Family vacations are so important to me. My fondest childhood memories are from vacations, and I wanted to create those sorts of memories with my own children. One of the most popular types of family vacations is camping. This summer my husband and I took our kiddos, 5-year-old Rowdy and 2-year-old Romy, camping in our travel trailer. Although I’m more of a champagne and room service gal, I still had a lot of fun with the fam on our trip, even if I did feel hot and dirty for 4 days. 😉 Here are my top 5 tips for camping with kids.
1. Comforts from Home – We brought a few items from home to make our kiddos feel more comfortable. Bikes, pillows and blankets were the items we chose to bring. We didn’t bring any toys, but we did purchase a set of plastic digging toys on our way.
2. Technology in Small Doses – Technology is a big part of most of our lives these days. I actually love technology and try to take advantage of what it can offer us as a family. But since a camping trip should be an opportunity to get outdoors and explore, we opted for much less screen time than normal. Our iPad has a few movies on it, so we let the kiddos watch a movie during the car ride, and a little bit of one each night before bed. That way they got their tech fix without it interfering with the most important aspects of camping.
3. Explore Nature – Use your camping trip as an opportunity to teach your kiddos a little something about nature. Even a city-loving gal like me has some sort of outdoors knowledge to share. We talked to our kiddos about being careful on the slippery rocks in the river, showed them the little fish swimming near us in the water, let them play with rocks and sticks and dirt at the campsite and pointed out birds, deer and any other wildlife every chance we got.
4. Special Outings – Kiddos can get a bit impatient and bored if you ask them to just sit around the campsite for several days (although their Daddy and I would have been just fine and dandy sipping drinks in reclining lawn chairs the entire time). So we made sure and took them on a couple of outings during our trip to get them away from the campsite. We chose a local cafe and the nearby State Park as our main outings, and the kids had a great time.
5. First Aid Kit – Pack a good first aid kit for your trip! Unfortunately, my husband slipped and fell on one of those slippery rocks I mentioned before and got a pretty bad cut on his arm. Luckily, my best friend, who’s a nurse, was there that day and helped him. But when I realized that I had packed only bandages and ointment, but no hydrogen peroxide, I had to run up to the store to buy some. What was I thinking? So I highly recommend taking bandages, ointment, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, Benadryl, AfterBite and pain reliever, to name a few.