5 Tips for Campervan Travel with Children

Travelling with your kids is an amazing experience, discovering new places together and watching them grow. Campervan travel is an exciting way to spice up family holidays, and with the great deals on campervan hire you should definitely consider it for your next trip. It can be a bit of a challenge the first day, so here are our top tips for travelling in a campervan with children.

Planning

Planning is key to campervan travel with children – they can sense weakness! Also, planning ahead will reduce the amount of work and stress during, as you deserve a break too. Below we discuss planning the right campsite, but aside from that there are several things to consider.

 

Make a list when packing, to ensure you don’t forget anything vital. You can find plenty of examples online. Bring plenty of toys and games, the more the better! Be sure to also plan for rainy days, as those can be part of the experience, and should be embraced for it. Extra blankets and sweaters, as you will always underestimate how cold evenings can get – even in summer! A first aid kit, so that small scrapes and falls can stay small. And a camera, to capture all the amazing moments.

 

For the drive, plan ahead by getting things to keep them busy, and perhaps a playlist of their favourite songs. I like to download an audiobook, to keep everyone entertained. Also bring enough snacks for on the way, to avoid hangry children and unhealthy choices. Staying hydrated is vital, so pack extra water and juice.

Choosing the right campsite

Part of planning is choosing the right campsite. Depending on the age of your children, you may wish to select a campsite with the appropriate amenities. Campsites have changed greatly in the past decades, and many come equipped with more things than you could imagine! You could select a campsite with a pool or playground, with a petting zoo or sports fields. Maybe you need the right campsite for your relaxation, so go for one with a spa or restaurant. My personal advice would be to go for a campsite that allows dogs, even if you don’t have one yourself. This results in plenty of dogs around for your kids to play with, and many owners would even let them take the dogs for a walk! 

 

Be sure to clarify the rules with your kids when you reach the site, how far they’re allowed to go. Campsites could be near a forest or roads, so make it clear where they’re allowed. Try to avoid changing campsite everyday, unless your route demands it, as this could confuse children and reduce their experience. Part of the appeal of a campsite for kids is making new friends, so stay at least two nights in a location. 

Enjoying the outdoors

One of the struggles of taking children on holiday is their endless energy, particularly when cooped up in a hotel room. Campsites are ideal for this, as it gives them enough space to tire themselves out. During daily life, children can spend a lot of time indoors and behind screens, so this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. This is best achieved through fun camping games, such as organising a scavenger hunt! Write them a list of objects they could find nearby, such as “a flower”, “something blue”, and see what they find. 

 

Also bring sporting equipment, such as a racket or football, to keep them entertained for hours. To continue the fun outdoors, why not BBQ for dinner? Delicious!

Rainy days

Rainy days in a campervan can seem like they’d be a real hassle, but that’s completely up to you. You decide if it is a problem, or a fun opportunity! And your kids will pick up on that too. Consider it a chance to stay cosy in blankets, drink hot chocolate and play games together. A great advantage to a campervan is the space it provides compared to a car or suitcase, so bring plenty of board games and fun things to do.

 

Need a way to distract the little ones while it pours? You can find plenty of great activity books, with word searches, drawing activities and more.

Home on wheels

Children can struggle away from home, so to make them feel a little more comfortable, bring comfort items from home. Having their own bed sheets, favourite cup or toys, can really help them feel at ease. This reduces the transition and gives them plenty to keep busy with! That’s one of the biggest advantages of a motorhome, as the space allows you to bring more.

Tentrr, A New Way to Camp

Are you camping-curious, but not sure you want to deal with all the tent and sleeping bag related hassle? Have a hesitant spouse? Or perhaps you love camping, as we do, but are ready to try something new and different with your friends and family this fall. We recently headed out with Tentrr, a new company that gives you the camping experience you are after, from the most basic and remote locations to the “glamping” end of things as you desire. The best part? No set up or breaking down, you just go. When you arrive, everything is ready for you, just like a hotel (but way cooler, since you are outdoors and get to spend some time in nature).

easy camping

There is no end to the benefits of spending time in nature, from *physical health benefits like improving your immune system as well as mental and emotional health and well being (boosting you mood and giving you a creativity boost for examples), your whole self will benefit from your time camping. It doesn’t matter if you choose to really “rough it” or not, just being outside with your family will give you a wonderful bonding experience and memories that you can keep forever.

