Travel with young kids can be daunting if you aren’t prepared. When my kids were small it was all about amenities and ease of travel. That’s why camping in France makes a wonderful family holiday and if you’re well organized there’s no reason why it can’t be great fun for everyone. I stayed at a Siblu camp, La Reserve, a couple of times and have some of the best memories staying in top class mobile homes.
Here Lyndsey McKinnell of Siblu Villages (http://www.siblu.ie) gives 10 tips for camping with young children.
1. A mobile home is the most practical accommodation option. You get comfy beds, a hot shower, toilet, lots of storage, and a fully equipped kitchen so you can eat when you’re ready. To make things as comfortable as possible, go for the biggest mobile home you can afford. If you’re using a travel cot, check that it will fit in the bedroom.
2. There are lots of benefits to taking a ferry over flying – you can fill up your car with goodies, toys, clothes and other essentials – however it probably means a longer journey. Try to plan your travel around your toddler. Have your toilet stops mapped out, toys and books ready, music for the car – and driving during their night time sleep might help too. Don’t be too ambitious – the south of France is glamorous but it’s a really long way to travel with your tots. Travel to Normandy, Brittany or the Vendee on the west coast, where there are great beaches, scenery and food, but without the mammoth drive time.
3. Safety and fun can go hand in hand. Pick a holiday village that has lifeguarded swimming pools; children’s clubs set out by ages and look for photos of playgrounds so you can see how well kept they are.
4. Save valuable luggage space by hiring baby packs from the campsite. Buggies, travel cots and high chairs are normally available if you book ahead and will cost around €3 per night.
5. Buy packs of sterilising bags to take the pain out of making bottles safe. You simply fill them with water (from the taps is fine) and pop up to three bottles in, then hang the bag somewhere where a leakage doesn’t matter. After 30 minutes your bottles will be ready.
6. Kids can hurt themselves anywhere, so it pays to have a first aid kit with you in case of cuts, grazes or stings. You never know when you might need it!
7. Take waterproofs and wellies for you and your toddler, regardless of the time of year. You can never be too reliant on Mother Nature, and what’s worse than being stuck inside on holiday?
8. In a new environment it is important to keep your children as comfortable as possible. Mimic their bedtime routines from home to increase the chances of a quiet and undisturbed night’s sleep.
10. Preserve memories that your child will cherish for many years. It’s easy to take hundreds of pictures with your mobile phone, but how many capture that wow factor you were after? Reading a few expert blogs ahead of your holiday can give you some easy to follow tips that turn your snaps into works of art, that will fire your memories for years to come.For ideas on where to go camping in France, visit www.siblu.ie for 20 outstanding family-friendly holiday villages.
Tempted? Here are three Siblu holiday villages to try:
Siblu Le Conguel sits on the southern tip of the Quiberon Peninsula, a tiny spit of land off Brittany’s south coast. The beach-side park is just 10 metres from the closest sands, looking out to peaceful Quiberon Bay. In contrast, head to the west coast of the peninsula and enjoy a five mile stretch of the Cote Sauvage for hidden caves and coves. Four-star Le Conguel has its own large covered pool, children’s clubs and evening entertainment. A seven-night holiday starting 11 July June costs from €£885 (saving €221) for up to six sharing a two-bedroom Esprit holiday home with terrace. Book by 28 February.