A large majority of Americans are watching their expendable income shrink, which means far less money for extras like family holidays. Camping vacations are a fun and inexpensive option, so more and more families are vacationing at campgrounds every year.
In 2013, American families spent a total of 516.6 million days camping. While RV camping can be an exciting option, most families choose tent camping for their outdoor adventuring. A campground is the perfect option for tent camping, as most offer onsite activities and amenities that will keep even the most active kids entertained. Choosing the right home away from home is essential for a successful camping vacation. Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing your next camp ground getaway.
How close can you park your car to your tent camp sites? Many campgrounds allow you to park your car right beside your tent site, but some require you to park in a designated lot away from the camping area. Your car can be great storage for valuables and breakables, as well as shelter to keep your gear dry during wet weather. If having your car close at hand is important to you, ask about parking.
Is there a campground host/manager onsite at all times? Family-friendly campgrounds generally have a live-in manager who is responsible for keeping the peace, but some sites may have hourly employees who leave at night. Look for camp sites with onsite managers; you’ll feel safer and happier knowing help is just a few tents away.
Are open fires allowed at tent sites? You have visions of s’mores, campfire stories, and cooking over an open flame, but the camp rules might have other ideas. Many campgrounds prohibit open fires, and offer metal grills instead. If you have your heart set on a campfire, make sure to ask ahead of time. And don’t forget to bring your own firewood. Camps located on national forest land are especially prohibitive about where you can get wood for your fire.
What amenities does the camp offer to guests? If you’re camping with kids, this will be at the top of your list of questions, as there is nothing worse than bored children. Keep your kids active and entertained by making sure the campground of your choice includes activities that will appeal to your whole family. Some 87% of families who camp together also participate in more than one outdoor activity while camping. Swimming pools, playgrounds, water slides, hiking trails, and bike rentals will make your days far more fun, and your kids will thank you.
Choosing the best camping vacation spot for your family is the first step toward a fun and inexpensive option for a holiday. Give lots of thought to the features that are most important to you, and you’ll enjoy your outdoor adventure and find a new home away from home.