Summer is here and your family is ready for a vacation. Getting away is so much easier than you think. It’s time to learn how to plan a camping trip that won’t break the bank and the whole family will enjoy!
A family camping trip is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy some much needed time off. Once you have the basic gear, you won’t even need to spend a lot to go. But before you hit the road with your family in tow, you need to make a plan.
Planning a camping trip with your family can be just as fun as going. Planning ahead can also save you time, money and a lot of hassle at your destination.
Check out these 5 amazing tips to plan a camping trip your family will love.
How to Plan a Camping Trip: 5 Amazing Tips
1. Reserve Campsites in Advance
When it comes to camping destinations, planning ahead can mean the difference between getting a so-so campsite and a great one. Things like shade and close bathrooms can be important, especially if you have young children.
While some campgrounds do offer walk-up sites, many require reservations and book up quickly if they are very popular or a big tourist spot. Plan ahead to avoid disappointment.
It’s a good idea to start thinking about where you want to go several months before you actually hit the road. Check out places like ReserveAmerica for a U.S. camping destination.
Looking for something a little more unique and adventurous? View here for camping destinations overseas!
2. Get the Right Gear
There are some basic things you’ll need to stay safe, dry and comfortable during your camping adventure. You will need to consider the weather, time of year and activities you will be doing during your stay.
- A Tent – You’ll want a tent to keep you and your family warm and dry during your camping trip. Make sure it has a rain fly, has no holes and all zippers work before you head out.
- A Sleeping Bag – Each person needs a sleeping bag. In many locations, nighttime temperatures are much cooler than daytime. Check the rating on the sleeping bag to be sure it’s warm enough.
- Weather Appropriate Clothing and Gear – Shoes, jackets, and clothing should all be appropriate for the weather at your destination. It’s a good idea to research the weather for your destination during the season you plan to go.
- A Backpack – This is where you will store your clothes and your personal items, such as hygiene gear, sunglasses, identification and your camera. Make sure it’s waterproof or has a waterproof cover.
- A Flashlight – If you need to make a midnight restroom call, you’re going to be very glad you have a flashlight. Most campgrounds are kept dark to allow campers to enjoy the light of the stars, and you don’t want to trip and fall.
- A Water Bottle – No matter where you go, you’ll need water. Bring a reusable container that can be refilled at camp. Check to see if your campground has drinking water available or if you need to bring your own!
You can buy new camping gear or you can always borrow some of it! It doesn’t need to be fancy or brand new, either. Just make sure that it’s in good condition and meets the needs of the environment where you are camping.
3. Plan for Meals
Eating at your campsite is part of the fun! There are many fun and interesting ways to cook food over the campfire. Plan ahead to make mealtime a memorable part of your trip.
- Pack Utensils and Cookware – Depending on what you’re planning to cook, make sure you’ve got all the items you need to make it at camp! Some things you might need include: tongs, aluminum foil, eating utensils, cast iron skillet, serving spoons. Make a packing list to be sure you don’t forget anything important.
- Make a Meal Plan – You need to plan for every meal that you will eat at camp. Make a list of each ingredient you’ll need to pack. Check them off as you put them in the cooler.
- Don’t Forget Dessert – One of the most fun things to do around the campfire is roast marshmallows and make smores. There are even ways to get creative about it. Pack the ingredients as a surprise for the kids!
4. Plan Great Activities
It’s nice to sit around a fire and relax at the end of a good day. But a good day is one filled with exciting activities for adults and children, alike! Check out what your destination has to offer and plan them into your camping adventure and your budget.
Here are some great activities to look for:
- Lake Activities – If you are staying near a lake, look for boat rentals, swim beaches and rentals for equipment like kayaks or paddle boards.
- Beach Activities – Staying at the beach? Look for diving lessons, snorkeling gear rentals, surfing lessons or do a little sea glass and shell collecting. Don’t forget to bring shovels and buckets for building sand castles!
- Mountains and Backcountry Activities – For camping in the woods or mountain areas, you should look for hiking trails, waterfalls, and other area attractions.
- Photography – All locations are great for this activity! Take out your camera or phone and just shoot!
- Nature Walks and Trails – Most campgrounds have trailheads that you can walk to from camp. Be sure to take a map and stick to the trail so you don’t get lost.
- Ranger Activities – Many of the state and national parks have ranger presentations that educate campers about local wildlife and history.
5. The Journey is Part of the Fun
Don’t forget that getting to camp is part of the adventure. Plan your route to be scenic or on new roads that you’ve never taken before.
Look for waterfalls, historic landmarks or roadside picnic areas where you can enjoy a break from driving. You can take some pretty amazing pictures at scenic vista points along the highway.
If your destination is far from home, make a detour at a landmark along the way or plan to stay overnight somewhere exciting!
Get Started Now
No matter where you decide to go, your camping trip will be a fun and memorable family vacation. It’ll be even better if you plan a little bit ahead.
Now that you know how to plan a camping trip, it’s time to get started. Just get out your laptop, gather the family and pick a destination!
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