The Quickie: Car Camping With Your Faves

Not every family vacation can be to Paris, or even Mexico. But there’s plenty of fun to be had on trips far less grand and much closer to home, including the classic family camping trip. Though I didn’t grow up camping, my own little family was destined to seek the thrill of sleeping under the stars and eating cold beans straight from a can. My husband and I met in a youth hostel, but pitched a tent regularly once we started traveling together. It was cheap and efficient…and what 22-year-old girl wouldn’t want to sleep in a tent on Kangaroo Island with this guy?

Even if you’ve never been camping, if you have kids you probably know they love the idea of it. Pitch a tent anywhere from the living room to the backyard and it’s an instant party. And while I was lucky enough to get hooked on camping in Australia, any nearby state park will do for starting a family tradition. We took our first family camping trip last spring when our daughter was four, along with our fun friends, who also happen to be the parents of our daughter’s best friend. While it doesn’t boast koalas or 50 foot waterfalls, Tyler State Park does have beautiful pine trees, lovely hiking and biking trails and a small but picturesque lake. As an extra selling point, it’s an easy 1.5 hour drive straight up the interstate from our house.

If you go camping with two four-year-old girls and a one-year-old boy:

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*Many, many thanks to Jessie and James Greene for the majority of these photos!