Last month we went on our first camping trip as a family – although, because we don’t have our own camping gear, we went glamping instead. And it was eye opening for us. So here are a few things we learnt on our first camping trip as a family:
- Sometimes, other people are so inconsiderate. Families playing football against the side of our glamping tent despite us asking them to move their goal. Families waking up at 7am and, despite the campsite being silent, shouting to friends and family in other tents, waking up everyone around them.
- Glamping isn’t just glamping, facilities can vary massively. When we went to Crealy at Easter we really were spoilt – but we didn’t realise it at the time. Our tent had a wooden frame and a locking door – compared to an actual tent flap and no lock on our latest glamping trip. We also had proper crockery and glasses – but this time we had typical plastic camping cups and plates. However, the 4G signal at our most recent destination was pretty damn good – but you had to pay £10 for wifi – so I just skipped work for the weekend and switched off which was lovely – and doesn’t happen often.
- People get really drunk when they’re camping and it seems to be the theme of many British camping holidays. This is something I remember from my childhood – playing games late into the evening whilst adults got drunk around us – but I’d forgotten just how drunk people get. Being pretty sober and listening to drunken groups around us was eye opening.
- Kids are so easily pleased. Give them a ball and a play park and they forget their tablets for a weekend. They are happy to run around and make their own fun – and sleeping in a tent is an adventure for them too.
- But, if the weather is bad it’s more difficult to entertain them. Board games, card games, books and tablets are all winners – but there are only so many games of Uno you can play.
- Kids make friends so easily. Within minutes of arriving at our campsite the children had made friends. They played with them, chatted to them and looked so happy in their company, dashing out to play with them again at every opportunity.
- When you have just a hob to cook on it can make meal times quite eventful. I remember my parents cooking sachets of just add water food for us on camping trips – chilli and bolognese. But, being the adult and thinking of things to cook with limited facilities is something you really have to get used to – unless you eat out all the time. Hotdogs are a winner!
- Camping actually isn’t that cheap. I remember as a child we went camping because it was cheap and my parents couldn’t afford anything else. But, the place we stayed, if we’d been on a typical touring pitch, would have been over £100 for three nights. I remember when I was a child it was about £7 a night – and my parents paid under £100 for a week. That’s inflation for you! Plus, our glamping stay was more expensive than a local hotel would have been for the same duration…
- Whatever time of year you go, even in the peak of summer where the temperature is in the 30s, you will get cold overnight. Blankets and onesies are a necessity – and layers are your friend. We were thankful for the stack of blankets we keep in the car as standard.
- You cannot, ever, bank on the weather. We went away in blazing sunshine and somehow slept through two nights of storms and epic rain. We came home feeling like it was April all over again!
We had a really nice weekend and I think camping – or glamping in our case – is something we will do every so often to give the children an adventure. But, when I asked LP and Little Man if they preferred camping or a hotel they both said the same thing – they love having their own bathroom in a hotel and having a nice hot breakfast cooked for them. But, they loved the adventure that camping gave them. And that pretty much sums up how we all feel about camping – it’s an adventure but we love the home comforts a hotel break brings.