Last weekend the time has come, we started our first camping holiday. How we liked it, what we experienced and what our conclusion to the camping holiday with children is? Have a read:
Following the motto “you must have tried everything once”, we were brave and packed kids and chattels on a camping trip to the Rhine. As a professional companion, we chose a VW California van. A good decision! The car is compact and offers everything you need in the smallest space. Our car came surprisingly even with a small kitchen.
So it started for the first stop in Koblenz. There we parked our van on a small campsite and enjoyed the beautiful view. The campsite was located directly on the “German corner” in Koblenz, where the Rhine and Moselle meet. With a few handles and gimmicks, our VW was equipped with two big beds. The kids got super excited about having the second bed on top of the car. They climbed from top to bottom, from bottom to top, opened and closed the ventilation windows, and slept very little! But for that we laughed a lot, enjoyed the sunset and played football with the kids until late in the evening.
The next morning we had breakfast outside (our dear friends from Osnabrück are real camping experts and even cooked eggs in the morning – thanks for that!) and rebuilt our camper in a few minutes to a ride-capable vehicle. The only annoying thing that is that all blankets, covers and Co. have to be tidied up repeatedly.
Over the days, we traveled a lot, discovered the area around the Rhine-Main-Moselle really well, visited wineries and found with the children old castles, palaces and playgrounds. A huge plus for the journey is that all belongings are always with you in the van. You can look for nice place to stay wherever you feel like. In our case, we could not get enough of discovering and visiting new places so on the following days we drove back late night to our campsite. Our children remember the time of our journey as a very special one. Because they had fun, so much fun to be honest! The whole day they were together with their friends and family playing and laughing, enjoyed rides in the huge van, had barbecue at the campfire and had a picnic in the meadow in front of the camper!
Lessons learned for our next camping trip? We got quite a lot:
- Warm blankets at night are the most important equipment for the trip. We expected a scorching heat in the bus and were therefore not sufficiently prepared for the actually cold nights.
- Inspect the campsite before traveling as good as possible, so that there are no nasty surprises, such as dirty sanitary facilities. Disinfectants should anyway belong to the basic camping equipment.
- Mattresses in the caravan are very poor. Our friends’ alias camping professionals had an extra charge for their beds. If you would as us afterwards, this is a very smart decision.
- For children, the food supply at the campsite is usually not that easy. Therefore, next time we would take several small snacks such as dried fruit for them.
- Nothing beats the first coffee in the morning right after getting up. Unfortunately not so easy to get while camping. A small coffee press is always good to have.
- Parking with campers is a case in itself, because most parking garages are designed only for normal cars. It often happened to us that we had to park outside the city center. Next time we would inform ourselves in advance, where the suitable parking lots are hidden.
At the end of the trip, we were all looking forward to our own bed and a nice warm and long shower! The children were sad when we returned camper. Our daughter was even dreaming of having the car in her room to sleep there every single day!
Conclusion: We liked the informal atmosphere, the low prices for pitches and above all, that you are usually on the fresh air. This is an absolute highlight especially for the children. For us, the nights were very exhausting because of uncomfortable mattresses and wrong equipment also the sanitary facilities on the campsites did not meet our expectations. Therefore, we decided that we prefer a nice hotel or apartment for the camping bus as a place to stay on vacation. However, never say never, when the kids are a bit older, we really want to text our camping experience again.
How about you? Did you already go camping with your Family?