The open road, the dusty highway, the heath, the common, the rolling downs! Here today and off somewhere else tomorrow!” exclaims Toad in Wind In The Willows, perfectly exemplifying the merits of a caravanning holiday. “It’s no longer Carry on Camping, bad cabarets and tin boxes on wheels, thanks to some recent new models of campers,” says Sam North, manager of the International Caravan and Motorhome Show.
But surely a holiday that involves so much driving can’t be green? Apparently it can, if you plan your trip carefully. Simply calculate your CO2 emissions at www.greencaravanning.co.uk, factoring in the size of your car, caravan and journey details, then read the tips for making your journey greener. Once you’ve satisfied yourself that your trip is energy-efficient, then off you go.
However, sleeping in a tent, with only the canvas between you and the big wild world, is an adventure that every child should experience.
If you’re not too sure how to go about pitching a tent, or setting up a campfire, head to www.coolcamping.co.uk for places to stay, cool tents to buy and books to read, then follow the guides on taking children camping at www.go-camping.org. Now pack your bags and skip town.
Don’t forget to pack The Camp Kit by Jonathan Kauffman (Chronicle Books, £9.99) for each of your children. This kit is a fun introduction to camping, with tips on how to rough it, postcards to send to friends (see right) and a journal for writing daily adventures. There are also songs for singing around the campfire and even pranks to play on parents.
Oh, and one more thing. You might just want to pack your GPS, just in case you really do get lost in the woods.
This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article