Tips For Family Vacation: Camping Edition

May 23, 2016

Camping is a time honored tradition, especially for families. Indeed, family camping vacations are one of the most popular choices for Americans, with families spending about 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011. Camping is a formative experience for many young people, especially for those who don’t get the chance to experience much of nature in their homes. Among current camping participants, 85% took their first trip between birth and the ages of 15 — after 15, chances of being introduced to camping were small. In order to foster an appreciation and respect for the great outdoors, many families choose to camp with their children during vacation times.

Of course, camping can also be labor intensive, especially with kids in tow. Check out how to make your family vacation a little for relaxing for everyone:


    • Food Prep: Make your vacation feel more like a vacation by doing as much food prep before hand as possible, while you have a sink, cutting boards, and space at your disposal. Marinate meat, prepare kebabs, pack sandwiches, and chop vegetables with dip. Don’t forget the watermelon.


    • Come Prepared for Rainy Days: Even though you may be all geared up for some summer outdoor fun, rain happens, and when it does, it is best to have activities planned so the little ones (and their parents) don’t go tent-crazy. Bring board games, coloring supplies, and books to pass the time until the sun shines again.


    • Take Advantage of the Ranger Stations: The ranger stations or visitors centers at parks are chock-full of untapped resources for camping families. During busy seasons, rangers will often hold learning sessions and nature activities for kids. Plus, they’ll provide maps, interesting facts, wildlife identification checklists, and suggestions for activities to do together.

Camping has a high rate of return for a reason — 99% of camping participants said they were “likely” or “very likely” to camp next year, according to the 2014 American Camping Report. Whether you and your family go cabin camping or tent camping, tenting or family cabin camping provides a valuable chance for families and groups to spend time in nature, take a break from work or school, and spend your family vacation together with those who matter the most.

Tips for Finding the Right Campsite For Your Family

May 17, 2016

Family camping trips are some of the most fulfilling, affordable, and rewarding ways to travel with a family. With various levels of camping amenities, and throughout many seasons, spending some time in nature is truly a great way to unplug and reflect, together. Indeed, it can also spark a family tradition — 12% of adult campers first went camping with their immediate families.

The first step of any camping trip is deciding on a location. Campers across the board spent an average of 14.9 days camping, meaning that the location you choose for your summer camping trips should be optimal for the length of time you stay there.

Consider the Accommodations

Campgrounds come in many different shapes and sizes and have varying degrees of accommodations. Some families prefer to rent a cabin and go cabin camping while others enjoy tent camping. Still more have RVs, which are especially convenient when the campsite has full hookups, providing electricity, gas, and waste disposal. Consider the needs of your family and your camping choices when looking at different campgrounds.

What Kind of Nature do You Like?

Some families dedicate themselves to climbing all of New York State’s 46 highest peaks while others prefer tumbling over boulders in the beautiful desert of Texas. Some families specifically camp to experience a destination like the Grand Canyon of Arizona or the Badlands of South Dakota. What kind of nature are you set on experiencing?


Do you want to be fully immersed in a state or national park, or would you like easier access to certain amenities? For family camping, it can be nice to have all of the advantages of a scenic campground, but be able to run to a store for emergency supplies. For more seasoned families with older children, a more isolated campground with fewer amenities might make it easier to embark upon serious hikes and explorations.

Whether you choose summer camping trips or autumn camping trips, make sure to choose a memorable and practical camping ground! If you find the perfect spot, don’t let distance deter you — many campers travel an average distance of 186.7 miles for a camping trip. Let the search begin!

What to Expect When Cabin Camping

April 28, 2016

NewJerseyCabinsTo most, cabin camping sounds more luxurious and relaxing than tent camping, but the truth is that the two are very similar. In fact, it might even help you to think about cabin camping as roughing it in a hard-shelled tent. Cabin camping is a great introduction to camping for beginners, and for more seasoned adventurers, it can be a welcome change of pace. You get all the benefits of a traditional camping experience, but without the trouble of setting up and taking down a tent, or worrying much about the weather.

No matter, it is still important to come prepared in mind and body. Here’s what you should expect from your cabin camping experience:

Campgrounds with cabins can have accommodations that range in size and quality from basic, four-walled structures with cots and bunks, to deluxe accommodations including kitchen appliances and air conditions. Some cabin sites, like tent sites, will come with a picnic table and a fire pit. These two ingredients are often all you need to have a great time at the campsite in between outdoor adventures — 87% of campers participated in multiple outdoor activities during their stay, which is why it’s a great idea to have a comfy campsite ready to go.

Bedding will be just as important in the cabin as without for all family vacations — it can get chilly at night, even in the summer! Make sure you know what the accommodations are in the cabin — you may need to bring sleeping bags and pillows and some extra blankets.

