There are over 2,800 campsites in Germany, most of which are in Bavaria, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Baden-Württemberg. According to current statistics (as of 2022), almost 40 percent of German camping holidaymakers preferred their home pitches last year - this year the tourism industry could experience a new boom: Due to the prevailing corona crisis, many families have canceled their booked holidays abroad again alternatively they are planning a spontaneous trip in their own country. The topic of "camping with children" is high on the list for many, but many a tourist lacks the necessary experience. For this reason, the most important questions about camping holidays are answered below.
Regardless of whether you are planning a camping holiday in Germany or abroad, the equipment is always the same. So that you do not experience any nasty surprises during your stay outdoors, the most important points are summarized for you:
The locationFirst things first: wild camping is prohibited throughout Germany. In other countries such as Sweden, Norway or Finland there are exceptions, but you should find out in advance where camping outdoors (outside a campsite) is allowed - and where it is not. You are always on the safe side if you book a permanent parking space. Here the ADAC is a helpful companion when looking for a suitable place for your family. Whether North Sea or Baltic Sea, in the valley or in the mountains: You are guaranteed to find what you are looking for in this camping guide for Germany and Northern Europe.
The equipment The heart of camping with children is the tent. It should be large enough to accommodate all passengers and their luggage. Models with two separate sleeping compartments are best suited for families - this gives parents the opportunity to put their offspring to bed earlier without accidentally waking them up later. In addition, you and your children have more privacy. When buying, make sure that your tent is waterproof and contains UV protection. In addition, it should be easy to set up.
Not only the tent, but also the place to sleep plays an important role when planning your holiday. It's less about the comfort of lying down than the fact that you lose 50 percent of your body heat through the pad - which can be quite uncomfortable and unhealthy on cold nights. Therefore, it is best to use sleeping pads - there are back-friendly models that inflate themselves and thus provide better protection against the cold. These can be used as sleeping pads for the whole family (also available in pairs).
The sleeping bag should also be bought carefully. Angular models have the advantage that, when opened, they can be covered with bedding and used as a blanket. There are now even larger models for two people. Depending on where you want to camp, the sleeping bag must be warm enough if it gets very cold at night, or thin enough if you are traveling to a very warm country. Models made of synthetic fibers are suitable for children, as they dry faster if your offspring has a night-time mishap.
ClothingThere is no special dress code when camping with children. Since the weather outdoors can change constantly (and it does, especially in Germany), you should primarily rely on wind and weatherproof textiles. Warm clothing made of fleece, rain and mud clothes should end up in the suitcase as well as bathing suits and short clothes. Make sure there is a balanced mix for young and old so that you are prepared for all eventualities. Otherwise, most campsites also have washrooms.
HygieneSo that you can go about your daily hygiene while on vacation, you should store the most important utensils such as shampoo and shower gel, toothbrush and toothpaste, deodorant and shaving kit etc. in a practical toiletry bag (also available for children). It is best to take a model with a hook so that you can hang it up. To save space, you can also switch to small travel-size bottles that you fill yourself at home.
MealsSince you have to take care of yourself when camping with children, you should not only take crockery and cutlery (preferably made of plastic) with you on holiday: one of the most important kitchen utensils you need for cooking is a gas cooker. But also can openers and bottle openers, pots and pans, sharp knives and cutting boards, spices and oil are among the important utensils. There are even camping kitchens for on the go.
The first-aid kit Last but not least, you should always think about your family's health, since unexpected illnesses can also occur on vacation. It is best to pack a small first-aid kit in which to store the most important medicines for typical gastrointestinal complaints, diarrhoea, fever and cold symptoms. You should also pack appropriate sun protection and a remedy for mosquito bites and burns. If your children need special medicine, for example against allergies, they should also be taken on holiday. To be on the safe side, a first aid kit is always a good choice as well.
The toy Depending on how small your children are, you should also think about appropriate toys for the little ones. If you are camping by the sea, special beach toys are recommended. If you spend most of your time near the tent, you can also take the toys that your children like to use at home. But there are also nice games for children and adults that you can play together outdoors - such as badminton, beach tennis, boule, Viking chess, kite flying.
Otherwise, if you should have forgotten something at home, there is of course always the possibility to buy it locally. Whether it's toys or medicines – you can actually get everything in this country or abroad, even if the prices may be higher.
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