Finding a great campsite can be tricky. You need to be ready to pounce when you find one and you also need to be well connected and know where to look to find the best family –friendly ones.  Here are five tips you can use to help you find a great family friendly campsite.

1. Ask around – Word of mouth is the best way to find a great campsite. Ask other parents and family and friends that like to go camping where they had good experiences and where they had bad ones so that you can avoid those places.  Most of the time people are happy to talk about the campsites they would and wouldn’t recommend.

2. Scour the Internet – Go onto some family camping forums or parents websites and do a little digging to find out what campsites and campgrounds other parents really liked. Remember that you should take everything that you read online with a grain of salt, but if you read between the lines you should be able to get a pretty good idea of which places are good and which ones aren’t.

3. Research before you go – While you’re online go to the websites of a few campgrounds to view photos of the site before you go there.  Some campgrounds have fully interactive websites with virtual tours and lots of information about the amenities they have. Some other sites make dig around the site to find the information that you’re looking for but if you look hard enough you can usually tell if a site is family friendly or not by the photos and language on the website.

4. Be flexible with your vacation dates – If you find a great campground that seems perfect for a family camping trip but they are all booked up during the period that you want to go it’s worth changing your plans.  Being flexible about the dates that you’re willing to travel can make the difference between spending your family camping vacation at a great campsite or spending it trapped at a bad campsite having a miserable time. Remember, if your kids aren’t having fun neither will you.

5. Share – If the great campground that a friend recommended is full but your friends have a site ask if you can share their campsite or ask them if they would be willing to split the time with you.  If your families are close then a joint vacation with a shared campsite might be a lot of fun for everyone.

If your friends do agree to share the campsite make sure that you pay for the half fees and be willing to pitch in and do a little more than your share of the chores because they will be doing you a big favor.  A little consideration when camping with others will go a long way towards the making the trip more pleasant for everyone.