It’s in human nature to want some change of scenery every now and then, and with all the work we get to do it’s a necessity to get the well-deserved holiday, and recharge the energy all the work-related stress drained. It’s easier said than done, however, when you’re stuck in a work rut, and you only realise how important going on holidays is when you get a baby and it becomes even more difficult.
For outdoor enthusiasts like my husband and me, who’ve had our share of camping trips, getting Matthew didn’t mean we were ready to give up on camping that easy, so instead of being convinced camping isn’t suitable for a family with a toddler, we accepted the challenge.
We borrowed my in-laws’ trailer same as we do in all our camping trips, equipped with the adequate camping trailer accessories, like folding step, matting, wheel chocks, clothes airer, and water purifier, and took to the road.
Okay, it may not have been as quick as that, because there was also piling up on toddler things, but it wasn’t as difficult as we imagined it would be. Many parents fear how kids would behave on trips like this, yet kids love the outdoors.
They enjoy exploring it as much as playing outside, so my advice for parents would be not to worry as much, and instead pile up on your kids’ favourite toys, both inside and outside toys, and you’d be surprised you wouldn’t have to spend time encouraging them to play with the outside toys once you’ve arrived at the destination. Of course, the inside toys come in handy when you just want to relax in the trailer, and get some rest for more outdoor adventures.
It’s important to point out, depending on where it is you go, and the time of year, along with the camping trailer accessories to get the adequate clothing and pack up some extra blankets and towels. This is essential if you travel in rainy season, or camp near lakes, or the seashore. There’s no packing lightly when you have a toddler!
No one wants to be wet for a longer period, especially not a toddler that can easily catch a cold. Also, don’t forget the first-aid kit, with enough band-aids and repellents – after all, it is the outdoors, and mosquitoes are particularly fond of delicate toddler skin! As for food, it came in handy that we prepared a menu prior to the trip, so we had the right amount of ingredients for every meal, following the plan every day.
If you don’t have a trailer like us, and have to camp in a tent, be sure to show your kids the tent is for sleeping, and not just playing around. My fear was Matthew wouldn’t get as much sleep in the trailer because it was a new area for him, full of things to explore, but the fresh air, and lots of hikes and play did their job, so not only was he sleeping peacefully at night, but he wasn’t making a fuss with daily naps either.
I have to admit, camping as a family teaches you how to work as a team. My husband and I had split the chores, so Matthew would never go unsupervised – while one was cooking, the other was keeping an eye on Matthew, playing with him or teaching him about the environment, what’s safe to touch, like some plants and bugs, and what has to be avoided.
All things considered, would I repeat the experience? My answer’s when can we go again. Yes, we had such a great time, and I recommend it to all parents who enjoy the outdoors.