(*These and other health benefits of spending time outdoors can be found at  https://www.health.harvard.edu)

camping with kids

In a similar manner to Airnbn, Tentrr works with private landowners to cater to the camping community. These landowners install a “fully-equipped campsite on their property. Each campsite comes with a canvas wall tent on an elevated platform, bed, wood stove, Adirondack chairs, fire pit, grill, picnic table, sun shower, and camp toilet. Tentrr is perfect for families who love the outdoors but don’t love all the work associated with camping like packing a car full of stuff or pitching a tent.” (Via Tentrr)

family campsites

There are no crowded campgrounds, no tents or campers parked just feet away from your site, so you and your family can truly enjoy the solitude and quiet of nature.  We camped in Tivoli Trails in Tivoli, NY. It was our first experience with Tentrr, and I have to say it was so much easier and thus more relaxing for me (the main packer and set up person) and gave me more time to enjoy rather then rush about that first and last day. It’s really an ideal situation for those looking for a quick weekend trip as well, since it removes the time it takes for setup and breakdown, which can be substantial.

best camping

Also similar to Airbnb, there is an App you can install that lets you keep in touch with your campkeeper, for any questions or last minute issues that might arise. Forget something, get lost, confused about anything? That’s cool, you can message anytime. The messages also come to your email inbox and you are able to reply and talk that way, which for me was helpful since I’m less on my phone then I am on my computer. I know, I’m old.

great family camping

You can opt in for “extras” as well, such as towels, sleeping bags, pillows, etc. You will have all sorts of options when you make your reservation. There is also the ever-useful “camp kitchen” that is already there, and has everything you need to cook and clean up. This was my personal favorite, since bringing your own takes up a lot of space. If yours is not pre-packed, it also takes a lot of time to pack up (and if you are like me, you always forget something).

At this time, Tentrr has nearly 700 fully-equipped campsites in the USA and they are always adding more. Visit https://www.tentrr.com to choose your next getaway.

Best Items for Active Parents

useful camping items

We love camping, and this is a great time of year to head out to your favorite campsite (or find a new one to explore).  What to pack, besides your tent and sleeping bags? We have a few suggestions for the Best Items for Active Parents.

best flashlights

One of the most important things to bring with you is lighting. You don’t want to wonder what you are about to run into on a middle of the night bathroom run. Recently, VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools and Mountain Khakis came together to bring out a very cool camping torch that is also a survival tool kit. A powerful light when you need it, you can also unscrew the cap to find mini disks that have different tools one might find useful inside. Lightweight at only one pound and impact resistant, it comes with 12 tins inside, including the flashlight disk itself, instructions, a compass, water purification tablets, first aid supplies, and more. The flashlight has four modes of LED light on it as well- medium, high, red, and SOS.  Available for $130 at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to mess about with my hair when I’m camping or otherwise outdoors. Basically, I just want it kept out of the way. I really like Seirus, they offer a variety of options to keep you protected from the sun and as dry from sweat as can be in a no fuss manner. They have these multi-functional what they call “neck tubes” on the site, and that’s a pretty accurate description since that’s exactly what they look like. They can be worn around your neck to protect from the sun, around your head as a stay put headband that keeps the hair out of your face and sweat out of your eyes, a balaclava, and quite a few other ways to wear it- super versatile. They are quick drying, very breathable, and have a UPF of 25 built in. The site posts videos on the many ways to wear them- check it out. $19.99 at https://www.seirus.com

headbandLooking for something a little more straightforward? They also offer a UPF50 Hinged Headliner as extra protection from the sun as well as a liner and extra warmth under helmets and on bitterly cold days. There are multiple headliners and balaclavas to choose from, prices vary from $16-$35 at https://www.seirus.com

camping

ELEVENPINE has created the most comfortable shorts (available for men and women) and undergarments that are fantastic for parents on the move. Whether you are chasing the kids up and down the trails or kayaking to your campsite, these super comfy performance items will keep you feeling your best. These patented shorts can convert via side zipper from form-fitting to relaxed fit as you prefer. This makes them ideal to wear no matter the activity, from yoga to biking to camping and more, these will fast become your “go to” shorts for all your activities and travels (as well as relaxing afterward). They are also moisture wicking, so they dry quickly without giving you those delightful moisture rashes. Both the men’s and women’s shorts offer easy to access pockets, and there are multiple shorts to choose from. For women, there are also different lengths available, which is a second miracle (I repeat, pockets! Real ones, not those silly waistband “fakies”) considering how difficult it can be to find a performance short that is longer then five inches.  A style and length for everyone, there are multiple options available. Bike liners for men and women are also available. Prices vary depending on item, visit www.elevenpine.com for details and to choose.

yoga shorts for men

Camping Trip Coming Up?

