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Ten tips for a successful family camping trip

Kimberlea Turner

If you’re preparing to head off on your Summer family camping trip, whether it’s a short trip or a long trip, we’ve put together 10 tips to make your trip just that bit smoother.

1. Do a practice run at home

Whether this is pitching your tent to make sure you have all the gear, working out how your fridge works or having the kids practice sleeping in the same room — if you’ve got the opportunity for a practice run, it will pay dividends, while also feeling like your camping trip lasts that little bit longer.

2. Click and collect is your friend

Nothing beats planning and ordering your groceries before rolling into the supermarket carpark to load everything up on the way through town. It also prevents you forgetting that bag from the fridge on the way out of the house.

3. Have an easy heat and eat meal for the first night

You’ve already driven for hours, then set-up always takes longer than expected, so make it easy on yourself by having something on hand that you can pull out and heat up — think frozen pizza, American hot dogs, or a meal you prepared earlier. Keep it S.I.M.P.L.E.

4. The first night is always the hardest

If you’re prepared that your first night of sleep is going to suck, it won’t suck so much! The kids are out of routine, you’re in a new place, you’re sharing a room, it sounds different, and it feels like they Will. Not. Go. To. Sleep. that first night. It’s the same for everyone (well, everyone we’ve spoken to). Roll with it, and everyone can have a mid-afternoon rest the following day.

5. Plan time to do “nothing”

It’s so easy to write a big list of places you want to check out and explore, but don’t forget to schedule some downtime at the beach or playground or just hanging out at camp. From our experience, it’s never until we sit down and do “nothing” that we remember how vital it is.

6. Embrace the dirt

Yes, your caravan/tent will be filled with sand/grass/dirt/leaves/rocks/crumbs. Yes, you will sweep the floor 9000x a day. No, it won’t really help. But the kids will have such an adventure thriving in the outdoors. Pro tip: Keep a bucket of water by the door to rinse little feet in on the way inside.

7. Add a sprinkle of magic

Don’t forget toasted marshmallows, torches and glow sticks in the dark (also helpful to keep track of the littlies), a campfire with friends (fire restrictions permitting) and all those things that memories are made of.

8. Pack a first aid kit

You’re generally that bit further from a main city so it’s best to be prepared in advance with a good stock of band aids, allergy medications and pain relief etc.

9. Be prepared for rainy days

A good book, a couple of card games, some craft supplies or some magnet tiles are going to get you through the downpours relatively unscathed.

10. On the flip side, there’s no such thing as bad weather…

…only bad clothing choices. Remember to pack the wet weather gear and get out and explore anyway.

There’s not a lot better to get us out and about in all seasons… than two kids in a caravan.


Kimberlea Turner, 2 Kids in a caravan

All photos ©2023 Two Kids and a Caravan

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