Whether your kids are toddlers or teens, they’re the perfect age to take camping. A family camping trip is prime memory-making time. If you want to make sure the memories you’ll be creating are positive, though, don’t leave your campsite to chance. Ask yourself some key questions, make a list of your must-haves and do your homework before booking your spot.
First, you’ll want to decide how far you’re willing to travel to get to your campsite. National Parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone may be on your bucket list, but if your time is limited and your kids are younger, your best bet may be to find a local campground. You don’t need to travel for hours to enjoy time in the great outdoors. Visit the website of your state’s parks department to find a list of campsites near you.
Identify What You Want
Once you’ve narrowed down which public campground you want to visit, consider what your ideal campsite is.
- Do you want a rustic experience, or do you need access to restrooms and showers?
- Do you need an electrical hookup?
- Do you need to be within close proximity to a restroom?
- Do you prefer a campsite that’s within close proximity to a playground, camp store, amphitheater or other amenities?
- Do you want a campsite that allows campfires?
- Do you need a campsite with a grill, or do you plan to bring your own camp stove?
- Do you want to be near the water (for easy access to fishing) or do you want to be far from water so you don’t have to worry about your young children drowning?
- Do you want to pitch a tent and have privacy away from other campers? Or do you want to car camp and hopefully meet other families?
- If you will be sleeping in a tent, is the campsite you’re considering on level ground?
- If you’ll be sleeping in a tent, is the campsite away from marshy areas that may be mosquito breeding grounds?
Every family is different, and your ideal campsite may look very different than another family’s. Whether you prefer to camp in rustic fashion or camp in comfort, the important thing is that you’re going. Time spent outdoors, unplugged from our device-driven world, is always time well-spent!