Finding The Perfect Campsite: Your Basic Guide

The size and location of a campsite are important when trying to find the perfect one, although other considerations include the cost and amenities, and whether the campground is family friendly. It’s easy to find books and websites listing campgrounds all over the country, and the camping experience is a lot more enjoyable if you take the time to find the one that’s right for you.

Step One

Determine what the purpose of your camping trip is. Do you want to spend time with the family, take part in outdoor activities or enjoy a romantic break with that special someone? Once you have that figured out and have decided on a budget, think about the campground amenities and any excursions in the area. You can make sure the campsite fits your needs with some careful planning.

Step Two

You may not know any friends or family members who have camped at the same destination that you’re going to, although word of mouth recommendations can be invaluable when choosing a campground. Reviews on and other camping sites can help you find the right campground, and established camping guide books such as those published by Frommer’s can also be useful. However, if you still aren’t sure, simply call the campsite and talk to someone there. Ask whether they appeal more to families, groups or couples and whether they consider themselves a family friendly campground.

Step Three

A campground with electricity hook-ups is a must when camping in an RV, while a more primitive and basic campsite may work if you are planning to pitch a tent. Look at the type of campground, the amenities and the overall level of comfort offered.

Step Four

Location is important, especially if you want a campsite that’s a little quieter. It may be noisier during your stay if the campsite is located next to a busy road or railroad track, and you can generally expect a noisier and more sociable camping experience if the campsite is densely populated and the pitches closer together.

Step Five

Extras and amenities such as a game room, pool or playground may be important to you if you are camping with small children. If you are camping as a couple, you probably want more peace and quiet and more space between the individual sites. Remember that you’ll probably pay more for various extras, but it may be worth it to have water hook-ups, shower blocks, fire pits, laundry, and a camp store or restaurant.

Step Six

If you are planning to sightsee, make sure there is plenty to do nearby, including state parks, trails for mountain biking and perhaps a skate park. Boating, fishing, swimming, and kayaking are offered at many campsites, and these activities may be important to you. Try to choose a campground that offers easy access to the things you will want to do.

Step Seven

Budget is important. Campsite costs can vary widely; you can expect to pay as much as $100 a night for a luxury campground with all the amenities, features and extras you could want, while you can pay as little as $10 for a night at an older, and more basic campsite.

Step Eight

Reserve well ahead of time when possible, as popular campgrounds and those in touristy areas book up quickly, especially during peak times. Most campers prefer to choose their actual site rather than have it assigned to them on arrival, and checking out the camp website should tell you all about reservations.

Step Nine

Look at each available site if you arrive at your campground without a specific pitch booked, keeping in mind the needs of your party, especially any children.

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