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Camping with the Kids

Camping is a great vacation option for families because it gives you a chance to spend real quality time together. But as with all family vacations, camping requires some planning and preparation to ensure you get the most out of your trip.


Here are some tips from our family camping gurus to make sure your trip is memorable:

Make a List and Check it Twice
Camping requires a little more gear than your standard trip, so start making your list a few weeks in advance. As you plan your travel gear, think in categories -- like kitchen equipment, sleeping space, entertainment, and more -- to keep things manageable and focused.

Plan Together
Get the kids excited for your camping trip by involving them in the planning process. Some parents may want to give their kids a chance to vote on the vacation destination, while others are more comfortable letting their kids handle smaller tasks like choosing a vacation activity, packing their backpack or planning a dinner menu. Even giving them some reading materials about their destination will help pique their interest.

Practice Makes Perfect Camping
If you plan to tent camp and your kids are first-timers, do a trial run in your backyard before you go. Make the experience as realistic as possible by grabbing some sleeping bags and setting up a tent so your kids get comfortable with spending the night under the stars. This test run is also great for adults, giving you a chance to refine your camping checklist during your backyard staycation.

Create a Home Away from Home
Let the kids help set up the campsite so they feel at home in the great outdoors. Depending on their age, kids can assist in sweeping the site, setting up the tent, unpacking gear and more. Then make sure everyone has duties to keep the campsite clean and comfortable and the group well-fed throughout the stay.

Have Fun and Learn
Camping offers so many different kinds of experiences these days that you won’t have to try too hard to learn something new. From boating and outdoor excursions to culinary events and more, campgrounds offer a full slate of activities designed to teach and entertain all day long.