Camping is a fun and cost-friendly approach to vacationing with your loved ones. Staying in a hotel can be expensive. Even lower-cost options like Airbnb can add up. Plus, camping together offers a unique experience with memories to last a lifetime. Camping as a family does require some organization and forethought if you want things to go as smoothly as possible. Luckily, this guide to planning a camping trip for the family will provide you with the basics you need to know.
Decide Where to Go
Your first big decision is where to camp. Your budget and travel preferences will likely play a role in this decision, but it can help to start brainstorming ideas of places you and your family members would like to see. You may decide it’s best for the adults to make the decision or perhaps you want to offer up a few pre-selected options to streamline the process. There’s plenty to see and do when camping in Louisiana or perhaps you prefer to head to the beach. Once you’ve narrowed down your decision, you can get down to the nitty-gritty details.
Take Inventory of Your Gear
Camping requires a lot of equipment. Even if you’re glamping or staying at a modern campground with basic amenities, there are items you’ll need to pack. It’s a good idea to take stock of these things now so that you can prepare to shop for your needs or ask your friends to borrow some stuff. Setting your tent up at home is a part of this process. You want to be sure you know how to put it together and that you have all of the necessary parts. This can be a fun way to practice camping with your kids before heading out on your adventure for real.
Other equipment you’ll want to gather includes:
- Sleeping bags
- Insect repellent
- Camp stove
- Stocked first aid kit
Determine Your Route
In these modern times of GPS, you may think you can just jump in the car, set your destination, and head out. Technically, that is possible, but you could regret that decision. Long car rides can be difficult for children. You’ll want to plan to find ways to make the trip less stressful. Breaking it up by stopping at interesting places along the way can be a great strategy for a successful road trip. Get your whole family involved in choosing the destinations to build excitement. You may also want to get a general idea of where you’ll sleep each night along the way, whether that’s in a hotel or at a camping site.
Decide on Meals and Snacks
What’s a road trip without snacks? When preparing for your grocery shopping trip, be sure to include easy-to-eat snack items. Individually wrapped or pre-portioned packages can cut down on mess. Ask your little ones what they’d like to snack on, and you can even get them involved in meal planning. Strive to create a menu that includes camping-friendly recipes. Making some dishes in advance can be a lifesaver.
Create an Itinerary
You’ll want to have at least a loose agenda prepared before you leave. Knowing what types of activities everyone wants to do and the sights they hope to see will cut down on a lot of stress. It can also ensure you have the budget and supplies you need. Try to avoid setting a schedule that’s too strict. After all, you’re on vacation. No one likes to be micro-managed. Plus, inevitably, something won’t go according to plan. Being flexible will help you to better deal with the situation when it occurs.
Pack Your Stuff
Finally, you’ll want to pack up all of your stuff and load up the vehicle. You can find camp packing checklists online that can help lessen the chance of forgetting anything. If age-appropriate, you can recruit your kids to pitch in by providing them with a packing list. Be sure to load your car the night before you want to head out to avoid frustrating delays.
Follow the tips on this list, and you’re sure to have a wonderful camping trip with the family. Some advanced planning and cooperation mean everyone is on the same page and is committed to helping out. Now it’s on to making memories, and s’mores, together!