Their first time camping
Sleeping under the stars, in touch with nature, a wild experience that will be sure to keep your little ones entertained. Yes, we are talking about camping, the kind of holiday that is perfect even with very young children.
First of all, you have to start off with the right spirit: a camping holiday is an adventure and should be lived like one, even if this means going without a few home-comforts. Lucky for you children adapt easily, so if you carefully plan your destination and your accommodation, your children will soon feel comfortable.
If you’re thinking about a holiday with minimalist accommodation in addition to the destination, think about the travelling time, carefully plan everything and deal with the unexpected with imagination and high spirits. If you really find yourself in a crisis there is always the option of finding a room or an apartment to continue the holiday.
Obviously in high season this might be complicated, if not impossible. But with small children high season should be avoided anyway!
A useful suggestion before a long camping holiday, is to do a sort of practice run, maybe just one night with your children. This will help you to manage their expectations, plan the rhythm of the holiday thinking about the children and understand what is really needed in terms of equipment (which maybe you hadn’t thought about) and understand what could be superfluous or impractical.
The next step is to concentrate on luggage. This is a tough part, because you need to get the amount of luggage down to a minimum. Prepare one bag each, opting for clothes which are easy to wear and give you the chance to match different clothes for style and colour. And use the same criteria for the children, even if you can manage to bring a few more clothes.
Marseilles soap and a good piece of string to hang the washing easily solve the need to freshen up t-shirts and trousers, and especially if you’re at the seaside, they will dry in a minute.
The same thing goes for equipment, travel light! So, say no to the push chair, rather go for a baby carrier, a plastic box with a lid on for the kitchen and one for food, keep them closed and as tidy as you can. And what about sleeping? A good mat and a sleeping bag will be perfect.
The last thing to choose is where. The first thing to keep in mind is shade: a well shaded spot allows everyone to relax and stops the tent from overheating during the day. The second aspect is whether you are near or far from the camping structures. Spots near the bar, restaurant and recreational areas obviously tend to be a bit noisy, but the toilets are the element that you need to think about when looking for a strategic position. They shouldn’t be too close but not too far either, because you need to be able to reach them whenever necessary without having to cross the whole campsite.
Even if you have followed all the preparation steps perfectly, the first few days at the campsite will require a period of adjustment, where you will have to learn rules and methods to adapt to different situations. But with the right precautions and most importantly with the right spirit, a camping holiday will repay you with a lot of fun and relaxation!