Camping means being in contact with nature. If you like camping yourself, a camping holiday with a child can be one of the most fun and relaxing holidays you have ever had. But only if you have the right utensils and are prepared for all eventualities.
For children it’s a hit: they can be outdoors all day long, are safer in a foreign environment than almost anywhere else, and can take big steps towards independence; there are usually plenty of playmates. Parents can relax – as long as it doesn’t rain.
Camping holidays with children must be planned
Good planning is everything. As with any other holiday with a child, the special needs of children must also be taken into account. This is decisive for the question of where to go. Because only if the children are satisfied, the parents can enjoy the vacation likewise.
Where do you want to go?
During a camping holiday, a child-friendly campsite is extremely important. This can be recognised by the following criteria:
- There are spacious and well-kept play areas for children.
- A leisure programme for children is offered.
- For toddlers there is an extra playground and a paddling pool.
- There should be children’s sanitary areas and facilities for babies (nappy-changing area, bathing facilities).
- The campsite should be marked as a family campsite and should be quiet at night.
- -Restaurant, supermarket and snack bar should be available at the site.
- Bathing beaches near the campsite should be suitable for small children, i.e. there should be a sandy beach and a shallow entrance to the water.
In good camping guides, such as those offered by the ADAC, you will find a good overview of the many campsites that are available as holiday destinations. Here you can search online for the right campsite:
Preparation via camping checklist – What belongs in your luggage?
Those who pack according to a checklist forget less. When camping holidays with children, it is particularly important to have everything you need with you and to be prepared for all eventualities. In addition to a general checklist, which you are best advised to draw up together with the child, your child should also write his/her personal checklist.
You can find an example of a camping checklist here: http://www.einsteiger-portal.de/bumerang/camping.pdf
Especially if you are going on a camping holiday abroad with an infant, you should take enough of the familiar baby glasses and diaper brand with you. Then you won’t have to bother with any incompatibilities and the associated ailments of your child.
There must be something going on on vacation!
Children love spending their days at the campsite and playing with their new friends. If that should get boring, there has to be a change. You should take this into account when choosing a campsite. Choose a camping site where the surroundings also have something suitable for children.
The culinary supply
During a camping holiday it may be a bit easier to have meals, as the parents also want to relax. Nobody is bothered if there are noodles with tomato sauce for two days in a row. Especially for children, food is usually not that important anyway. However – especially when travelling abroad – you should consider the special preferences of the children so that there is no potential for conflict simply because there is not the right brand of cornflakes at the holiday destination.
All help together
This experience is the educational effect that parents and children benefit from during camping holidays. It’s everyone’s turn to do the dishes, everyone’s turn to take away the garbage. Clarify in advance, but at the latest at the beginning of the holiday, how the tasks will be distributed. This results in a nice togetherness and strengthens the sense of community.
How much freedom is possible on the campsite?
The nice thing about camping holidays is that you can give your children a lot of freedom. There are hardly any cars and if there are, then only at walking pace, there are people everywhere who can help a child if it falls or gets lost. It is not so rare that a child is temporarily “adopted” on the campsite. They can of course eat with the parents of their playmates or they are invited three tents away every day to cake with the friendly older couple. On camping sites there is usually such a relaxed and casual atmosphere as one would wish for in everyday life.
Nevertheless, of course rules apply – also and especially for the children. So the rest periods are to be kept and it is taboo to simply run across the tent area of others. Loud screams and bicycle rallies between the tents and caravans are also undesirable. How much a child needs to be regulated depends on his or her behaviour – at least talk about the rules that apply on the campsite beforehand.
A camping holiday can be super relaxing – if you think of everything and let it be five straight. Just enjoy letting your child have as much freedom as is otherwise hardly possible and relax on the beach or simply in a deck chair in front of your tent.