer.
- Having children I know how important a spacious campsite is. The space is needed so you can play a game of football with the kids without worrying about trampling on your neighbour’s pitch. You also need the space to set up chairs, a table and a BBQ for dinner. Read reviews before hand about the size of the campsite, and the number of tent pitches.
- Prepare a food list before you go, and decide what the family will be eating during the camping trip. This will make it easier to prepare lunches and evening meals. You could decide to have a BBQ one evening, then a meal in a local pub the next, and then a one-pot cooked meal. You really can cook anything you want when camping, with disposable BBQ’s, mini gas stoves, and on-site kitchen facilities, anything is possible. But, it’s important to plan so you know exactly what ingredients you need, and so you’re not debating on what to cook that evening after a busy day.
- To create that home from home environment, take camping chairs, a foldaway table, a picnic blanket to act as a rug, sleeping bags, air beds or floor mats. If you have young children or babies, take a travel cot so that they are familiar with what they are sleeping in, and take their favourite gro-bag and cuddly toy too!
- Take a selection of activities for the kids that they love doing at home. You’ll need something to keep them occupied whilst setting up camp. This could be anything from colouring, stickers, jigsaws, games, and there is nothing wrong with letting them have a bit of time with the iPad. A top tip is to set up the chairs and table first, so you have an area for them whilst you’re pitching the tent.
- If you’re recently bought a new tent, then practice putting it up first in the garden at home, so you don’t get to the campsite and realise you haven’t got a clue how to do this. It’ll also take the stress out of arriving at the campsite with a million bags, bored children, and could prevent any arguments from happening.
- I’m a lover of a baby wipe. They are useful for so many different things, not just cleaning your baby. Take plenty of them, they are perfect for cleaning the kids and you, and can quickly mop up any food spills, or clean muddy shoes or feet before they are walked into the tent.
- To keep your hands free in the evening when you’re trying to find that essential item you need, take a head torch with you. This will make life so much easier to avoid you having to use your phone as a torch, and keeping quiet whilst the kids are asleep.
- Last but not least, don’t forget a bottle opener or cork screw, so you can enjoy a nice relaxing drink at the end of a busy day. Hopefully you’ll have a good view with a sunset! Perfect.
So those are my top tips for creating the perfect family camping trip. Here’s how other parents create theirs:
Mami to Five says
If you have young children (but older than potty training age) taking a travel potty to keep in the tent is essential. Having to run to the toilet block in the middle of the night isn’t fun for anyone! As for the perfect campsite? A play area is great and we always try to go to ones where they have fire pits, the kids love roasting marshmallows and they keep midges at bay. Oh, and wifi access certainly makes for a happier holiday when you have teenagers!
Helpful Mum says
Pitches that are far apart, a good play area, somewhere to keep freezer blocks, quiet time at night (we just stayed on one that had quiet time between 11pm and 7am and they even turned the hand dryers off at that time), and clean showers.
The Parent Game Blog says
Take an electric hook up and a single ring induction hob. Very compact, so travels well, you can use it for lots of different types of cooking and it’s much safer than a naked gas flame with little ones around. The perfect campsite for me is one with good, clean toilet and washing facilities. The one we went to last time had a few family bathrooms, with everything in one, bliss!
Scrapbook Blog says
A potty! Even if your kids are too old for it it’s easier than trotting around in the dark to visit the loos or squatting behind the tent!
Yorkshire Wonders says
We love a campsite with a communal camp fire or one that lets you have your own fire pit. Great for older children who like to make s’mores
Living with a Jude says
We went glamping a few months ago and it was fab. What they offered was a beautiful woodlands, minimal interruption or light pollution. It meant the children invented games, made friends and we all sat at a campfire in the evening and listened to the wildlife. T’was bliss. Really don’t like a campsite that offers too much in a way of typical children’s entertainment and therefore they were given the chance to use their imaginations and creativity.
Pink Pear Bear says
Make sure you take large bottles to fill up with water to have at your tent. We have collapsible gallon ones. Also take snack/cereal bars without chocolate in (melting issues) for all those ‘I’m hungry’ moments!
Bubba Blue and Me says
My priorities for a campsite are 1) really nice toilet and shower facilities, with plenty for families 2) big pitches and ideally the ability to pitch as a group together and 3) parking near the tent. Essentials for kids – onesies (perfect for evenings running around), plenty of toys for indoors and out (including vehicles, colouring, crafts that can be shared round if going with friends), bed linen or sleeping bag they’re used to sleeping in, and their own camping chair – because if you don’t, they’ll just nick yours!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Halfords.