One thing you now have room for in your cabin, as opposed to the old tent, is full sized towels! They will be a luxury after a day on the lake, or after a big rain.

Speaking of rain — now that you have a dry area to enjoy for those rainy days, come prepared with games for a family vacation like cards and board games to occupy the time until the sun shines again. Of course, all the standard camping amenities should not be forsaken — coolers, warm clothes, fire starting gear, cooking and cleaning gear, and food are a given! Jellystone Parks have great planned activities in all types of weather, so bring different types of layered clothing.

Camping is well loved. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings, and American families, in particular, spent 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011, but make sure you come prepared for your vacation cabins and enjoy!

Discover Genius Camping Tips for Your Next Trip

April 13, 2016

For a total of 515 million outings, more than 40 million people went camping in 2010 alone. People go for summer camping trips for many reasons — 13% of adults went camping to spend quality time with their families while some campers do it for the chance do some extreme hiking. Camping is more than just an American past-time — it is a chance for people to reconnect with roots, trees, and the great outdoors. It’s a chance to unplug and relax, get some fresh air, and sleep under the stars.

However amazing camping sounds, and often is, there are certainly some nitty, gritty details that need some attention. Whether you want to go tent camping or cabin camping check out these camping tips for some innovative camping ideas.

    • Point a headlamp into a gallon jug of water — it’ll create an instant lantern.
    • Re-purpose an old coffee can to protect your toilet paper — just cut a slit in the side and feed the paper through. The camp resort may not have great toiletries or amenities.
    • Use empty Tic-Tac containers to store spices for camping cooking — no more carting around bulky spice containers.
    • For single-use toothpaste packets, cut up a straw, fill with paste, and seal the ends with a lighter. Also, make single use soap leaves by peeling a bar of soap with a vegetable peeler.
    • Do some meal prep — make pancake mix with shortening and dry milk, and store in a jar for instant pancakes (just add an egg and some water)
    • Frighteningly, but conveniently, Doritos make amazing fire-starters if you don’t have any of your own.
    • Add bundles of sage and rosemary to the campfire to keep mosquitoes at bay.
    • Invest in microfiber towels — they are super absorbent and lightweight
    • Freeze gallon jugs or empty juice containers to keep your cooler cool and food fresh.
    • Bring glow sticks — they will help you see your kids at night (and kids love glow sticks). Sunny campgrounds in the day can turn pitch black at night. If you have a dog, put one around his neck too. Color coding things with glow sticks at night can also help you stay completely organized.

Remember, to enjoy your family and friends and see how these tips might make your next camping adventure even better!


Here's How to Have the Most Fun Possible with Your Family while Cabin Camping in Illinois

March 23, 2016

When you think of a great cabin camping destination, where do you think of? Cabin camping in Kansas, Missouri, or South Dakota may be some of the first places that come to mind for most. However, if you really want your family to experience something unique and unexpected, you need to consider cabin camping in Illinois.

Illinois may be known for deep dish pizzas and rabid sports fans, but it’s actually one of the best places in the country for cabin camping. If you’re not a fan of roughing it, cabin camping is the ideal way to enjoy some finer camping amenities without sacrificing the appeal of the outdoors. Each camping participant, whether they stayed in a tent, RV, cabin, or otherwise, spent an average of 14.9 days camping. Cabin camping is ideal for longer vacations because it’s basically like living in a rental home for two weeks.

Most campers travel an average distance of 186.7 miles for camping trips, but you won’t need to travel nearly this far to experience everything cabin camping in Illinois has to offer. This is because cabin camping in Illinois is done on public campgrounds, which is truly the best way to go on a camping vacation. In fact, most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this an annual event after experiencing family vacation campgrounds.

Three of the most unique and exciting campgrounds for vacation cabins in Illinois are within just 26 miles of each other. Therefore, your family won’t have to drive around the entire state just to absorb the full experience. These cabin camping sites provide a wide array of amenities for your family to enjoy, including splashparks, DJs, fireworks, playgrounds, and so much more. Plus, all of these campgrounds are within miles of some of the most notable landmarks in Illinois, such as Wrigley Field and the Sears Tower.

If your family is tired of going on the same monotonous trip every single year, consider the endless benefits of cabin camping in Illinois. Located in one of the most exciting places in the country, your family can bond with one another while having the most fun you’ve ever had.

From Splashparks to the Amish Country, Here are Just a Few Unique Perks of Ohio Campgrounds

March 23, 2016

Camping is one of the most fun things you could ever do with your family, and millions of people embark on exciting adventures every single year. In 2010 alone, about 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings, making it one of the most popular vacation options in the country.

