What are the pros and cons of taking children on a camping holiday?

February 04, 2023

Read on to find out about the advantages and disadvantages of taking your children on a camping holiday.

Some people love camping, and can happily forgo a shower for days on end while reveling in the joy of being one with nature. For others, who are perhaps a little more dependent on home comforts, the thought of camping renders awful images of being cold, dirty, and uncomfortable. Whichever camp you fall in, there are some benefits to taking children on a camping trip that are worth considering for your next family holiday. Plus, with the modern invention of glamping, reconnecting with nature has never been so homely.

Colorful tents ready for occupancy
Photo by Xue Guangjian

What are the pros and cons of taking children on a camping holiday?

    Here are the top pros and cons of taking the kids camping to help you plan your next adventure.

    Quality time outdoors

    Spending time immersed in nature with your family is about as wholesome as it gets, and doing so provides massive benefits to your children's emotional and physical development and well-being. Exploring new places together is a great way to connect with your children and encourage them to foster a love for wildlife and the natural world. You could collect sticks, leaves, and feathers to make a collage, or play hide and seek in the woods to add a fun twist to your hike or stroll.

    Sleeping under the stars may result in your family following a more natural sleeping pattern whilst camping. Without artificial lights and curtains, the kids may well fall and rise with the sun. However, drifting off outdoors can be a little unnerving for the unpractised camper, so prepare for it to take longer to get them to sleep than usual.

    No matter how much fun you have during the day, there’s nothing like camping in winter to make you appreciate brick houses and central heating. Consider carefully which season you plan your trip, as children are more sensitive to temperature changes than adults. With cold nights possible even throughout summer, pack plenty of warm pajamas, thermal socks, and blankets to ensure your children enjoy their trip.

    Fun around the campfire

    Everybody loves a real campfire, and building one with the kids can be a lot of fun. They will jump at the chance to help gather sticks, build the fire and keep it burning. It’s a perfect opportunity to teach them fire safety and build their self-esteem too, of course, don’t forget to pack marshmallows for toasting!

    The downside here is that everything will smell of smoke for at least two wash cycles, so it's a good idea to pack less-valued clothes that you don't mind potentially being ruined.

    It’s economical in the long run

    Aside from the emotional benefits of camping, practically it tends to be a far more economical option for a holiday than staying in a hotel or bed and breakfast. Although it can be expensive initially, purchasing a good tent and well-made equipment will save you money in the future if you plan on taking regular camping trips. Once you have everything you need, a typical pitch is far cheaper than a hotel room. The average campsite in the USA costs between $25 - $45 dollars a night.

    Your next adventure

    Overall, camping is a great way to take a holiday with a reduced carbon footprint, whilst making wholesome memories and encouraging the kids to think more environmentally friendly. Children will likely also really enjoy the novelty of not having to take a bath and being able to wake up early and immediately run around outside. 

    With all things considered, are you going camping?

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