We love camping, and this is a great time of year to head out to your favorite campsite (or find a new one to explore).  What to pack, besides your tent and sleeping bags? We have a few suggestions.

best flashlights

One of the most important things to bring with you is lighting. You don’t want to wonder what you are about to run into on a middle of the night bathroom run. Recently, VSSL Outdoor Utility Tools and Mountain Khakis came together to bring out a very cool camping torch that is also a survival tool kit. A powerful light when you need it, you can also unscrew the cap to find mini disks that have different tools one might find useful inside. Lightweight at only one pound and impact resistant, it comes with 12 tins inside, including the flashlight disk itself, instructions, a compass, water purification tablets, first aid supplies, and more. The flashlight has four modes of LED light on it as well- medium, high, red, and SOS.  Available for $130 at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to mess about with my hair when I’m camping or otherwise outdoors. Basically, I just want it kept out of the way. I really like Seirus, they offer a variety of options to keep you protected from the sun and as dry from sweat as can be in a no fuss manner. They have these multi-functional what they call “neck tubes” on the site, and that’s a pretty accurate description since that’s exactly what they look like. They can be worn around your neck to protect from the sun, around your head as a stay put headband that keeps the hair out of your face and sweat out of your eyes, a balaclava, and quite a few other ways to wear it- super versatile. They are quick drying, very breathable, and have a UPF of 25 built in. The site posts videos on the many ways to wear them- check it out. $19.99 at https://www.seirus.com

Looking for something a little more straightforward? They also offer a UPF50 Hinged Headliner as extra protection from the sun as well as a liner and extra warmth under helmets and on bitterly cold days. There are multiple headliners and balaclavas to choose from, prices vary from $16-$35 at https://www.seirus.com

camping

Mountain Khakis are one of our favorites to wear camping, or really just great for being outside in general. These clothes are durable, breathable, soft, and great for layering in weather that can’t make up it’s mind. Nothing trendy, these will keep their appeal year after year, and they will be wearable for years as well. If you are new to the brand, you might want to start at the beginning. The Men’s Original Mountain Pants are, as you may have guessed, the ones that started it all. Organic, reinforced 2 play cotton and canvas, multiple reinforced pockets, reinforced heel cuffs, and more- you can probably tell these pants are built to last. They come in relaxed and slim fit, with 6 colors available at $84. 95 each at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

mountain khakis

If you want to top them off, we really love the new Pearl Street Collection flannel shirts. Soft, wicking fabric that stretches to give you that perfect feel, it still has a classic fit and look. The material keeps you warm and dry without overheating you. Since it has stretch to it, you can go rock climbing, chop wood for your campfire, go ziplining- whatever- and the shirt moves with you.  These are available for both men and women, with three color choices for men and two for women. They are $89.95 each at https://www.mountainkhakis.com

 

 

6 of the Best Camping Destinations in Lake George, New York

If you’ve ever considered camping in northern New York, Lake George offers some amazing destinations for a family-friendly getaway. Picking the perfect campground not only brings you and your family closer to nature but also saves money because you won’t have to pay for a hotel room and dine out at every meal. Located at the southeast base of the Adirondacks, Lake George has something for inexperienced campers, seasoned campers and everyone in between. Here are some of the best Lake George campgrounds this beautiful area has to offer. 

  1. Lake George Escape 

Lake George Escape boasts 178 acres of beautiful greenery surrounded by the scenic Adirondack Park, which can offer mountain adventures. It’s a prime location, close to the major speedway, which means easy access to local attractions. The resort alone offers an endless number of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Take a turn on the new 19-foot water slide, try your hand at life-size board games or have fun playing frisbee golf or laser tag. Spend the day swimming, fishing, tubing or boating on the Schroon River and make it back in time for Mystery Dinner Theater. For an added charge, kids can go fossil hunting and gem mining. And if everyone is looking to escape the camp, a full day of water park activities await at Six Flags Great Escape & Hurricane Harbor, which isonly a short distance away.

  1. Lake George Island Camping

If you’ve wanted to camp on your very own island, look no further. Several state-owned islands are home to almost 400 different campsites, accessible only by boat, and available to the public. The Lake George Islands campsites are broken up into three groups: the Glen Island, Narrow Island and Long Island. Island camping is a fun way to enjoy a true Lake George getaway. From islands perfect for a couple’s romantic getaway to sites big enough for hosting group getaways, there’s a little slice of heaven for everyone. Every site offers a little something different, but they often fill up fast. If you’re interested in this unique family experience, it’s wise to book in advance.

