Seriously, there is a chance for a good holiday lurking beneath the idea of this sinister beast known by many as ‘camping’. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve gone camping now (family of 6 – about as luxurious as our holidays get) and, collectively, we have discovered the art of camping, I’m even willing to share 4 secrets on how you too can genuinely enjoy your time away, even if it is 2 hours inland to a rainy patch of countryside that not even the locals have heard of.
1. Bring Some Form of Entertainment
I won’t beat around the bush; it can get rough. Holidays are usually to get away, but being cramped in a car for 4 hours + with your family doesn’t exactly bring that peace and quiet that is synonymous with holidaying. So, bring something to ease that pain, some headphones (noise cancelling preferably – you’ll need it) maybe a book you can get lost in, games on your phone, even family games you can all play, something as simple as 20 questions will stop arguments before they start. These are any campers ‘must haves’ and they can help you battle through the worst of days.
2. Check the Weather
Please, do yourself a favour. Arriving at a campsite to set up a tent in pouring rain is like biting into a cookie only to find out it has raisins in it: frustrating, unexpected and it leaves a sour taste – sometimes for the rest of the holiday. Camping is often no more than a weekend and if you don’t check the weather accurately it’s very likely the rain is non-stop for the time you’re there.
Yes, there was sunshine with highs of 25 degrees the weekend before, but if you’re not checking the weather for when you are there, then it could easily leave a damper on your time and even the most optimistic people are no match for a rainy weekend and sleepless nights as rain pounds on your tent.If you’re really unsure about the weather and would do anything to avoid rain, well, don’t go to Wales.
3. Camping is Not Glamping
Have some respect for us campers out there, if you like the sound of warm cosy beds, tasty meals and clean toilets, I don’t know what you’re reading this for. That is not camping. The primary difference is that ‘glampers’ go expecting a good time, and get exactly what’s expected, but ‘campers’ have the bar so low it’s difficult to be disappointed and therefore, they technically have a better time. I’m sure everyone knows the ‘glamping’ family: you’re shocked when they tell you they went camping for 2 weeks before you uncover it was actually glamping and then the real kick in the teeth is when they tell you how strenuous it was.
Which part? you think; selecting what colour to have your mood lighting or trying to save space for your three Michelin star meals? Don’t be those people, go camping and find joy in how it brings everyone together and all the little things you notice.
4. Don’t take it too seriously
That brings me to my final point: relaaax. Things will go wrong, you will get stuck in traffic, you will make (many) wrong turns, no matter how much you check, it still could rain, you may overload your roof box and not tie it down tightly enough so it comes off and duvets and shoes may end up flying all over the M5 (sound specific? It can happen). But if you whine and moan whilst they happen it will put you and everyone else around you in a bad mood.
So why wait to laugh about these stories around a dinner table with friends 5 years on? Why not just laugh whilst it happens? It may be scary, but in the end, you will end up OK, you’ll get to your destination, maybe just a bit later, and, so what if it rains? Just go to the beach and swim in the rain. Don’t take it too seriously, laugh at the absurdity of it all rather than worrying what will happen and, I promise you, you will have a good time.
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