Tips for Bank Holiday Camping with Kids in Guildford
3rd May 2012
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The romantic notion of arriving at a campsite, rolling out the picnic rug and enjoying a wonderful afternoon with your young children as they bask in the afternoon sun might happen for some but let’s face it, in the real world, camping with young kids needs some degree of careful planning if you want the family to remain sane.

Here is a list of some of the must haves if you want to get the most from an enjoyable camping trip:

  • Don’t try to unpack and set up every piece of camping gear without expecting the kids to get really bored, stroppy, tired or hungry. They’ve already been cooped up in the car or camper so the last thing they need is to watch Mum & Dad spend the next 2 hours setting up an awning, tables, chairs, BBQ, etc. Arrive at your site and spend some time with the kids so they feel comfortable in the surroundings.
  • Make sure you have black-out blinds in your sleeping area. We felt very smug when our two boys went off to sleep at 8pm but weren’t so impressed when they woke up at 5:30am the next morning because the sunrise had lit up the sleeping area announcing the arrival of a new day. A totally dark sleeping area could at least get you a lie-in until 7:30 which is always welcome after a night spent drinking too much wine around the camp fire.
  • Always assume that your BBQ will take an hour longer than planned to prepare. Kids get hungry and ‘it’s nearly ready’ won’t wash with them before the start to get whiny. Make sure you have factored in how hungry they are and when food is, realistically, likely to be ready.
  • Relax the night time routine. Our boys normally go to bed at 7pm, but in a campsite in the middle of summer, 7pm is normally a hive of activity with BBQ’s sizzling away, sun still in the sky and other kids playing around. Don’t fight it, realize that trying to get them to bed at their normal time won’t work, instead do some down time with them and enjoy the end of the day so they are ready for bed an hour or so later when things die down a little.
  • Take a DVD player or books for the night time wind down – also good for first thing in the morning to keep them entertained when everyone else is still asleep.
  • Resist the temptation to do too much. Try and relax and forget about packing everything into one day. Go for walks, sit by a tree, play games with the kids, get them to be creative and entertaining. Far better to do that than get back in the camper and queue up for yet another fair/attraction.

Above all I think parents also need to wind down and get into the camping groove. Not everything will go to plan, but that’s all part of the adventure. Mum and Dad probably need as much of a break as the kids so get into that mindset, lose the watch and mobile phone for a few days and just get back to enjoying the simpler things in life and having a great time with the kids – don’t forget the ice creams!

About the Author

rod m

Member since: 3rd May 2012

Caravans and holiday parks are not for me, I prefer unique smaller sites where you can enjoy the beauty of the countryside and watch the glowing embers of your campfire. Of course it all needs to be fun...

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