Have you ever wondered what the essential must haves are for a camping trip across Europe with kids? Well read this as I share with you exactly what we took with us on our European tent adventure.
Last week we started our camping trip across Europe. We plan to visit France, Spain, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, England and parts of Portugal that we have not yet visited.
We plan to do it all before September and spread our time between different areas and campsites we want to stay at.
There will be pretty beaches, waterparks, theme parks, tapas, farmers markets, sunsets and so much more.
But to make it happen we need all the usual essentials so that we can make our way around Europe and have a spectacular family adventure.
We are mum, dad, 16-year-old teenage son, 20-month-old toddler son and our 3.5 year old daughter. Safety and looking after the kids is our main priority.
We were sent more products than we can remember from brands that wanted to be involved in our summer content. Some of the products were terrible and went to the bins, others were okay and then the elite few were what I would call essentials that every summer camping trip should have.
Then there are a few where we didn’t receive any samples and bought locally, in which case we have found the most suitable product on Amazon for you to compare notes with.
Must Have Camping Essentials For A Summer Camping Trip
The Tent – It must always start with the tent as the tent is your first thought when you go camping. We have a 6-man tent that has plenty of room for snuggling if you want to escape the rain. It’s a German brand and we all know how good the Germans are for quality camping equipment.
Before that we did have a bad experience with Colemans and their customer service. My thought was if Colemans customer service is bad, then what are their tents like?
The Sleeping Bags – We all need a good sleeping bag. You need one that can open up into something big that can serve like a blanket, as well as one that you can hide inside for when it is cold weather. We are camping in Spain at its hottest and also experiencing the UK and Germany which doesn’t get as hot. So, we need the best of both worlds.
We are taking with us 3 adult sleeping bags from this German brand. My only complaint is how on earth do you roll them back up so perfectly to go back in the bag it comes in?
Kids Ready Bed – A kid’s ready bed is like a sleeping bag and mattress in one. The idea is that you use the attached pump and blow it up quickly and then you are ready to go. Though for us the worst thing happened and when we opened the boxes only one of the 2 beds had a pump. It slowed us down a lot and was disappointing that one was missing.
The same PR company also promised us a blow up mini sofa for the kids. We never received this and even a couple of months on, my daughter is still really upset about it. You see she was promised a Peppa Pig one and you know how bad it is when you break a promise to a 3-year-old. They really don’t let you forget!
Outdoor Table & Chairs – I always remember the folding 4 seats and table in one system that I had camping growing up. They are great as they don’t take up that much room and can lay flat in the bottom of your car boot. We got ours in silver and think it looks fabulous.
Adult Comfy Chairs – Us adults all need those comfy chairs that we can snuggle on and remind ourselves that camping can also be glamping. We got a lovely pair of chairs that include a place for our drinks from the same brand that we got our tent from. When I got them out of the box when they are arrived, I sat in them and didn’t want to get back up!
Blow Up Pillows – We also have some blow up pillows and it saves on space compared to taking your own pillows. We have three blow up pillows and I am sure they are going to come in very useful.
Electric Pump – We invested in an electric pump to help speed up all the things that we have that need blowing up. It is much faster than using a manual pump and when you are tired, and in a rush, they are perfect.
The Food System – It is important that you have at least 2 ways that you can cook food when you are camping. One is the favourite method and then the second is the backup method. For us we took with us our Instant Pot and our Cobb BBQ.
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Both I expect will get a lot of use. One can cook the main food and then the second can do the side. Or on some days just use the one and make one pot meals.
The Instant Pot is the easiest because you simply press it for pressure and its like having your own microwave with you. But there are going to be times when we are without electric or the wattage of the campsite is not enough for an Instant Pot.
With the Cobb its perfect for the chicken while the vegetables cook in the Instant Pot. Or when we are without electric we can use the Cobb all the time.
Though for accessories I managed to get this amazing little cooking pot set for one. It reminded me of the amazing spring form pans you get for the Instant Pot. It fits perfectly in the Instant Pot for travelling with and I can’t wait to use them.
Cooling System – You need something substantial to be able to keep your food and drinks cold. I like something like this that can be used for meat for when I am cooking but is also good for chilled drinks.
Flash Lights – It is amazing how dark it gets on a campsite. For those evenings or during the night trips to the toilet you need some flash lights.
We took 2 different versions with us. We had two of this version and two of this version. It meant that if one broke that we had backups.
Picnic Rugs – Picnic rugs are certainly essential on a summer camping trip. You can use them on the beach, for picnics and they are also great alternative flooring to your tent or in your outdoor areas.
Wind Break – Wind breaks are perfect for privacy when you are camping. But even better if you have small children it’s a great way to keep them enclosed and to keep them away from swimming pools and rivers when you turn your back for that quarter of a second.
Beach Towels – We had a lot of different brands of travel towels sent to us, but the brand that we liked the most that we are taking with us is the Style Slice brand. They come in cute little bags and we can’t wait to take them on the beach or use them at the showers.
Rucksacks – Rucksacks are also an essential part of your camping trip. They are perfect for storing all your clothes in, doing laundry, taking down the beach instead of having to take loads of bags, or for taking onto ferries with you.
We took a few with us because as a family of 5 they soon get used:
A few extras that are also essential that we often forget to buy:
A good quality road map that covers the country you’re visiting. In our case one that covers all of Europe.
Car charging system. We found this amazing product by chance to charges laptops, tablets, phones and such like all at once. Why was I never aware of such a thing until now?
Country adaptor. I love a good adapter that will convert your electronics from the UK to Europe or vice versa. But I have never seen one like this before, it literally converts all the main countries. I can even use it on future holidays to the US.
Travel Knife. We all need one of these. Where we can chop up a washing line to hang from the trees or when you want to sort out one of the ropes on the side of your tent. Or you might be opening a stiff bag and can’t get into it.
First Aid Kit. I bought a good one from my local Lidl store but otherwise I planned to get one from Amazon.
Flat Bags. I didn’t know this item even existed until I tried it. But wow I am excited about it now! I can keep these in my handbag they are that small and then use them for laundry, kitchen items, grocery shopping or whatever I see fit. They are a genius!
Well that is it! Can you imagine that we have all that and MORE that we need to fit into our car, as well as 2 kids and 3 adults. Now this is going to be interesting!
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