This vacation season might not be what we were all expecting, and we’re probably all going to be staying closer to home. And whether you have kids or not, you’ll be looking for some inventive ways to take a fun, relaxing and/or adventurous vacation. So, here are a few top tips on how you can make your summer vacation what you want it to be, while staying close to home.
We don’t know about you, but camping tends to fill us with excitement and fear in equal parts; freezing nights and boiling mornings in tents, a procession of grilled and canned food, and a conveyor belt of dirty clothes and wet wipes. But there are ways to make it fun — we promise.
First, do your research before you head out. You’ll want to pick a location in line with your vacation expectations. If you’re looking for adventure, scout out wild camping spots; if you’re looking to relax, pick an up-market camping site (many have swimming pools and glamping on offer); or if you’re looking for a quick weekend getaway without the kids, head for a party-centric site where you won’t disturb your neighbors.
Secondly, you need to pack your essentials accordingly. What are you planning to do? What is the weather going be like? If rain is on the cards, make sure you bring your raingear. If sunshine is possible, bring hats and sunscreen. And if it’s going to be cold, make sure you have layers. In any case, your essentials will need to include wet wipes (and plenty of them if kids are involved!), cutlery and cooking equipment, flashlights and a medical kit for any (hopefully non-) emergencies. There are a few real deal breakers for making the trip comfortable: a big tent for everyone to easily fit in, some warm sleeping bags, and blow up mattresses or thick sleeping mats.
Finally, you will need to add the fun bits; speakers, marshmallows, games, booze, paddling pool, BBQ equipment, coolers, and anything else you deem fun.
Caravan or trailer vacations
Much like camping, finding the right spot for your tent or trailer vacation depends on what you’re looking for. First of all, choose whether you want a moving or static caravan or trailer. A moving one will give you the freedom to move around the area, visiting different spots and lend itself to the more adventurous and energetic. Ones that are static will allow you to kick back, relax and enjoy a more restful vacation in one place.
Either way, you’ll need to choose where you want to go: seaside, countryside or a bit of both? If the kids are in tow, you will want to pick a spot where you have enough activities and space for them to enjoy and give everyone some space while they do.
Beach vacations are probably the most popular summer getaway. So, it’s important to pick the right spot. If you’re not a fan of busy beaches and would rather a secluded and relaxing break, you will need to put in the research. Although they exist in abundance, the secret beaches are the least talked about. An easy way to find them is to hop in your car and go on a driving adventure, stopping off at those you like the look of.
However, if you’re after the ease of a popular beach with its many restaurants, public toilets for the kids, and pre-organized chairs, rent a house or apartment and create your own home-away-from-home.
For your beach vacation, remember to pack the essentials: numerous swimsuits for each person, loads of sunscreen, umbrellas, sandcastle building equipment, beach games, and plenty of towels, chairs and blankets.
Park & playground days
Are you considering a staycation this summer, rather than a destination vacation? Many of us probably are. Although we’ve given you a guide to enjoying your staycation in full, there are a few essentials you will need for a regular park or playground visit.
Try to plan a different activity each time you go to the park and get the little ones involved by asking them to brainstorm some ideas. A few to get you started are themed picnics, treasure hunts, play dates, relaxing reading visits, BBQs (if the park permits), and the hotly anticipated sports days.
There is really only one rule with your park days: make sure you’ve packing spare food, drink and sunscreen. No matter where you live and whatever the climate, the sun can get the better of all of us.