  1. Moose Hillock Camping Resort

Moose Hillock offers a never-ending stream of entertainment for the whole family. Its claim to fame is the huge pool featuring a Caribbean beach entry, waterfalls, waterslides and caves, which is decked out with LED lights and surround sound. Every weekend, the resort offers a variety of themed games and activities. Families can participate in events such as basketball competitions, family dodge ball tournaments, water balloon fights, volleyball and more. The private areas of the park are great for setting up base camp and exploring the surrounding Adirondack Park or enjoying water activities at Lake George. It is also less than ten miles from downtown Lake George. 

  1. Adirondack Camping Village

Only three minutes from Lake George, Adirondack Camping Village — a secluded and serene location — is the ideal family-friendly campground in the mountains. Even though rustic, this getaway spot still provides some homey comforts for guests. Relax in the heated pools, watch the nightly movie or roast marshmallows over a fire. Kids can visit the playground, have fun in the game room or hop on the daily hayrides. If that’s not enough, nearby attractions include Six Flags, boat cruises on Lake George, Saratoga Raceway, Fort William Henry, Prospect Mountainand Million Dollar Beach.

  1. Lake George Battleground Campground

Established in 1927, just south of the Village of Lake George, is a popular, nature lover’s resort with a historical twist. Because this option is located near Prospect Mountain, great views are guaranteed, but many come to see the remnants of colonial-era military activities. The campground itself is near a self-guided historical trail at Lake George Battlefield Park. If you’re not a history buff, you can opt for a quick walk to the beach and enjoy swimming, fishing, sunbathing and more. Plenty of hiking opportunities allow avid hikers a gorgeous 100-mile view into five different states from the peak of Prospect Mountain. You can also take the family for a day of shopping or amusement parks, which are available nearby.

  1. Hearthstone Point Campground

Hearthstone Point Campground is located on the west shore in the southern end of the picturesque Lake George. Unique to Hearthstone is a Junior Naturalist Program where young campers can enjoy completing educational games and activities to earn an embroidered naturalist patch at the end of their training. Hearthstone Point is perfect for families who enjoy lake activities and hiking. All types of watercraft are permitted here, and hiking trails wind all around the grounds — even down to a swimming beach. 

 

Motorcycle Camping Gear Guide

Part of the glory of owning a motorcycle is the freedom that comes with it. When you’re on your bike, you feel unrestricted by time, responsibilities or location. Yet, at the end of the day, you still have to ride your bike home, pull it into your garage and get back to real life … or do you? 

If you’re two hours from home and decide that the sunset over the Grand Canyon deserves more than a passing glance, you should be able to pull up to a nearby campground and make camp for the night. If you’re riding across the Badlands and decide you want to see the area come to life in the early hours of the morning, it shouldn’t even be a question of whether or not you should pitch a tent and wait for dawn to approach. With the right motorcycle camping gear, you can cave to your whims and fully realize the freedom that motorcycles provide. That said, what gear is the “right” gear?

Lightweight Tent 

If you’re cruising with just yourself or one other person, you don’t need a roomy tent — in fact, you should forego the standard camping tent and instead invest in a one- or two-person backpacking tent. Backpacking tents are small and lightweight, yet they’re surprisingly durable and can holdup in extreme weather conditions. You’ll also save money on gas and space by electing to purchase a smaller shelter. Higher quality backpacking tents often weigh less than five pounds. 

TTLIFE Camping Cookware

If you’re like many aspiring vagabonds, you assume that the only utensils you can reasonably carry with you are a spoon, fork, knife and can opener, but you’d be wrong. The TTLIFE Camping Cookware kit is a 12-piece kit that contains one nonstick pot, one nonstick pan, one pot cover, two bowls, a stainless steel fork, a wooden spoon spatula, a soup spoon and more contains everything you need to cook gourmet meals when out in the wilderness — and it’s just 1.33 pounds. 

Lightweight Sleeping Mat

Like backpacking tents, there are several outdoorsman sleeping mats on the market today. Though they look flimsy, they’re far more comfortable than any sleeping bag and far easier to transport as well. If you put in the legwork, you can find one of these bad boys that weighs in at less than one pound. 

Military-Grade Multitool

You may have made all the best motorcycle mods before embarking on your adventures but that doesn’t make you immune to accidents or acts of nature. When a rainstorm rolls through and your bike gets stuck in the mud, you’re going to need a shovel to dig yourself out. If you want to cut firewood, you’ll need a saw. How will you start that fire? That’s where the fire starter comes in. 

