Camping with toddlers and babies is fast becoming a fun, exciting and importantly, affordable way to maximise family holidays. Family travel can be expensive even if you only fly short-haul, so more and more of us are turning to family camping holidays. I’d much rather have four or five holidays a year, than one pricey trip in the summer. It always seems too long to wait for summer to roll round!
There are loads of super helpful tips for camping with kids in this guide and I’ve shared my own below, but if you have any to add please do let me know!
Go for comfort
When you’re travelling with kids, especially young ones, chances are you’re already sleep deprived so don’t make things harder than they need to be. Take a blow up mattress with you and if you can, even a duvet. You can always shove them in a roof box if need be. A good night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold in my opinion.
Get the right tent for your family
Don’t make the mistake of buying the cheapest tent (though if you do want a bargain there are loads to be had). Think about the logistics – where will the baby sleep? If it’s with you, make sure your sleeping space is big enough. Where will the toddler sleep? If it’s raining, where will you all sit? Ideally not in your sleeping space, so a little living area is always handy. If you can, opt for one with a porch too so you’ve got somewhere to keep your wellies. You’ll find a great range of tents here.
Relax the schedule
Running about in the fresh air usually wears mini-explorers out, but when you’re camping you may find that they stay up a little later. It’s brighter without the curtains, there are new noises and it’s unfamiliar. I think if you’re prepared for them perhaps not sticking to their schedule (if they have one), it’ll be a pleasant surprise if they do. I also think it’s worth getting an early night if you can because however late kids go to bed they always seem to still get up far too early!
Enjoy the simple things
Nova loves nothing better than when I give him a task. He enjoys doing it and he absolutely laps up any praise for finishing it. Get your little ones to help collect twigs and sticks to make a camp fire. Pop some marshmallows on a stick and watch their little faces marvel at the magic.
Find the best campsites
Sounds simple, right? Do your research before you go and you’ll be rewarded with dreamy views that cost next to nothing. Every time I go to the Lake District I feel like I’m a million miles from home. The Quiet Side in Cumbria offers traditional camping, as well as let’s say, contemporary camping. There are 14 pods, 10 hobbit holes, tent and caravan pitches and more! Prices start from just £16 a night.
You know how tricky it is to put your make up on or to make dinner whilst you have a toddler pulling at your leg or baby on your arm? Putting a new tent up, whilst trying to keep the little ones happy is next level!
Have a go at putting the tent up at home, so that when you’re actually on your trip you can put it up in record time. You can make the practice garden session a fun time for the kids too. If you don’t have that option I’d recommend tag teaming if you can – one parent puts the tent up, while the other one entertains the kids.
There are loads of things you can take with you, but I’d recommend a head torch in case you need to make a loo dash or something in the middle of the night. If you’re carrying a little one it’s hard to hold your phone, so a head torch just makes it a little easier.
I’m going to be poor because my two don’t stop eating! I’d recommend taking some cooked food – pasta, pizza, enchiladas – whatever you like, so that when you arrive you’ve got something on hand until you’ve set up your pitch. A snack is a perfect distraction to buy you some time to get all set up.
So, over to you. Do you have any tips to add to the list?
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This post is in collaboration with Halfords