Tips for camping with the kids
Being well prepared is half the battle
As is so often the case, good planning is crucial. If you take care to make sure that you’re thoroughly prepared, you'll know what costs to expect, what equipment and apparel to bring, and where to buy groceries – nothing is worse than running out of water or snacks when you're on the go. Be sure to check out the weather at your destination in advance too. Do you need sun cream or wellies?
Doing a dry run to make sure that you have everything you need ensures that you have enough time to rethink things if your pack isn’t big enough. This is also a good idea to make sure that you have the correct tent, air mattresses and sleeping bags. Nobody wants to spend hours putting everything up only to find out when it gets dark that one of the zips is stuck or that the mattress has a hole in it.
When and where do you want to go?
It's best not to drive so far away the first time you go camping, a long weekend is enough to get a feeling for it and test your equipment. When it comes to planning the "big" holiday, the best time to travel is of course the summer. It can, however, get pretty hot in a tent (especially in southern European countries). A camping holiday therefore also has its advantages in spring and autumn: not only are the campsites empty and cheaper as it’s the off-season, but storing food is not so much of a problem – something that should always be kept handy when travelling with the little ones.
The prices of campsites vary significantly. From basic outdoor sites with campfires and toilet blocks to luxurious glamping facilities, you certainly have plenty of choice. The ADAC camping guide (German Automobile Association)has rated around 5500 sites throughout Europe and is a useful tool. If you love independence and wish to set off without a fixed destination, Scandinavian countries are certainly the place to travel to as camping in the wild isn't a problem there.
Everybody can get involved
No matter whether during the preparations at home, when setting up the tent at the campsite or preparing food, kids love being involved and taking on the responsibility of having their own tasks. This helps the parents in two ways: the kids are kept occupied and, at the same time, learn how to peel potatoes and cook pasta. Keyword pasta: for dinner on the day you arrive, it’s best to prepare something simple like spaghetti with tomato sauce, which only needs to be warmed up. If the kids are full and happy, then putting the tent up also becomes easier.
How to keep yourselves entertained
You don't have to take all of the kids’ toys with you to stop them getting bored. It’s often the smallest of things that lead to the greatest of adventures. With a discovery case complete with torch, compass, magnifying glass, binoculars and maps, the little ones can explore their surroundings. A rubber dinghy and water pistols are of course great fun for a holiday at the seaside. Outdoor games such as Kubb, croquet, boules and ring toss are something for the whole family. Your kids will soon forget about their smartphones and consoles with this kind of fun on offer!
Alternatively, you can make up your own games to play: who's the champion of the sack race using a sleeping bag instead? Who can tell the most exciting story by the campfire or see the most imaginative creature in the starry sky? However, you should also stay realistic; make sure to take some board games, Lego and colouring and reading books in case it ends up raining. What’s more, you should always look on the bright side: these kinds of days are a nice opportunity to give the kids your full attention. After all, this is what camping holidays with your loved ones are about: spending time together as a family. We hope you have a fantastic time!