March 30, 2021
Camping with children may not have ever entered your mind when dreaming up your next idyllic holiday.
However, with a bit of preparation, it can be an amazing holiday filled with memories you’ll cherish for a long time.
A holiday away in your campervan conversion with the children is a great way of switching off from all the chaos of every day life and getting back to basics as a family.
We (Georgie and Lewis Taylor!) have two kids of our own and have done our fair share of camping trips with them in tow - in fact, we spend almost every weekend (unless it’s raining!) exploring the great outdoors in our campervan.
Therefore, we thought we’d impart a bit of wisdom picked up along the way.
This article covers pre-camping, what to pack, things to entertain the kids while away and a few more useful tips to boot.
Hopefully by the end of this list you’ll feel well prepared to pack up and head off in your campervan on an adventure-filled trip with the kids.
As with anything in life - if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail!
Okay, that might be a bit of a step too far - you aren’t going to ‘fail’ at camping, but there are a few things to think about beforehand which will make your life a lot easier.
If you’re heading to a far flung campsite which may take a few hours to reach, consider planning your breaks in advance.
Have a look at which service stations you’ll be passing and make sure you take a pit stop so the kids can pop to the loo, stretch their legs and get some fresh air.
Make sure you’ve packed snacks and entertainment too, as they’re bound to ask for something within 10 minutes of you setting off.
If your journey is a particularly long one, it’s worth considering an overnight stop just to break the journey up and stop boredom setting in.
Clothes, and lots of them! This may sound obvious, but kids can get pretty dirty, especially when they’re rolling around in grass or spending a day at the beach, so make sure you’ve got enough outfits for all eventualities. This includes 2/3 types of footwear and two coats (you never know when the weather will change).
Beach gear! Buckets, spades and nets are must-haves for catching fish and crabs at the beach, plus a football for games on the sand.
Outdoor table and seating. This may also sound like a given, but a good eating area set up really is essential in our opinion. A table and chair combo is a space saver and also creates a dedicated place for you all to sit and eat together, so you can keep an eye on the kids! Also outdoor camping chairs (plus kid-sized ones!)
Blankets and cushions are a must have, both for chilling outside in the sunshine during the day and snuggling up in your campervan at night.
Portable loo - if you didn’t already realise, children aren’t very good at holding themselves when nature calls! Having a portable toilet to hand will make everyone’s lives easier.
Hand soap - kids are notoriously grubby as they get stuck into everything! So make sure you’ve got plenty of hand soap and wet wipes at your disposal.
While it would be lovely to think we could entertain our kids with nature alone, there is merit in taking along some extra bits and bobs to keep their brains occupied, particularly on a rainy day or when you’re trying to unwind with a glass of wine in the evening.
These pre-made entertainment packs from Keep Em Quiet are a great option if you haven’t got the time or inclination to put your own packs together (let’s face it, we’re all busy people!).
There are packs for boys and girls from age one up to five plus, and you can also pick up themed packs for Easter, Halloween and Christmas if you fancy. Starting at £14.99 the packs include toys, books, games and even healthy snacks for your kids.
If your children are TV lovers, we also recommend the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition, which comes with a one year subscription to Amazon Kids+ so they can access games, videos, books and more.
You can also get apps like Disney+ and Netflix, and download shows to watch even if there’s no internet connection at your chosen campsite.
It’s worth investing in some kind of stand for the device so it can be propped up for easy watching, especially if you’ve got two kids who might argue over who has the best view!
There are far too many great campsites for us to list here; however there are some things to consider when you start planning your trip away.
Consider whether the campsite is, in fact, family friendly! Some of them may be adult only, and you don’t want to find that out after you’ve arrived.
Check out the campsite’s noise policy too - if people are going to be partying into the night your kids won’t get much sleep which isn’t ideal for anyone.
Equally, it’s worth checking that there’s a good buzz about the place during the daytime, so nearby campers won’t get annoyed if your children are making a bit of noise while they’re playing.
Finally, but possibly one of the most important factors to consider, is on-site activities.
A play area is a must and it’s great if there are natural activities nearby such as a river or lake, and/or a forest walk.
It’s so handy having these kinds of activities at your finger tips, rather than having to drive for miles to reach them - it’s certainly a big factor for us when it comes to booking a campsite.
Check the weather before you go - there’s nothing worse than turning up to a rainy campsite and realising you’ve forgotten to pack your waterproofs, or you haven’t prepared any entertainment for the kids to do inside the van.
On that note, do your research about the area surrounding your campsite to make sure there are things to keep your little ones entertained if the good old British weather takes a turn for the worse.
Get back to nature! Camping with children is a great way of detaching from the digital world, so come up with some fun games that involve your surroundings, such as a treasure hunt.
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Hopefully we’ve given you some food for thought! Camping with children can be an amazing, fun get away with your family and is a great way to enjoy your campervan conversion.
It may require a little bit more thought and planning than a ‘regular’ holiday, but we think that’s what makes it even more exciting.
Wherever you head off to next - enjoy!
Remember to get in touch with Taylored Campervans if you want any help or advice with your campervan conversion. Just head to our website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01271 269056 / 07710 544934.