Motorcycle Fairing 

If you plan on travelling a great distance, you want to do all that you can to keep fuel costs down. In addition to packing lightweight camping gear, you should also make a few modifications to your bike, one of which is adding a motorcycle fairing. OEM motorcycle fairings are designed to reduce air drag, which can help both with your travel time and your gas mileage. 

Once you buy a motorcycle, you need a go-to source for parts and supplies. Find everything from OEM to aftermarket parts and from camping gear to motorcycle helmets online

Another Tick in the Box: 7 Essential Pieces of Gear No Camper Should Be Without

Having the right pieces of gear during a camping escapade is always important. However, as a camper and a backpacker, it’s imperative to know what items to take with you and what items to leave behind so you can be sure you are carrying the right weight. Here is a list of seven essential pieces of gear you should always have.

  1. Powerful Lantern

You will not realize how dark it can get until you go camping in the wilderness. For that reason, a good lantern is instrumental as it will help to light your camping area at night. You can look for lanterns with replaceable batteries so you don’t have to worry about staying in the dark when the batteries die. On the other hand, rechargeable batteries are ideal but you will have to carry spare ones since there is no electricity in the wilderness.

  1. Walkie Talkies

There are chances that your mobile phone may lack service while camping. That is why it is advisable to carry a walkie talkie with you so you can remain connected to family and friends without worrying about the dead zones. These are especially instrumental if you are planning to travel with your children as they are an inexpensive way to remain in communication.

  1. Flashlight

A flashlight, just like the lantern, is essential when it comes to camping. These are imperative for safety reason and good for your sanity when camping in the wilderness because sharing a flashlight can be cumbersome. Choose a small and lightweight flashlight with an easy-to-operate switch. Your flashlight should also fit comfortably in a backpack and palm.

  1. Sleeping Bag

A camping blanket or a sleeping bag will ensure you remain warm when spending your night in the wilderness. You may decide to use a sleeping pad along with a sleeping bag but isn’t absolutely necessary especially if you are a person who does not mind sleeping anywhere.

  1.    Firestarter

You may not consider matches as official camping gear, but these are pretty important. You can carry a lighter or a box of matches with other camping material for ease of access. You can consider getting one of the best firestarters if you are planning to make a fire whether for cooking, sterilizing water, or protecting yourself from other elements in the wildlife.

  1. First Aid Kit

A first aid kit that has been amazingly stocked is an essential piece of gear which you may easily forget, but you need to know that anything can happen outside. Burns, scratches, and other injuries can occur when camping and serious emergencies are not an exception. Therefore, a first aid kit, like any other camping gear, is quite important.

  1. Maps

As much as you would prefer a GPS, it is to be safe and get a plan B when you are out camping. Although a bit old school, print out a paper map for use when hiking or camping. A map can help you get to your destination, find your way back your campsite, and show you the exit route.

Final Word

When you go camping, make sure you have the right equipment with you. Consider your location and the duration of your camping and get the right pieces of gear. However, do not miss any of the seven equipment highlighted in this guide.

Lets Go Exploring

 

Summer is the perfect time to head out and play for the kids. I have a few really fun ideas for ways to encourage the kids to explore nature, to engage in dramatic play, and to keep their skin protected while soaking up the summer sun!

In order to go exploring you have to get their safely first. Mifold is small, compact, and you can take it anywhere! Instead of lifting the child up it brings the seat belt down. Making it safe and comfortable for them to ride. Imagine the places you can go exploring without having to have a big bulky booster seat around.

Sunblocz is my favorite option for very water resistant sun protection for the entire family. This is a 100% all natural option that has SPF 50+ and is safe for the entire family. It has no artificial fragrances and is full of antioxidants for a great choice in sun protection this summer.

After applying sunblock, it is time to head out and explore. The Haba Terra Kids Binoculars is a really fun way to encourage kids to enjoy nature with no frills, apps, alerts or screens! These are durable and effective for young explorers with the power to magnify 4x. I love that these come with a bag and a handy strap to keep them close for all kinds of summer explorations!

After a day of adventure, it is time to fire up the grill. The new sprouts grill it set by Learning Resources is a fun way to serve up a helping of imaginative play for the youngest chefs! This set includes all of the ingredients they need for a dramatic play BBQ! I love that this set includes fine motor play with a tasty helping of fun. The set includes 22 durable pieces including a grill, serving tools, steak, cheese and veggies to name a few.

If you have a favorite option for summer play, I would love to hear about it in a comment to inspire our future play sessions!