Camping (or glamping for the disillusioned) is an activity that you either love or hate. I love, that you can travel far and wide on a shoe string budget. I hate, how dependent you become on items that you would normally take for granted.
On this holiday, the item of choice was a shade sail which was smaller than anticipated and lead to the oh-so exciting activity of chasing the shade for the majority of our break. Snap shot of me and my daughter cowering under a tree avoiding the rays and you get the picture.
On this camping trip we decided to venture further than many newbie parents with a five month old baby, and travelled to Northern France for a mini break at Chateau de Gandspette campsite in Calais. Yes, I said Calais, not exactly on everyone's holiday wish list, especially with the current news focus but it was actually a great mini break and here's why:
Like throwing a good party, the French know how to create a good camp site. Ingredient one: add a crumbling Chateau, the French know their strengths and romance sells. A chateau on site is a great way to get people through the gate. Ingredient two: build a pool to rival the nearest four star hotel. This is my favourite approach to camping in France, the majority of sites focus their activities around the pool area and in my view, it's marvellous. Last and final, Ingredient three: add a good quality restaurant. Our campsite had a restaurant that served a la carte every night. It's the prefect treat when you've made your breakfast and lunch over a camp stove and need your creature comforts (budget permitting).
But camping with a baby, yes this can be tricky. So, like no one before me, I pass on the 'camping-with-a-baby-are-you-nuts?-bible'.
- For the love of god, invest in a good shade sail
- Do not forget the fan when traveling to hot destinations. That lovely tent you bought will become an oven by midday.
- Not exclusively for camping, more of a life goal. Get a mosquito net.
- A tent you can stand up in is a game changer. We have a bell tent and it's marvellous
- A self pumping mattress is by far the best camping purchase I've ever made
- And last but certainly not least, indulge in a tipple. Believe me, it will get you through what will be a challenging but hugely rewarding experience
…et voila, my insider tips on camping survival are live. Go forth and camp!