Camping 101: Top Tips for Families

Whether you’re venturing out for your first-ever camping trip with your significant other or planning your annual family camping vacation, below are some top camping tips to consider, especially in today’s travel climate, courtesy of Campspot’s CEO, Caleb Hartung.

Consider both nearby and onsite amenities

Some parks shine based on the amenities they offer directly on their properties, such as expansive waterparks, laser tag areas, or themed weekend events. Other campgrounds are desirable for their proximity to historic sites, national parks, or famous attractions. Both factors are important to consider when planning where to stay, based on your appetite for adventure vs. relaxation.

Book online

Camping should be considered no different than the hotel industry in terms of ease of booking and accessibility. This is something Campspot is actively working to provide on a large scale. Gone are the days of struggling to reach parks via phone, or struggling to find contact information online all together. Browsing and booking in a seamless platform is much better.

Explore lodging in your neck of the woods

Camping doesn’t have to mean trekking cross-country to a remote area. As a novice camper, it’s like breaking in new shoes: best to start with small walks before planning long hikes. In fact, most campers do choose to stay close to home, with the average trip being within a 2-hour drive from where someone lives. Campspot allows you to discover the many wonderful campgrounds and RV parks near you. By making this information available at your fingertips, we’re working to make spontaneous local camping trips the norm.

Pack right

All campers, including first-time campers, should pack sunscreen, closed-toe shoes, bug spray, snacks (bring a lot of snacks — better to overpack than underpack), and a swimsuit. If you’re bringing your own camper, then bring extra toiletries. Rustic lodging may not come with some toiletries, but any cabin that lists a bathroom will come prepared with toilet paper.

Don’t overshoot

Book a weekend or 3-day trip. One night isn’t enough to start relaxing and get acclimated. The average first time camper stays 3 nights.

Pick safe spots to set up camp

If you stay on a private campground, pitch your tent in designated areas. Furthermore, stay on designated trails and paths.

Avoid leaving food out overnight

If you’re staying in a tent which does not have a fridge like an RV or cabin would, don’t leave trash or food scraps outside at night where animals could be attracted. Avoid packaged foods that will tend to melt (i.e. a granola bar covered in chocolate). Bring a cooler. Most camp-stores sell ice (it’s the #1 sold item besides firewood). Most importantly, don’t leave a trace; take out what you bring in.

Be mindful of campground etiquette

Part of being a good campground neighbor means:

  1. Keep music and other noise to a reasonable level even during the daytime. Even when there’s a good portion of space and vegetation between sites, sound still carries. Most parks have quiet hours after which noise around campfires needs to be kept to a minimum, including music, voices, and laughter.
  2. Be courteous of your arrival time for setup noise. Same goes for leaving very early in the morning.
  3. Keep pets under control and always in your sight.
  4. Respect campsite boundaries. Don’t walk across other people’s sites.
  5. Leave the site as clean or cleaner than it was when you arrived.

Campspot, the largest online marketplace for RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins, glamping options and more, has seen a massive increase in bookings this summer, with over 80% of bookings coming from first-time users. For many of these travelers, it’s also their first-ever camping trip!  Families and couples also constitute the top two groups booking getaways.

Related articles:

10 keys to a stress-free camping trip with the kids

Get Camp Ready

Texas camping: a new look at an old kind of bonding

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