So now that you’ve all read my family camping story, I know you are eager to find out how you too can have an awesome camping trip with your own brood.
I’ve put together a few short tips on how to set yourselves up for having the best experience. Because we live in Northern CA, this is the area that I’m most knowledgeable but these tips will be useful where ever you’re located.
- First, plan ahead. The most popular camp sites tend to get booked up months in advance so you’ll want to look at your family calendars and start looking into the summer/fall and pick a time that you’d like to think about taking a little camping trip. Having a little flexibility will really increase your chances of getting a great site. Check out Reserve America to search for camp sites all over.
- Think about location. Do you want to stay within one or two hours of home or are you looking to venture out further? Do you want to head north or south? Have you always wanted to check out the Yosemite Area or Pismo Beach? There are campgrounds all over the state and if really want to make a trip out of it you can plan to camp somewhere close to other attractions you might want to visit.
- Decide what you want out of the trip and be realistic. Do you like the idea of “camping” but are not really one to commune with bugs and other critters? Are you hoping to just unplug and embrace nature? Or are you just going along with it cause maybe your husband or kids want to go? It’s important to really think about what you can be comfortable with so that it will be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
- Think about what kinds of options do you want to have. Are you thinking you’d like to visit a state park or maybe be close to a lake? And what is the level of “camping” your willing to take on. For example, we did tent camping for out little trip but there are other options. Let’s say you’re just starting out and you’re not ready to sleep in a tent. There are some great sites where you can get a cabin. It will be a little pricier but you should be comfortable and enjoy the experience so it will be worth it.
- Also do you want there to be activities available or are you wanting it to be super kid friendly? If that’s the case, consider going to a KOA. These are great because you have the option of getting a tent site, if you’re up for it or you can also get a “Kabin”. Plus, they are super family friendly and have all kinds of fun things for kids to do. Including a swimming pool, snack bar, playgrounds, movies, etc. The KOA in Santa Cruz even has Airstreams you can rent as lodging (we’re totally doing that). And if you really want some options, (that even include pampering) you can head somewhere like the Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, where you can get a tent site, a tent cabin, or stay in their lodge. Plus, they have a spa available. Camping + massage = very happy mom!
- Book it!
And let me know how it goes. . .