Travel Tuesday: How to plan a successful family camping trip
As the weather warms up, more vacationers are heading outside. A great addition to your next family trip is Mother Nature.
Whether it is in the mountains, by the beach or in the forest, a camping trip is a great way to reconnect with your loved ones and recharge in the outdoors.
But the idea of hauling your kids and everything they need can seem intimidating (if not downright impossible).
It can be done. REI.com offers a family camping checklist, to help you get started.
Here are three more tips to help you plan a successful family camping trip.
1. Practice before you go:
Get your kids used to the idea of sleeping in a tent by doing a trail run at home in your backyard. Set up the tent and go through the motions, just like you’re at the campsite.
You can find a wide assortment of tents, even for families of six or more. Pair them with Cash Back and coupons, like 4 percent Cash Back from ShopAtHome.com for purchases on Backcountry.com. Kelty Yellowstone 6 Person Tent, on sale $183.96 (plus Cash Back), Backcountry.com
2. Consider car camping:
Especially if you are new to camping or you have little ones, a lengthy hike through wilderness may not be practical. Instead, select a drive-up campsite with a picnic table, fire pit or stove and easy access to a community restroom with running water. This can make the transition easier.
Depending on the dates and location, campsites can fill up quickly. Be sure to research your campsite area ahead of time. Many campsites offer reservations ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about finding a spot upon arrival.
If you don’t have a picnic table, pack foldable chairs to sit on. You can even find compacting fold-and-go chairs for kids. Paw Patrol Fold N Go Chair, $14.94 (plus Cash Back), Walmart.com
3. Combat the darkness with fun:
If you’re far from the city and ambient light, camping can get really dark, and that can make some kids anxious. Make the nighttime fun (and a little safer) by passing out glow sticks to your kids. They’ll know where everyone is and the sticks provide a little light, too.
You will also want to make sure you have a lantern, head lamps and/or flashlights. Flashlights and glow sticks automatically lend themselves to fun, but some after-dark classics include story telling, flash light shadow puppets and night games. 6-Pack Glow Stick Straws, $3.92 (plus Cash Back), Walmart.com