Spending time under the stars with your family is one of those family activity holidays that is sure to leave a lasting impression and have the kids wanting to return to year after year. At the same time, the thought of planning and packing to go camping can be overwhelming, especially when planning for the first trip. Making a list and checking it twice before setting off towards the campsite is a must and will go far towards ensuring a successful trip. |
Some of the basics of camping include a tent, poles, stakes and a tent footprint (for under the tent). Choose a tent a little larger than the number of people it sleeps – you might need the room for the occasional soft toy and for children who sleep diagonally. It’s a good idea to pack some extra stakes and another tarp or canopy, and a repair kit just in case. Each camper will require a sleeping bag, sleeping pad or air mattress, extra blankets and a pillow. For very young children, a portable crib and a battery-operated night light might be necessary.
Kitchen and Food
Family activity holidays generally require some advance planning when it comes to feeding the family. Plan all of your meals ahead of time. This, plus a variety of snacks, water and other drinks will determine your shopping list prior to the trip. Any meals you can prepare ahead of time will make preparations easier at the campsite, and convenience can be a godsend when your children reach the witching hour. Carry all prepared food in coolers packed with ice.
And do not forget water – you and your family will definitely want it!
Being prepared for unpredictable weather on family activity holidays will help keep the family comfortable (and therefore happy!) so be sure to pack a variety of clothing including trousers, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, undergarments, sleeping clothes, rain wear, running shoes, hiking shoes and sandals. It is guaranteed that your children will go through multiple outfits each day and you might need extra clothing while things dry overnight. Throw in swimming costumes, beach towels and water shoes if your campsite is near a lake or river.
Kids generally spend more time outside during family activity holidays than they normally would at home, so make certain they are protected from the sun’s rays with a high SPF sunblock and hat, and from annoying mosquitoes with a natural insect repellent. You may even want to invest in sun protective clothing for the little ones. Don’t forget to pack toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, liquid soap, antibacterial wipes, toilet paper rolls, and if necessary, a portable potty for young children. Pack a well-stocked first aid kit to cover the scrapes and bruises that your kids will acquire as they explore the outdoors.
Some miscellaneous items you will not want to leave home without include lawn chairs, mosquito coils, a camera for capturing special moments, maps, campsite contact information, bikes, sand toys, water toys and entertainment for the car ride there or possible rainy days such as colouring books, crayons and board games. If you have little ones, a baby backpack carrier and portable high chair may also be necessary.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted family activity holidays to exciting destinations around the world, including France, Italy, Portugal, the USA and Canada. With unique itineraries and exciting activities like biking, hiking, white water rafting and canoeing, we create holidays for those looking for an experience a little more off the beaten track.
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