This post is sponsored by Kampgrounds of America and all opinions are the writer’s.
If you´re planning your first camping trip, you´re not alone! According to the yearly North American Camping Report, issued by Kampgrounds of America, three million U.S. households were new to camping last year. Camping is becoming more and more popular, especially amongst Latinos, who comprise 30% of families who enjoy exploring this type of getaway! Most of us love camping because we can do it as a group. We bring our kids, but also our parents and grandparents, and maybe even our pets. This way we can enjoy time together as a family!
When I shared our recent camping trips on social media over the past year, my friends commented how they also loved camping. Even my dear friend, Karynn, reminded me that she also used to camp at KOA when she was a kid.
But camping has come a long way since I was a little girl and traveled with my parents and my sister. Back then, one would basically pitch a tent and make the best of it in the wilderness. Now, we have so many more options, there’s surely one for every want and need. As the most recent KOA Camping Report showed, Latinos love new experiences, and more than half of those who camp want to experience new or different lodging options like glamping, yurts or treehouses. After all, it’s all about adventure!
To make your next camping trip a resounding success, here are some tips to get you started:
1.- Involve the family.- Whether your kids are young or, like mine, teens, involve them in the planning process. If you´re bringing the abuelos, also ask them what kind of accommodations they´d like. You can visit the KOA website or download the free KOA App to find a campground and access trip-planning tools to will help you find exactly what you want.
2.- Decide where you want to go.- There are more than 500 KOA locations in the U.S. and Canada. You can search on KOA.com by distance, type of location, lodging and more. Would you like to spend a week at the beach? A few days in the woods? Just a weekend at a nearby location? You can do all of that and more. You really don´t have to go far to have a great time. Our most recent trips have been two-night stays at locations between one and two hours from home. It felt like a real vacation. It´s not about distance, but a change in scenery.
3.- Settle on the kind of lodging.- The KOA Family of Campgrounds features level, clean RV sites up to 120 feet, including pull-ins and back-ins with full hookups and Wi-Fi. Based on the number of people in your party along with their wants and needs, plan the kind of camping lodging that would work best. Maybe the kids want to be in a tent, and the abuelos prefer a cabin. Or maybe you want to get a deluxe cabin for the entire family. The best thing is you can completely customize your experience. Deluxe Cabins offer full baths and bedrooms and can sleep as many as eight people, offering convenient amenities such as kitchens or kitchenettes, climate control, KOA Patios™ and more.
4.- Book with plenty of time.- While you may find the accommodations you want as close to a week out, if you´re planning on traveling over a long weekend or summer vacation, make sure to book ahead of time. KOA grounds book fast during peak travel times. If you do this, you may even be able to extend your stay. Turns out most Latino families extend our stays by an extra night, compared to other campers. We also love that we can be connected during our vacations, if we have to! Most of us take our smartphones and other electronic devices, even if we don´t end up using them.
5.- Sign up for the rewards card.- KOA offers membership rewards through its Value Kard Reward program, where members receive a 10 percent discount on daily registration fees and earn points each time they stay at a KOA campground. Rewards points accumulate for cash off future stays. Other benefits are a free night of camping during Value Kard Rewards Appreciation Weekend and access to thousands of coupons through the KOA coupon savings program.
6.- Check out a map of the area and plan your stay.- Know what kind of location you will be staying at and find out what the amenities are ahead of time. The KOA Family of Campgrounds – KOA Journeys, KOA Holidays and KOA Resorts– all offer something a little different. For example, for the ultimate family camping experience, KOA Resorts offer a carefree vacation in the great outdoors. It’s the ultimate getaway with robust recreation and staff-led activities, as well a resort-style pool and dining accommodations on the campground.
7.- Plan your packing and meal needs.- Whether you stay in a cabin, an RV or a tent, you will always find clean bathrooms and showers and laundromats. You won´t need to overpack! Choose your clothes depending on the weather and destination. Your meal needs will vary depending on the accommodations you choose, and you can always count on having a fire-pit. Firewood can always be purchased at the campground’s convenience store and delivered to your camping site. Kids love fire-pits and they provide wonderful opportunities to bond with family and friends.
Lastly, share your experience online, with the hashtags #KOACamping and #KOAventuras. You will find other campers who, like you, are passionate about sharing their good times.