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Some travel industry experts have posited that when quarantine ends and travel resumes in the U.S., road trips and camping trips will be among the first travel plans considered. Most individuals would reportedly rather not take trips involving hotels, public transportation, or air travel due to continued concerns about the coronavirus, so camping does seem like a logical choice. For those who may venture out to a local campground, state, or national park in the coming months, here’s how to begin planning your camping trip.

What Type of Camper Are You?

Some of the first decisions you must make when planning a camping trip deal with the type of experience you hope to have. Do you enjoy tent camping, or are you a cabin or RV style camper? Do you want seclusion? Access to electricity and running water? Some campgrounds have primitive sites that allow for greater solitude but don’t offer such amenities as bathhouses. Depending on your preferences, you’ll want to choose a destination that can accommodate you. Are there certain activities that you want to do while on vacation like hiking, fishing, white water rafting, swimming, etc.? If so, you’ll want to choose a campsite with easy access to those activities. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration the needs and expectations of those going with you on the trip. 

Once you’ve answered these basic questions, you can then begin to look into various campgrounds and parks to see which ones best suit your needs. It’s important to remember that campground maps won’t always give you the most accurate idea of what a specific campsite might be like; it’s a good idea to research campground descriptions on sites like ReserveAmerica, CampgroundReviews, and TheDyrt. These sites allow previous visitors to review specific campgrounds and even particular sites. Information such as, “this site is close to the lake, but the mosquitos were unbearable” can come in handy when choosing a location. 

Timing

Another critical aspect to consider when planning a camping trip is seasonal weather patterns and time of year you’d like to go. If you’re a tent camper and will be sleeping outdoors, you may want to consider typical night time temperatures for the area where you’ll be staying. The point is, timing will make a difference in your camping experience and should be carefully considered before reserving a site. 

Reserve a Site

Once you’ve determined when and where you would like to go, many campgrounds and parks have online reservation options where you can book your stay, and some even allow you to specify a particular site you’d like. If there’s not an online reservation option, you’ll need to call the campground office to inquire about availability. 

The final steps in the process of preparing for your camping trip are planning your meals and packing your supplies. These two items are addressed in separate blog posts which are linked here. For now, this will get you started on the right path and give you some things to consider before taking off on a camping adventure.