Camping Abroad with Kids (the easy way)

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The easy way of camping abroad with kids - we did Venice!
So perhaps you’ve done a few family camps in the UK and want to try further afield?  Or may be you’ve not camped in the UK due to the wet and cold, and you long for a Mediterranean holiday, but without as much expense?

Well, have you considered camping abroad? …or does that sound even more daunting?

we went to Venice!

We took the easy route and booked a Eurocamp holiday.

Eurocamp – Camping abroad the easy way

Eurocamp have many campsites, from the big to the small.

A lot of sites you can choose to bring your own tent, hire a pre-erected tent (which have camp beds), or hire a static caravan.

As well as sites in Northern Europe within easy reach of the UK they also have many in the Mediterranean.

At the larger sites they have free kids clubs and activities during high season, as well as multiple swimming pools.

Our Experience

So on the surface the Eurocamp parks look large and noisy; not the sort of relaxed wilder places we prefer.  However, we weren’t disappointed.  And it certainly takes some of the ‘hassle’ out of camping abroad.Get Out With The Kids - Reviewed

Our kids hadn’t been abroad much, but with the size of our family, the normal “package holidays” were out of our budget – and a previous experience in a noisy hotel in Mallorca was not something we wanted to waste our money on.

Eurocamp had been recommended to us by a number of people so we decided to take a look.

I had wanted take the kids to the French Alps having spent a great time there camping and whitewater canoeing in the past.  However we noticed that Eurocamp had a site near Venice in Italy.  We’d been there as a couple many years ago and thought we could give the kids a holiday in Europe and some “cultural education”.

Eurocamp had been recommended to us by a number of people
So thoughts shifted to driving and camping through the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps, and ending up in Venice.  Unfortunately with summer camps also in the UK, I could not get that much time off work.  Flying was the only choice.

Budget airlines it was then.  Looking at our camping gear, even with taking the minimal kit, there was no way we would be paying the extra air charges to take that with us.

In the end we opted for a static caravan. … OK, so this is not true camping abroad, but we could of done.  ;-)

Ca’Savio

We stayed at the excellent Ca’Savio campsite.

Our caravan under the trees

This is on the mainland right next to a very large beach on the Adriatic, just outside the venetian lagoon.

This was a very large site.  It had a number of pools (with slides), cafe & restaurant, and activities for the kids.

we would strongly recommend the rumble truck
The Rumble Truck
We had hired the “rumble truck”, and would strongly recommend if you have toddlers.  It can have two seats (with belts) that fold up, or they can fold flat and you have a truck for taking all the gear down to the beach in.  Our youngest got very attached to his truck.

The takeaway pizza was excellent: real Italian pizzas, fired in a proper oven, large and tasty, and only a few quid.  Great for a simple meal out on our decking.  (Oh, and I mustn’t forget the ice creams.  Or the wine.)

Our static caravan was new and of an excellent standard.  No air con however, but all the windows had mosquito nets built in.  We also had a deck and so eating out in the warm evening became the norm.

The caravans were closer together than in the UK and not arranged in rows but at various angles nestled under trees.  We had an excellent spot and weren’t overlooked at all.

The pre-erected tents looked OK but not as big as the static caravan.  There were also a lot of tents pitched – mainly from europe, though there were a few camper vans from the UK.

If you do pitch here then the ground is very sandy.  Dry fine sand.  So you’ll need to bring the right tent pegs with you.

camping on the venetian shores

Getting into Venice was quite easy. You could buy a combined bus and ferry ticket at the park.  Catching the bus was just down the road in the village (but the bus was very crowded).

It is not many campsites you can see St. Marks Square

Venice itself is excellent but not push chair friendly.  Many many people and a lot of small bridges with steps.

We were there at the time of the Venice Film Festival (though we didn’t know it at the time), with billionaire’s yachts (luxury cruise liners with actual yachts stuck on the side) were moored up in the Grand Canal.  Apparently for the likes of George Clooney and Madonna.

