Longer Camping Trips with children

Discussion in 'Camping with Kids/Pets' started by gettingthefamilyoutdoors, Apr 17, 2016.

  1. gettingthefamilyoutdoors

    gettingthefamilyoutdoors New Member

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    So far a 4 night and 5 day trip is the longest trip we have taken. We always stay in state parks with electric/water hook ups, bathhouses and other facilities. Our girls are 5 and 9. They enjoy camping but usually seem to get a little antsy to come home around the last day or so.

    Getting to travel and experience a wide variety of places was our main reason for getting the camper So We have started researching for some trips for next year that would be more road trip style. These trips would be a further distance from home and involve staying at 2-3 locations over the course of 7-10 days.

    I was curious what other's experiences have been on longer camping trips with children? And what ages they were? Any tips or suggestions?
     
  2. Miamomof8

    Miamomof8 Member

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    We are taking our 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1yo's for two weeks in June then four weeks in July. We will survive, Lord willing, and hopefully have fun, too! My husband's not so certain, haha.
     
  3. twinmom

    twinmom New Member

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    We started camping in a popup when our twin daughters were 5, they are now 16. We have made three trips to Disney World, involving a week long stay each time. All other trips involved a 2-3 night stay at several different campgrounds. I used to limit us to a 250 mile trip in between stops, but can now push that to 300+ miles a day since they can help with set up and tear down. I look for campgrounds that either have activities there--beach, hiking, etc. or are near something of interest--national park, tourist spot, etc. I prefer three night stays as that gives us two days to check out the area and less set ups/downs with the camper. I try to limit one night stands, but depending how far away our final destination is, some are inevitable. For example, one trip from our home in central Texas took us to Balmorhea State Park in west Texas (CCC spring fed swimming pool in the middle of the desert)to White Sands National Memorial in SE New Mexico, on to Albuquerque/Santa Fe, SW Colorado (4 Corners/Mesa Verde NP) with a stop at Carlsbad Caverns on the way home. They were 11 years old on that trip. The different locales with lots to do at each location kept everybody happy.
     
  4. Bombers

    Bombers New Member

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    Our girls are ages 7 & 9. Over the years, our longer camping trips typically range from 7 to 14 days with our longest trip exceeding over 5000 km round trip. All of these camping trips have been with other families which includes children the same ages as my girls. Because they are camping with their little buddies, the girls are usually quite upset when it's time to come home.
     
  5. twinmom

    twinmom New Member

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    I forgot to mention that we have often visited science museums and/or zoos on our trips. We joined our local zoo (AZA.org) and science museum (ASTC.org) and use reciprocal agreements for free or reduced price admission to other museums and zoos. When my girls were four we were living in Omaha, Nebraska--courtesy of the USAF. We went to Sioux Falls, SD for a weekend--pre-camper days. One day we went to the zoo, the next day, which happened to be rainy, we went to the museum. We all had fun and it was budget-friendly.
     
  6. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    We have traveled out to CA for three weeks, and we go down to St. George Island for a week at Christmas each year. This July we are going out to Santa Fe for two weeks. We had a blast out west, and the PUP served us very well.

    If you need a warm up trip, how about joining us at the 2016 Alabama Summer Rally, June 3-5 at Desoto State Park? So far three other families are coming. We had a super time last summer!
    M&K
    http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=101398.0
     
  7. gettingthefamilyoutdoors

    gettingthefamilyoutdoors New Member

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    Thanks so much! We already try and do something like this. Like we will hike one day. Then the next day we'll go to a museum. We try and not do the same thing everyday.
     
  8. matwiyj

    matwiyj Active Member

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    We have done many long trips with kids and I kind of differentiate camping from travelling. We love going to the provincial and national park campgrounds for weekend camping trips, but when we travel we usually stay at KOA or Jellystone Park campgrounds. There is always a nice playground and pool and each one has different ammenities that the kids look forward to exploring. They LOVE the KOAs!
     
  9. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I think that you will be fine. The antsy feeling might be from doing the same few things for several days (especially if it is at a frequently visited park for you) and knowing that their toys are right around the corner. Moving on from a new location to another new location to explore should cure this on a longer trip.

    Have fun!
     
  10. hahahamilton

    hahahamilton Member

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    The longest we have gone with our 2 boys (ages 10 and 7) is 10 days split between 2 campgrounds. Even though we camp at KOA's where there is tons for the kids to do, we always try and pick one day, were we leave the campground to go to a museum or something like that. Breaks up the trip.

    The other thing that we allow is 1 hr max per day of electronics time. While I grew up having none of that, the reality is that sometimes it is the break that the kids and parents need.
     
  11. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    We have been camping for two weeks at a time with our kids since 2008 when our youngest was 5. We have seven kids, some don't camp now. Main pointers would be doing different things and exploring as a family so that there are things going on. You can usually plan things in advance and have options for weather. The other thing I would say is to not move too often until the kids are a bit older. That is, try to stay at least two nights in one place if possible (may need to one night on the way out and back). That way, you can have a sort of a base camp and do exploring but always come "home". Kids like activities and we often try to stay at a place that is more fun with a pool and so on every 3 to 5 days. I like to take them on lots of hikes and so on, then a little relaxing at night and they are all ready for sleep.
     