If you’re planning a camping trip, you may be wondering where to find the best camping amenities and other unique perks. Ohio campgrounds are truly some of the most amazing destinations in the entire country, blending tons of excitement with the serenity that you would expect when enjoying the great outdoors.

From splashparks to the Amish Country and everything in between, there is nothing that Ohio campgrounds don’t offer. Here’s are just three of the most unique and entertaining perks of Ohio campgrounds that your family needs to check out:


    • Splashparks. Family camping trips are supposed to help you bond with your loved ones, but it’s always important to throw in a bit of excitement during your vacation as well. Most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this a yearly event after they experience Ohio campgrounds. For example, the Columbus North campground has an incredible splashpark with water slides that both the kids and adults will love.


    • Playgrounds, games, and more. Campgrounds in OH are really something special, and in fact, they’re more like camp resorts. For instance, the Akron/Canton Jellystone park is truly something to behold. There is a massive pool, a staggering 144-ft. water slide, a 100-ft. playground slide, and an 18-hole mini golf course. If your family prefers a bit of fun in the sun mixed with some friendly competition, you will be thrilled with Akron/Canton.


    • The Amish Country About 13% of adult participants camped because they wanted to spend more time with their families, and there’s no better place to do just that than in the Amish Country. While Ohio campgrounds are known for the excitement they offer, it’s also the perfect place to relax with your loved ones. The Amish Country in Holmes County is full of beautiful hills, rolling farmlands, and colorful parks to enjoy Mother Nature.


Every family has a different set of expectations for a vacation, but Ohio is truly one of the only places that can fulfill the wants and needs of every family members. Check out Ohio campgrounds for your next vacation and have an experience you’ll never forget.

Family Vacation Campgrounds are the Best Option for Summer Fun!

February 2, 2016

Family vacation campingIt’s good to dream up amazing vacations, but some families can get a bit too creative when it comes to planning their next holiday. Like most things in life, it’s best to stick with the basics. Family vacation campgrounds have been helping to give families the time of their lives for decades, and remain the premier option for family fun in the summer.

Family camping adventures allow the whole gang to try new things while enjoying the company of one another. These days, kids (and parents) are usually too focused on their smartphones and tablets to actually have a conversation. At family vacation campgrounds, such as Camp Jellystone parks you’ll find that it’s never been easier to bond with your loved ones.

You also may run into other families during your trip as well, which makes the experience even more exciting. You never know what to expect in family vacation campgrounds, which is probably why millions of people spend time there every single year.

That’s not all, though. Here are just three of the many reasons to consider family vacation campgrounds for your next getaway:

    • Spend time with loved ones. Camping is still one of the most popular activities for families, because it brings loved ones together unlike anything else. In fact, family camping vacations are one of the most popular choices for Americans, and they spent about 534.9 million days camping altogether in 2011. If you feel as if your relationship with your family has suffered since technology became so prominent, you need to check out some family vacation campgrounds.


    • Meet new people. In 2010 alone, approximately 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. As you might expect, this staggering number means that you’ll probably run in to some other like-minded families during your camping adventure. Meeting new people is perhaps the best part of family vacation campgrounds, and these random run-ins often lead to families becoming lifelong friends.


    • Experience different regions and environments. There are campgrounds all over the nation, and each and every single one offers a unique and distinct experience. There are campgrounds in Wisconsin, campgrounds in Texas, and even campgrounds in New York. Each of these family vacation hot-spots offers something totally different, yet all of them are supremely entertaining.

Most camping — about 70% — is done in public campgrounds, and your family will be convinced to make this a yearly event after they experience family vacation campgrounds. Check out some campgrounds near you and start a new family tradition this year!

Camping in the Northeast? Consider These 3 Incredible Destinations

February 2, 2016

Camping in North EastThere’s nothing quite like spending some quality time with family on vacation, and camping is the ultimate way to enjoy the company of loved ones in the great outdoors. When planning your next vacation, consider camping in the Northeast at one of the many popular destinations in the region.

The West Coast might be a beloved vacation destination because of its weather, but camping in the Northeast is an experience unlike any other. Americans went camping for a total of 516.6 million days in 2013, and many of these families took advantage of the incredible campgrounds near New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario.

Most campers went on five camping trips that year, traveling an average of 191 miles from their home to the campground. If you live anywhere in the Northeast, you’re already within driving distance to some of the most amazing camping destinations in the country. In fact, you can see all of these places in one weekend if you plan your trip just right.

Here are a few of the best places to check out when camping in the Northeast:


    • Camping in New York. New York is generally known for its skyscrapers and snow, but hardcore campers know that it’s arguably the best state in the country for some quality camping. Upstate New York is full of unique campgrounds where families from all over the country gather to have the time of their lives. Most camping (about 70%) is done in public campgrounds, and you can find some resort-style campgrounds in NY if you know where to look.


