Our first family camping trip in Sicily was a huge success. It basically consisted of playing on the beach, reading, eating pizza on the beach, reading, and playing some more on the beach. How could that be anything but a wonderful escape? And in addition to the joys of lazy beach living, we also felt like we were having a truly European experience because we were sharing the campground with families from Germany, The Netherlands, France and other parts of Europe.
We also learned a few things, too:
1) Don't forget to pack toliet paper. Luckily I have a real van and we were able to find a box of tissues and half a box of baby wipes jammed under the seats.
2) Ask about all of the fees. We didn't realize until check-out that we were being charged one fee for the camp site, one fee for having our car, and one fee for each person. Still much cheaper than a hotel or agriturismo, but wish we had known there were all of those additional fees. We are also planning to get a discount camping card for the year.
3) Arrive early in the day to get a good spot. We got a much later start than we would have liked (I remember wondering as a kid why it always took my parents so long to load the car, now I know!). Our spot was fine, but it was hard not to notice the prime spots with large trees and better beach views.
4) Bring change. The showers were coin operated. Not sure if this is the norm for most European campgrounds, but it is good to be prepared.
5) Don't promise your kids s'mores. Our campsite didn't have fire pits and we didn't have a camp stove so the kids ate their marshmallows "raw". They were a bit disappointed about not having a campfire, but once we pulled out the flashlights things got fun again. Again, not sure if this is standard or not, but if you are set on having a camp fire contact the camp site prior to arrival to inquire about this possibility.
We had such a good time that on our way we home stopped by Decathlon to check out their tents (love the pop-up ones). We didn't buy one but we are actively researching tents so if you have any family tent recommendations, please share them. The same goes for any family camping tips. I found this article and checklist to be helpful, but I always love hearing your advice. We are working on putting together a box of camping stuff that will be handy to grab for future weekend get-aways. What are your must-have camping supplies?