1. Research the campsites you plan to stay on before you book. Keeping the kids out of trouble and allowing yourself some time to relax is much easier if there are good facilities for children on-site. Look for multi-lingual kids’ clubs, playgrounds and pool facilities. Our guides are a great resource for finding the sites with the best facilities.
2. If you’re taking an infant, find out if the site has baby bathrooms and crèche services. These are not essential, but may make things a lot easier when it comes to bath time or grabbing some down time.
3. Keep them entertained in the car. This is particularly pertinent if you have a long drive ahead. Make sure the car is well stocked with colouring sheets and games, or that there is a tablet close to hand so they can watch movies. It’s also wise to have cushions or pillows to hand in case they want to sleep.
4. Ensuring children are comfy when you’re out and about is essential. Pack suitable rainwear for the dreary days and sunhats and sunscreen for warm weather. Make sure you have spares such as dry socks for feet that like to paddle, and carry plenty of water and snacks.
5. As an organised parent, you’ll already know this, but wet wipes are a must for sticky mitts. Some easy-wipe covers for the caravan upholstery are also a good idea – there’s nothing worse than trying to mop chocolate mousse off a cream sofa!
6. A medicine box is always going to come in handy when letting the kids roam in the great outdoors. Plasters, allergy medication and, of course, Calpol are first aid essentials. Anti septic wipes are also great for cleaning any cuts and scrapes.
7. Safety is also something you need to bear in mind. From brightly coloured clothes that make it easy to keep an eye on the kids to safety ID straps that can be put on little wrists in case they get lost – it all adds peace of mind.
8. Your caravan is a much smaller space than your home, so where possible let the kids play outside to run off some energy, even when it’s wet. Alternatively, an awning allows kids a little more space to wear themselves out before bedtime!
9. Finally, it’s OK to allow yourself some time to recover too. Pop the kids into the children’s club for an hour and unwind with a spa treatment or a good book.
Editor - Alan Rogers Guides
Rob has been involved in the leisure industry since completing a BTEC in Travel & Tourism in 1993. Previous roles have included the promotion of tourism in Yorkshire and running a motorcycle touring company in the Australian Outback.
He is the General Manager at Alan Rogers Travel Group, responsible for the ongoing development of the Alan Rogers website and the publication of the Alan Rogers Guides and 'Destinations' magazine.
He regularly travels with his wife and young daughter in their Dethleffs 'Campy' caravan. A keen cycling fan, Rob can often be found in a field in Belgium during the 'Spring Classics' season or riding his Royal Enfield Himalayan motorcycle.
Life on a campsite is tailored for children, so there’s never a dull moment from the instant you arrive at your pitch. They love the freedom, the space to run around and explore. And of course there’s plenty of opportunity for getting slightly grubby – and the chances of a bath are slim which is even better news for most under 12s.