[Guide] 10 tips for successful camping with children

Planning a family holiday at a campsite? Although camping sometimes may seem to be an activity which requires a lot of preparation, it will all pay off the moment when you arrive at the campsite.

Guaranteed are an abundance of family fun, quality time spent in the open air and long-lasting family memories.

Campsite Polari swimming pool

PHOTO: Campsite Polari – Istria

Wishing to make planning and organisation of camping with children easier for you, we have prepared a guide with some tips and a list of items which you are sure to need during your camping holiday.

1. Find your campsite.

Pick a date and start looking for a campsite. As the most attractive periods fill very quickly at Croatian campsites, choose where you would like to be as soon as possible. In choosing, take into consideration the campsite facilities and activitiesfamily campsites are as if made for holidays with children.

2. Choose the way of camping.

Camping does not necessarily mean sleeping in a tent or a caravan. Campsites increasingly offer different types of accommodation – modern, fully equipped mobile homes, gathered into themed villages or glamping tents. Should you wish to experience all the magic of camping with your family while, at the same time, enjoying all the comforts of your own home – try a different style of camping.

3. Engage your children in the planning. 

Do not forget to plan together with the children. Show them the campsite photographs, let them choose what games they wish to take with them and let them pack their own bags (of course, under your supervision). Apart from enjoying being a part of the holiday planning process, children will acquire the habit of planning and organisation.

4. Equip yourselves well.

Regardless of what type of camping holiday you opt for, certain camping equipment is essential. Do not forget your tent, matches, insect repellent, scented candles against mosquitos, suntan lotion/cream and equipment to use if it rains. Whether you have forgotten some of your camping gear at home – you can buy all you need while on holiday, too.

5. Make a list.

Jot down every single thing that comes to your mind while thinking of it – thus, you will lower the probability of forgetting something. Before you set off, take some time to sort out your lists of items, based on everything you had noted. When you’ve done so, go through them with your family – maybe they will remember something you forgot. Use our list of items for camping in order to make sure that you take with you all the basic camping equipment.

>> Download Checklist: Camping gear for your camping holiday in Croatia <<

6. Familiarise your children with the campsite and its house rules.

Although the journey itself is unpredictable, make an effort to organise yourselves to arrive at the campsite before dark. It won’t be fun either for your children or yourselves to have to put up your tent in the dark or, even worse, have to spend the night in the campsite’s car park, as some campsites do not allow vehicle entry after 11 p.m. Once settled in your tent, caravan or mobile home, acquaint your children with the campsite and its basic house rules. Go together for a walk and find out where the sanitary points, children’s playground, swimming pool, restaurants and shops are situated.

7. Cook fast and simply.

Forget long afternoons of cooking lunches. For camping, choose fast and simple meals – barbecues, lots of vegetables and salad – children can assist you in their preparation, too. At the majority of campsites you will also find shops where you can purchase the desired foodstuffs, so there is no need to take all the food with you from home. By all means taste autochthonous dishes of the place you are staying in or pluck up the courage and try to prepare them yourselves.

8. Visit nearby places.

Camping doesn’t only mean staying at the campsite. Without fail visit nearby places and familiarise yourselves with the culture and way of living of their inhabitants. Get informed at the campsite reception about some of the events held during your stay and enrich your family holiday.

9. Join fun activities.

The campsite activities which will occupy your children’s time are innumerable. Mini clubs, swimming pools with toboggans and attractions, creative workshops and sports competitions are just a few of the entertainment programmes which will make your children happy, but you, too. Join them and create your memories!

10. What if it’s raining?

This is a question which, most probably, every parent asks when camping with children. An ideal time to visit nearby places. If you decide to stay at the campsite, turn a rainy day into a fun day and open your own box of activities which you brought from home. Have a family social game or make a book of your holiday with your children – all you need is a new notebook, some glue, colouring pencils and some interesting small items from the campsite nature (small stones, small sea shells, feathers, etc.)

Below we bring you a list of camping gear – add or delete items according to your own needs. Gather together your camping gear and forget the sentence: Gosh, if I only had…!

Download Checklist: Camping gear for your camping holiday in Croatia