When it comes to making memories as a family that will last a lifetime, there is nothing better than a camping holiday. It is something so far removed from your family’s everyday existence, that your brains just can’t forget it as an experience. There are no creature comforts, not easy to access luxuries, no radiators or bedrooms to escape to. It is the unpredictable great outdoors.
The other things that make it so unforgettable, though, is the fact you get to bond as a familiar but in a completely different environment. That means you will get to know one another a little better, spend some quality time together, laugh and joke and explore the gift that is nature. No televisions, no phones, just you and your family.
But if you want this to become an annual tradition, well, you’re really going to want to get it right first time.
Pick A Good Destination
If your kids are interested in something, then that is going to be a pretty good base to start from. Seriously. If you can land somewhere that will automatically peak the interest of your teenage kids then boom, you’re onto a winner. If you have a got a teenage girl that is into all things adventurous and loves the idea of living off the land for a weekend, like they do in her history books, then run with that. Look for campsites that have lakes and rivers, go and buy some inflatable kayaks and a bunch of fishing rods and enjoy the adventure. If you’ve got a teenage boy who likes the idea of getting a tan and chatting up girls, then why not enjoy a beach break. Perhaps you are a cycling family. No problem. There are plenty of trails out there that you can head to. But getting this part right will be a big factor to the longevity of your camping trips.
Fill Your Car With Everything
Okay, there is a simple equation you can follow on this one; if there is some space left over in your vehicle, then find something to go in it. Seriously, the more balls you throw at the coconut shy the better your chance of hitting one. It could be that you pack a spare tent to be used as a communal space, or a storage spot. Why not pack a hammock or two? It could be the very thing that your little girl loves. It could be the very thing that gets your little boy into reading or astrology, as he looks up at the stars. If a footwell is free then fill it with balls; footballs, beach balls, volleyballs, cricket balls, tennis balls. The more choice they have the better. Or perhaps you have space for some fairy lights, that little something to make your campsite more magical and memorable.
Make The Food Seriously Special
Camping is all about getting into the spirit of the outdoors, and that means it is your chance to get creative with the food. It could be that you brought a 6ft barbecue grill with you, or it could be that you decided on exploring one-pot meals for three days; it doesn’t matter. Just get creative and get everyone involved. Try wrapping bananas in foil and grilling them, or making cheese toasties with odd fillings, or even going traditional with smores. Of course, a great camping trip should never neglect the classics, but the most memorable stories will come from statements like, “do you remember that time dad tried to make cookies on an open fire.”