Parents who are looking for kid friendly vacations don’t need to look any farther than camping. Tailoring your vacation to the kids — especially while they’re small — lets everyone have a nicer vacation all around; kids have activities that are interesting and fun for them and parents can minimize whining and boredom. Indeed, the Institute of Education at Plymouth University conducted a study that showed around 95% of parents agreed that their kids seemed happier when the whole family went on a kid friendly vacation, like camping. Staying in campgrounds has other positive benefits for the whole family as well and today, you don’t have to rough it in a tent, if that doesn’t appeal to you. Many campgrounds offer RV parking spots or cabin rentals, in addition to places where you can pitch a tent.
Why Go Camping?
Camping is one of America’s favorite outdoor activities — in 2013, the industry netted around $5 billion. The same year, almost 15% of the United States population over the age of six (a little over 40 million Americans) went camping, according to the American Camper Report published in 2014. Camping offers, in many ways, perfect kid friendly vacations, as many families go camping, giving your children an opportunity to meet some new friends during your trip.
Camping offers a plethora of activities — from hiking to water activities — that families can partake in and it offers everyone the chance to get out in nature and appreciate the natural beauty present. Interestingly, almost 60% of campers did regular outdoor activities when they were kids, so going camping now with your kids could instill a value for physical, outdoor activity in them at a young age.
For adults, camping can also prove a welcome escape from the stresses of their everyday and an excuse to put down their electronics and be fully in the present.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Going Camping With Your Family?
The Institute of Education at Plymouth University’s study showed that almost 100% of parents said that going camping made their kids really appreciate with nature and connect with it in a way that they hadn’t before and over 90% said that they felt the skills gained while camping would be useful for their children later in life.
Apart from choosing kid friendly vacations, camping can also provide wonderful memories and be very family-centric, in a way that some other vacations aren’t. Rare is the child, for example, who wants to spend time going shopping or going through multiple art galleries. However, camping can also provide some cultural experiences — camping in Yellowstone or by the Grand Canyon, for example, is a powerful experience for both children and adults.
It’s a time when you might not have great cell service or a reliable Internet connection, so spending time together and staying in the “now” becomes the focus of your trip. And, there are plenty of activities like hiking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, or kayaking in and around campgrounds as well!
Where Can I Find a Great Campsite?
Narrowing down the location of where you want to go is the first step. The Adirondacks and Lake George are often popular for the East Coast, whereas out west, the Grand Canyon and Yosemite draw many campers. Once you have a specific location in mind, it’s time to start doing some research.
Obviously family or friends who have been camping in that area should be your first choice of consultants, as they can tell you where they had a good experience — or where to stay away from. Travel guides and tourism sites are also useful, as are online forums where visitors can leave reviews and honest opinions about the place they stayed.
Figuring out what’s important in terms of amenities will also help you find the right campsite. Is Wi-Fi crucial? Do you feel a little leery of unisex showers and bathrooms? Answering those questions will make the campsite hunting a little easier.
Despair over kid friendly vacations no more. Camping has you covered and you may find that you return year after year!