Teens are tough work, and even more so on holiday; try these top tips for making your camping trip as pain free as possible – for yourselves as much as them! Ah, the summer holidays – that glorious season of sun, relaxation, and… teenagers with too much free time on their hands, and far too much to get choosy about. We’ve all been there. But it is possible to make that summer camping trip a good experience for everyone, you most of all! Here are my tips for achieving those pain-free pleasures:
Choose the right location
There’s a lot of choice out there, even when you manage to narrow down your destination to one or two countries. France and Italy, in particular, have plenty of options on offer and wide variety. You just need to tailor these to your own needs: are you looking for somewhere with lots of activities, or a good beach for relaxing? Make a few concessions: you might not be so keen on water-sports, but if your teens love the sound of it, go for somewhere that has this on offer, or within easy reach. Let them take a bit of a lead to get them engaged, and the rest will follow.
Of course, being able to reach your camping spot easily will add that glistening cherry to the top of the cake, so make sure to pick somewhere with good links that can whisk you away before you get cold feet and decide to call the whole thing off!
Make the Campsite Fun
Easier than it sounds, believe me! The secret is in the way you pitch your tents: set aside an area that serves just as a living space, and furnish it with a few home comforts. It doesn’t need to take much: a few fairy-lights to string up, a hammock and cushions, and of course, that all-important focal point, the camp-site fire outside. Dedicating a space as your main hub means that you can all still keep your own spaces, stopping you getting on top of one another, and avoiding any tension.
Organise Some Outdoor Activities
This may sound like the hardest part, but it needn’t be difficult: take advantage of what is on offer at the site and local attractions whilst keeping a few tricks up your sleeve – a ball and a rounder’s bat is my personal favourite!
Unplug from Technology
This is increasingly important when faced with today’s teens – and today’s parents! You can be just as bad a culprit as the next generation, checking for emails and news, so get everyone on board and limit the time you spend on a screen. A camping trip is, of course, ideal for unplugging as there aren’t so many sockets to go round, and those phone and tablet batteries are going to run out at some point. Let them. This is a great chance to do things that aren’t part of the regular routine. Stay up late together, cook on open fires – shake things up a little!
Pack and Prepare Properly
So we’ve ascertained that you can keep phones and chargers to a minimum, and that a few home comforts can make a big difference – but what else should you prepare for your trip? Besides those travel essentials (sun lotion, first aid, lots of wet-wipes, gel soap and toiletries), pick those things that are simple but can have maximum benefit. A pack of cards can go a long way, for example, along with a pen and notebook, but also why not bring that old ukelele that’s been gathering dust in a corner for ages? It might sound cheesy, but this is a perfect opportunity to learn new things about one another without there being any pressure to impress.
The Benefits of Bringing a Friend
It might be a little more costly on your budget, but you can certainly reap the benefits of bringing along an extra kid to keep your own entertained, particularly if your teens have designs on certain activities you’re less keen on. It can definitely help balance out family time and time apart. One word of caution: just make sure the friend brings the best out in your kids, rather than the other way round!
How to Get There
Your camping trip will be within easy reach if you book an airport transfer with Shuttle Direct; we operate in a dazzlingly large range of locations across Europe and North Africa. All you have to do is pre-book a private car, shared ride or regular shuttle bus and you’ll be toasting marshmallows on your camping trip in no time at all.
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