Camping with kids is great for creating fun family memories, but we all know that travelling as a family is not always easy. Knowing what to pack, planning for the weather, staying safe, or just keeping the kids happy are common things for parents to face when camping.
Here are our top tips for camping with kids to help you make your next family trip a success.
Have a Packing Checklist
Camping requires a few more essential items than other holidays to be a successful trip. Even if you are staying at a campground with full facilities, it is important to be fully prepared for your camping adventure. We recommend writing a packing checklist before you leave the house and checking it off as you pack so you don’t forget anything important.
In addition to your regular holiday essentials and camping basics like sleeping bags, chilly bin, and a tent, here are a few things we recommend you bring when camping with kids:
- Insect repellent
- Water-resistant sunblock
- A portable charger
- Kitchen essentials – these will look different for every family but might include things like tomato sauce, salt and pepper, ingredients for a basic salad, bread etc.
- Rubbish bags – there might not be a rubbish bin right next to your campsite, so bring your own rubbish bag to help keep your campsite clean.
- A picnic blanket
Camping essentials will look different for everyone. Think about the things that your family uses regularly and try to incorporate them into your camping trip as best you can for a comfortable and seamless holiday.
Plan for Wet-Weather Entertainment
The weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable so take a moment to plan your wet-weather entertainment options. If you are staying at a campground, check their website in advance to see if they have kid-friendly indoor activities. Otherwise, make sure you bring your favourite board games or have some movies ready to go on your tablet before you go.
The weather in NZ can be unpredictable so take a moment to plan your wet-weather entertainment options.
Bring Some Home Comforts
Camping can sometimes put kids out of their comfort zones. Bringing some familiar things from home can make a huge difference and put your child at ease.
Whether it is their favourite blanket, toy, pillow, or their favourite Netflix show downloaded on your phone – your child will thank you for it. Some Tasman Holiday Parks are pet-friendly, so you can even bring your dog along too!
Teach Campsite Safety
When kids are on holiday, regular safety rules are often forgotten. Take the time to teach your children about staying safe while camping. If you are staying at a campground, walking through the campsite together when you first arrive is also a great way to explore the campsite and set boundaries. Show them exactly where they can go on their own and where they can only go with a parent.
Make sure to go over basic rules like no running around tents etc. It is also important to point out the areas where campervans and cars can drive through as these are not always obvious.
Go Over Campground Etiquette
When camping with kids, it is especially important to be mindful of other campers. Camping is exciting and sometimes this means that children might be noisier or have more energy than usual.
If they are older, teach them to get up quietly in the morning and spend that time reading a book or colouring in until breakfast. Also, try to set a clear boundary between your campsite and your neighbours, so your children are not intruding upon their space.
We hope that these tips have been helpful for planning your next family camping adventure.