Even when you have the best intentions for epic travel with your kids, the reality of family life can interfere. Kids can be too squirrelly, parents are often tired and there’s not much energy left over for a deluxe vacation. Sure, it’d be nice to take your kids on international trips but many parents are hesitant because their kids are not yet conditioned for traveling. If your child is glued to their at home routines, stress and meltdowns can ruin an expensive vacation. If these concerns ring true for you, yours may be a family that needs some pre-travel training.
I’ve recently started recommending family summer camps as an easy alternative to expensive, unpredictable travel. And really, family summer camps are a lot of fun and will make amazing memories for you and your children… I promise!
What are Family Summer Camps?
There are many styles of family summer camps but basically, they are an all-inclusive camps that offer daily activities, camping, and meals for kids of all ages (including parents)! This usually includes age-appropriate group activities such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and more! Sound too good to be true? Imagine just showing up at a camp site in a beautiful forest or lake and having your tent already prepared and facilities that are family-friendly. It’s a great way to break children (and parents) into traveling away from the comforts of home while exploring the unknown! You all get to have a ton of fun… without the stress. (Do note, however, that some camps are not all-inclusive so please check your specific camp details before you book.)
Some family summer camps are structured camps that have specific start and end dates. And then there are camps like the Family Camp at Yosemite that allows you to pick your dates and the duration of your stay. You’ll also have the choice between a mega camps or smaller intimate camps. Some families prefer a structured, resort-like camps. Other families may prefer the freedom a smaller, less structured camp allows… we certainly do! Either way, there is something for every parenting style out there!
A few things to know when planning a family summer camp.
- Many all-inclusive Family Summer Camps charge by the person, but sometimes 3 and under are free.
- These camps tend to have a very limited open season so reserve early to ensure you get your preferred dates with good campsite location.
- You may need to pay extra for some activities like horseback riding and fishing permits.
- Some family summer camps may offer different amenities so check for things like tents with electricity, wheelchair-accessible and even cabins with private showers.
- In case your family summer camp is far from shopping, bring bug spray, sunblock and anything else you feel is necessary for your summer camping adventure.
- Camping in the wild requires extra precaution, even if it’s in a structured campground. Check with the camp directors on restrictions or requirements for the area.
So, are you ready to go?! Grab some of your closest family friends and make a list of the best family summer camps to choose from. Spending time at a family summer camp will help you child get used to sleeping and traveling away from home before you head off on a big international trip. With a family summer camp, you and your family can enjoy your summer vacation and still come back home with a suntan and a smile.