Camping with Kids in France and Belgium

More and more people nowadays think that in order for our children to be happy, we have to give them holidays in faraway destinations, with fantastic sun shine and round the clock entertainment.  This is simply untrue.  A good example happened a number of years ago, when I went to an outdoor shop to purchase a new tent for an upcoming festival.  I had taken my 9 year old niece with me, who enthusiastically ran in and out of the tents with some other children in the store.  When I had picked the one I wanted and went to collect her, she burst into tears saying that this was the shortest holiday she had ever been on, but that it was also the best.  Children don’t need expensive accommodation and entertainment, they simply need to be able to have fun.

The Benefits of Camping

Most children would like nothing more than camping and there are huge benefits to this type of holiday, including:Camping with Kids in France and Belgium

  • It’s very cheap
  • You don’t have to stay in one location, particularly if you have hired a car
  • It’s safe
  • It allows kids to be closer to nature

Two of the greatest countries to go camping in in Europe are Belgium and France.  There are so many campsites here that there is something for everybody and you just know your child is going to have the time of their life.

How to Find a Good Campsite

If you like to be prepared, you may want to go online first and find a campsite.  However, you could just as easily set off in a general direction and see which campsites you do and do not like.  There are a few things to look out for to make sure you find a good campsite, particularly if you are travelling with children and these are:

  • The cleanliness of the toilets and shower cubicles
  • Whether you have access to electricity
  • Whether cars are allowed all over the campsite
  • Whether there is a time by which the whole campsite has to be quiet
  • Whether there are facilities for children, such as playground, tennis court, swimming pool, table tennis and so on
  • Whether there is a store and restaurant on the camping
  • How far the campsite is from a main road
  • How far the campsite is from any bodies of water

Camping is fun and, in the main, very safe.  However, very often, campsites are placed next to rivers and lakes, which is great if you have older children but if you travel with very young ones, you may want to at least make sure that you pitch away from these bodies of water.  Any campsite that is right on the edge of a main road is also not suitable for young children.One of the greatest things about campsites is that there is a true sense of community.  People look out for each other’s children and belongings and spend time saying hello to each other, perhaps even creating large communal barbeques and so on.  If you go to a campsite where many others with children go to, you will find that the children truly entertain each other.

Examples of Great Campsites

Below are some examples of great campsites in Belgium and France:

Belgium

Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumCamping Petite Suisse, Dochamps.  Five stars.  Features a beautiful view, based on a slight slope.  Camping is themed and includes a legend for easy location of your tent.  Perfectly situated for seeing more of the country and is even open during the winter for winter sport activities.

 

Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumCamping Spa D’Or, Sart-Lez-Spa.  Four stars.  Recently modernised to include truly luxurious accommodation.  There is a wonderful pool and its close to river, where children can swim or canoe.  It is also very close to the borders of the Netherlands and Germany, offering opportunities for daytrips.

 

Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumCamping de Chenefleur, Tintihny.  Three stars.  Includes heated pools that children can use, as well as offering fantastic recreational opportunities.  This campsite was designed for families with children.

 

France

Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumLe Domaine Des Ormes, Brittany. Perfect for lovers of golf and nature, this is France at its very best.  Bring your jeux de boulles, although you can always purchase a set there and join a game of Petangue with the locals.

 
Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumCamping La Garangeoire, Le Vendee.  Truly romantic, as you will camp on the grounds of an ancient chateau.  Includes fantastic swimming pool and other luxury amenities.

 

 
Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumCamping Sequoia Parc, South West Coast.  Perfect for those who want a little of everything.  True French style living and eating, wonderful sandy beaches and plenty of entertainment, this campsite and the surrounding area offers it all.

 

 

Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumLes Gorges Du Chambon, Poitou Charente.  Another campsite on the grounds of an ancient Chateau, this campsite boasts that it is also environmentally friendly, which is great to each the children about the importance of being green.  It offers all the entertainment and activities you could wish for, but in a calm environment where you will mainly learn how to relax.
Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumLe Chateau de L’Eperviere, Burgundy.  Again, in true French style, you will be staying on the grounds of a beautiful chateau.  You can go hiking, walking, swimming, canoeing or do anything else you enjoy here, which includes relaxing in the beautiful manicured gardens of the chateau itself.

 
Camping with Kids in France and BelgiumDomaine de la Barbanne, Dordogne.  At this particular campsite, you will truly feel as if you have entered medieval times once again.  The small village is within walking distance, and it will look as if time has stood still over the past five centuries or so.  Anybody who likes history and old buildings will truly have found the perfect spot for a holiday here.  Do not be swayed by the star ratings alone, as even the campsites with almost no stars can be great fun for the entire family.  So long as they are clean and safe, you will have found a perfect holiday destination.

If you have decided to hire a car, you may just choose to drive from Belgium to France, or from France to Belgium, stopping at various campsites along the way.  Car hire in Belgium is available for as little as £5 per day, as is car hire in France.

Precautions to Take when Camping with Kids

Before you go camping, you have to take a few precautions.  Firstly, you must know the layout of your campsite.  It is very easy for kids to start wandering about and they must know their way back, just as you need to know where they are likely to go to.  Camping, particularly in pitched tents, also requires a certain degree of trust.  After all, anybody could get into your tent.

 

Camping with Kids in France and Belgium

 Although it is rare for something to go wrong, you may want to choose to leave your valuables in a safe or inside your vehicle, just in case. Camping also exposes you to the elements more than any other form of travelling, so make sure you have clothes to cover yourself at night and bring insect repellent. Last but not least, ensure you have a proper conversation with your children about where they can and can’t go unsupervised. Things such as roads and swimming pools, for instance, should be completely off limits without adult supervision.

 

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