    • Camping in Pennsylvania. Drive just a few hours south from your campground in New York and you’ll land in beautiful Pennsylvania, also known as The Keystone State. Pennsylvania is known for having some of the friendliest people in the country. When you reach your campground, you’ll find plenty of other families who can show you the best places to hike, fish, hunt, and enjoy other activities.


    • Camping in Ontario. If you choose to head north after you leave your New York campground, you’ll find yourself in gorgeous Ontario. Americans may not see Canada as the spot to vacation, but the entire country is a well-kept secret for savvy American campers. Ontario is a city with deep roots in the great outdoors where you’ll find world-class ice fishing spots as soon as you cross the border.


Camping in the Northeast is full of possibilities, and each of the places mentioned above are among the greatest places in the country to spend time with family. Consider camping in these areas for your next family vacation and enjoy the unique serenity of the Northeast.

The Line Awakens: What You Can Learn About Camping From Star Wars Fans

December 11, 2015

Camping is one of the most popular activities in the United States. In 2010, 40 million people went camping for a total of 515 million outings. The following year, 42.5 million people went camping — 2.5 million more — for a total of 534.9 million days, 19.9 million more days or 54,520.5 years more than the previous year.

Typically, people find campgrounds near their homes to enjoy, but there are some out there who have recently chosen less-than-traditional campsites. These folks aren’t just camping for the fun of it. They’re on a mission!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is set to open soon, and fans are already lining up. In fact, many started camping out in front of theaters a staggering 10 days before the movie premieres. Consider how tough it must be to camp out on hard pavement, there are a few things we can learn about camping from their mission.


    • Lesson 1: Make sure you’re comfortable. The hard, cold ground is tough enough to sleep on. Imagine trying to get a restful night’s sleep on pavement. In order to get comfy on the sidewalk, many fans have likely invested in a good sleeping pad and/or mattress, as well as a good sleeping bag. Having thick layers of comfortable material to lie on may not make up for your bed, but they’re definitely comfortable enough to rest on.


    • Lesson 2: Eat well. You need to keep your strength up when you camp, which is why it’s important to have plenty of food with you. Those waiting in line for Star Wars can probably take turns going out to grab meals at fast food chains or grocery stores, but only if someone stays behind. In order to keep hunger at bay when camping, it’s a good idea to have food you don’t have to worry about cooking. Things like fruit, peanut butter, cold cuts, bean salads, and pastas can all make hardy meals that need little prep.


    • Lesson 3: Stay warm. It’s December. It might be a rather mild December so far, but it’s still cold out, and there’s nothing that can make a wait even more unbearable than the cold. When you go camping, be sure to bring plenty of layers. That way, you can dress to your comfort level. A t-shirt, sweater, pullover, and coat do wonders to keep the cold out.

Camping out is certainly fun, and while many might not consider Star Wars worth the hassle, it certainly adds a fun element to the experience. After all, who doesn’t want there to be a prize waiting at the end?

What People Don't Understand About Winter Camping

December 4, 2015

It’s understandable why some don’t “get” winter camping. After all, the most popular parts of camping don’t seem to be too conducive to winter.

Consider the fact that the most popular type of camping is by tent, as 86% of survey respondents said, while 33% said they preferred cabin camping; 30% backcountry/backpacking; 26% drive-up campsites; 24% RV; 11% camped in a backyard; and 8% slept under the stars. What’s more, about 70% of tent campers — the majority of the majority — have one to two-night outings. Plus, 92% of people say that hiking is their favorite camping activity.

All that being said, wintertime family camping is a whole different experience in and of itself, and that’s what people don’t get about winter camping. Of course winter camping can also be done in milder temperatures as well but there is something to be said about camping in crisp clean wonderful air.

Everything is still and everything is quiet during the winter. There’s not the usual background, woodland chatter you might hear during the summer, and if you are camping in the snow, this beautiful blanket quiets the area.  Camping in the winter can be an incredibly peaceful, tranquil, and quiet experience — even more so than nature usually is.

Going wintertime family camping is also like taking an adventure to a whole new world with your favorite people. Sure, you’ve probably gone camping before, or at least been in the woods, but in the winter, the snow changes everything. It looks like an entirely different place once it’s been frosted with snow.

Most importantly, there are some camping activities you can only do in the winter, like build a snowman, have a snowball fight, go snow shoeing, try ice climbing, or even ice fish. If you don’t go winter family camping, you may never get as good of a chance to take advantage of the icy weather.

If you’ve never gone wintertime family camping before, do yourself a favor and go. Granted, these colder months may not seem too conducive to the outdoor experience, but once you go, you and your family may experience a new and wonderful experience together.