Family Camping Tips

You’ve completed the planning and preparation for your family camping trip and are ready to embark on the road trip―one you will remember for a long time. You’ve made a list and checked it twice to ensure you have everything you’ll need.

The Cajun Palms RV Resort (Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) swimming pool contains a big plastic pirate ship for children to board and a gigantic purple-and-green dragon stretched across the middle of the water.  © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Cajun Palms RV Resort (Breaux Bridge, Louisiana) swimming pool contains a big plastic pirate ship for children to board and a gigantic purple-and-green dragon stretched across the middle of the water. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There is a variety of campgrounds and RV parks from which to choose including private RV parks; casino campingmembership parks; nationalstate, and county park campgrounds; Army Corps of Engineers parks; national and state forest campgrounds; and service club facilities.

Family campground amenities vary greatly, as do the prices campers pay to use them. The most visited places tend to be more comfortable, more sought after, and more expensive.

Whether you plan to stay one night, a weekend, or longer, there are family campgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada to meet your needs. All are unique. No two parks are the same. Each family campground will provide something a little different.

What are the best tips for choosing a campground and campsite that you and your family will love?

Nothing can make or break your family camping trip like choosing a campground not suited to your family’s needs and interests. When selecting a campground, think about your camping style and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you camping with a young family?
  • Are you an active family looking for outdoor adventures?
  • How large is your RV?
  • What amenities do you require? Full hook-ups? 30- or 50-amp electric service?
  • Are you looking for a rural or urban setting?
  • What is your camping budget?
  • Do you travel with pets?
Buckhorn Lake RV Resort near Kerrville is the perfect place to stay while exploring all there is to see and do in the Texas Hill Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort near Kerrville is the perfect place to stay while exploring all there is to see and do in the Texas Hill Country. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

There are numerous ways to locate and research campgrounds. A good place to begin is the on-line Good Sam RV Travel Guide and Campground Directory.

Ratings help you select the appropriate park for your particular needs and interests. Keep in mind that the final ratings are a composite of several different areas of interest.

The “perfect” family campground may vary from family to family. Think about your family’s favorite activities and choose accordingly.

In selecting its list of Top Family RV Parks for 2014, Good Sam chose RV parks and campgrounds that feature amenities, entertainment, and education programs that serve family members of all ages.

These parks cultivate an atmosphere that’s welcoming for families big and small.

Some of the parks affiliated with family-friendly local attractions include Fort Wilderness Resort, which is built in a pine and cypress forest adjacent to Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Several parks are in close proximity to major cities, including Edmonton, Alberta’s Glowing Embers RV Park and Travel Centre with the nearby West Edmonton Mall and its World Waterpark, Galaxyland, Ice Palace, and world-class shopping. Also visit Fort Edmonton Park, Telus World of Science, and Elk Island National Park.

Arches is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Arches is renown for an awe-inspiring combination of arches, cliffs, stone spires, and other dramatic rock formations. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many RV parks offer family-friendly water features, such as Cajun Palms RV Resort in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, which boasts a water slide, fully stocked arcade, and pool with inflatable toys, and a recently added Prehistoric Park including a life-size T-Rex and a 70-foot-long brontosaurus.

Several parks offer education programs, including New York’s Lake George RV Park, whose Nature Awareness Program enlightens guests about local flora and fauna.

The all new and updated 2014 Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory includes more than 13,500 campgrounds and RV parks, including 2,100+ Good Sam RV Parks, as well as travel information, RV tips, and tools to help you to plan and organize your family camping trip.

Order your copy today!

Once you’ve arrived safely at your chosen family camping destination, you can relax and enjoy. Some family camping trips are purely put your feet up and do nothing more than put a worm on a hook or a boat into the water.

Others are for sightseeing. Remember that you are on a family camping trip. Don’t go crazy trying to see and do everything in an unrealistic timeframe. You’ll pay the price with cranky kids―and likely cranky and stressed-out adults, too.

Relax and go home refreshed. The whole family will be asking to go camping again soon.

Worth Pondering…

The ultimate camping trip was the Lewis and Clark expedition.

—Dave Barry

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