  12. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

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    The longest we did in the pup was 5 days . It poured and was miserable the whole time. Even though I booked 6 months before and requested a 30 amp site to run the ac they gave me a 15 amp or a overflow lot. Even then the kids were happy. I think with the TT we can go a few weeks as they have bunks ,games ,tv DVD and there tablets.
    This year we are doing 2 10 days trips in a 4 week span. That will tell us.
     
  13. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    I just did a week trip to AZ from San Diego with my 7yo son.... We did not have electric nor water at the site. He did great as always, he even had his tonsils out the day after we got home and on the way home from the hospital he asked to go camping!!! [LOL]
     
  14. TwinsTaxi

    TwinsTaxi New Member

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    I took a 3 week, 5000 mile road trip with my then 5 year old twins last summer. They loved it and kept busy the whole time. We spent 1 week going out to California from Minnesota, stayed in CA for a week with family, then spent another week returning. While we were on the road, we spent a maximum of 2 nights in any location. If I had to do it again, I would reduce the number of one night stays. I was strict about only using electronics during the driving, which helped them really focus on seeing things in the campgrounds. I also had them turn them off during at least half the drive to look at the scenery and not go completely zombie on the drive. We mostly stayed at National and State Parks, with an occasional private campground, plus a couple of nights at a motel when I had an extra long drive. I love the KOA camps with the kids and had nothing but good experiences at any we stayed at.
    I
    We're gearing up for a similar trip leaving late May, this time, heading from Cali to MN, as we've relocated. We'll definitely take some more time and stay longer at most of the locations.
    I brought many on the road activities, such as different card games and books. Every park we went to they would try the Junior Ranger programs, which kept them busy with those books after leaving on the way to the next stop. If they didn't have that available, I would look for some book that had information about where we were, so they could look at that while the visit was still fresh in their minds. It's almost a year later and they still go back to those books and remember so much.
     
  15. mtnbkndude

    mtnbkndude Member

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    Great post. I bought my camper last year with the idea of traveling as opposed to just local camping. Our longest trip was 3 nights, with a 5+ hour drive. We are talking about driving from Oregon to NC or FL next summer. Camping 2-3 nights at each spot along the way. This year will be full of small trips and a lot of note taking to prepare for such a long trip. My 5 and 7 yr olds love camping. They keep asking when/where our next trip is.
     
  16. Mimito12!

    Mimito12! New Member

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    The longest we have camped was for 6 days with the kids and grandkids to Branson Mo. We had a Hybrid, PUP and a tent. Everyone had a great time just being together. The drive was about 6 hours, but with stops etc it was more about 8. I want to take the Hybrid and go out east, but DH says no. I think if we do it like others have done and stopped for a couple of days to see the sights around the area, it might be fun. But I will have to wait until he retires .
     
  17. Jughed

    Jughed Member

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    We just did 18 days and close to 6000 miles with 3 kids - 11, 9 & 5 - and our 90# dog.

    Kids loved it.
     
  18. Frau_jd

    Frau_jd New Member

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    We are in the midst of a 3.5 week ~5000 mile trip with my 6 and 7 year old boys. I can echo much of what others have said... 1 night stays are not for us, and in fact we have stayed at hotels 3x when we really needed two days driving time. That has certainly helped. Campsite selection is important, and I have learned a lot on this trip. I prefer state parks/national parks but I have been pleasantly surprised by some of the KOA's we have stayed at. The one we are at now, in Jordan, MN has lovely trees, a great playground and is well located for access to the Twin Cities. We stayed at another one in Rapid City, which I did not care for--it was clearly big rig oriented. I would know now better how to evaluate that and they do have great activities for the kids and are located in urban areas if you want to do some city sightseeing etc. I think I will always personally prefer the parks, and lots of times those are an option, but this has helped us do more traveling with the pup.

    I can say the boys love it and I feel like we are making memories...
     
  19. Haybale

    Haybale I'd rather be camping!!

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    I just got back from a 23 day camping road trip with my 8yo (was 7yo when we started the trip), and other than having books, toys, and snacks handy everything else is pretty much like a local trip!!!
     
  20. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

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    Just got back from a 15 night / 16 day trip with myself and my 5 yr old granddaughter. Trick is keep them busy...lol
    We had almost a week of wet weather for our first week...but that's what rubber boots and slicker are for! I always pack a box of cheap "dollar store" toys also. At night she falls asleep to a movie on my laptop.

    First week was boondocking but the second week we had power etc. I always try and get a serviced site and use the provincial / national campgrounds due to the fact both have the amenities for kids....playground, nature walks etc.

    Now...that said, I have bought her her own camera and she LOVES trekking about "taking photos with Papa"!
     

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