The Eurocamp staff were all very helpful and the few extras we ordered with the holiday (rumble truck, towels, and welcome pack) made packing and the stay just that little but better.  They had also sent through a free beach bag and a couple of water pistols before we left, which was a nice touch.

In all it was an excellent holiday, as well as saving £1000s over hotels or apartments, and we shall certainly be considering a holiday with Eurocamp again.


It’s not just about Camping

You can find a number of different holidays to suit the activity levels you are after.

Activity Holidays

Activities such as kite surfing are available at some sites
You can find several places to stay with the usual beach activities such as sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing and kayaking, however, have you considered sand yachting or kite surfing?  These are all available with tuition at Plage Demoiselles where Eurocamp customers get a 15% discount.  Plage Demoiselles is just 5 minutes drive from 3 different resorts you can stay at.

How about action underwater instead of above?  There are 6 sites with dive schools close by.

Active kids that need wearing out?  Eurocamp have teamed up with PGL at two camps, one in Paris, and one in the Dordogne.

Something a little bit slower?  What about free canoe hire?  Try exploring the Ardeche from the water, or the River Elle in Brittany.

More information on Activity Holidays.

Walking Holidays

The French Alps
A number of parks are set in some stunning parts of Europe that are perfect for a walking holiday.  At two parks they have a walk and wildlife leader that will organise about 2 walks per day 5 days per week.

In the French Alps and the Ardeche a walking and wildlife guide will be available from 14th May – 15th June, and also 1st – 7th September.

Although there are two parks with guides, other places are in great locations for walking holidays.  Head over to the Swiss Alps or Austrian Alps, or try the Pyrenees.

Cycling Holidays

Eurocamp provide free guided family cycling tours, a learn to ride programme at 16 parks for 3 years and older, and free cycle guides in over 40 parks.

Their Lifecycle Tours are aimed from beginners to more advanced cyclists, where the couriers are able to provide advice on cycle routes if you wish to go it alone.

Lifecycle tours are available at 12 places:

Theme Park Holidays – Disneyland Paris and others

Well I suspect most kids have asked to go to Disney Land at some point, and Disneyland Paris is the closest (and cheapest) of the bunch.

If you’ve not been before you’re in for a treat as there are a great many rides, and things to do (the Movie Studios are great).  EuroDisney is in French, so you’ll see many iconic American images and films, but in French.  When we’ve stayed there even the ‘Mickey Mouse’ theme was being sung was in French, which to us just made it that little bit different.

Eurocamp have a few parks in the Paris area, with the nearest places being Camping International and La Croix du Vieux Pont.  Disneyland tickets can be booked through Eurocamp.

But Disneyland is not the only theme park in Europe.  You can even find an Asterix theme park.

More information on Theme Park Holidays in Europe.

 

Spa Holidays

If the above sounds too much, choose from 16 campsites with Spa facilities.

Taking your own tent or try Glamping

Most parks have pitches if you wish to take your own tent. You can also hire pre-erected tents to save on what you need to take abroad with you.

A Eurocamp Safari Tent
If you really want to try Glamping and going abroad, check out Eurocamp’s new African style Safari Tent.

It has two bedrooms (one double and a twin) sleeping up to 6 (max 4 adults).

Electric Hook-ups Abroad

Some sites in Europe still operate a 2 pin electric hook-up, but you can buy adaptors easily enough.

More importantly though is checking the polarity as if wired up incorrectly the live could come through the neutral making appliances lethal.

If you have a tent it might be worth getting a dedicated European EHU (this EHU has a European adaptor to UK power sockets).

Taking your Caravan or Motorhome

Caravans and motorhomes are accommodated at most parks.

Holiday Discounts

Be sure to check out the discounts section of the Eurocamp web site.


Gav Grayston
Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) ....but unfortunately spends too much time behind a computer keyboard than he would like! Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.
Gav Grayston

@GetOutKids

Family adventures, activities, camping, holidays, and days out. http://t.co/hMlFHal6nr
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Gav Grayston
Gav Grayston