By: Jody Halsted,

Ready to plan your family’s camping adventure? A few handy tips:

  • Check your bedding. An inexpensive ‘egg crate’ mattress cover can make a thin mattress or air mattress much more comfortable.
  • Bring outdoor lighting. Solar powered ground stakes are easy and inexpensive or make your items multi-task and attach a head lamp to a full one gallon jug of water.
  • But, be sure to let everyone know how meals will work. Will everyone gather together, but bring food for their own families? Or will you assign a main dish to a different family group each night, with everyone else bringing side dishes? Advance planning saves time and money – it also stops assumptions!
  • Bring cards and easy-to-transport games… just in case it rains.
  • Don’t forget bikes and scooters for the kids!
  • Most importantly, pack a comfy camping chair – preferably one that reclines- to truly enjoy your relaxing vacation.

Jody Halsted is an Iowa native and avid camper. Jody and her husband Doug have experienced all aspects of camping: from hiking in minimalism before they had kids and car camping with tents & sleeping bags to small camper and finally luxury RV camping. An authority on family travel, Jody publishes, a website dedicated to living life…Upgraded.  She is also a regular contributor to MiniTime Trip Tips and The Scenic Route at