How to feel like you’ve had a camping holiday when you’re not camping


If you follow us on instagram you would know that we recently went on a trip without the van. We had some troubles with it and we weren't able to drive long distances, Josh had some holidays from work and we really still wanted to get away - so off to an Airbnb we went.

This, and chatting to a friend who was about to do a trip with her young family, got us thinking. How do you still get the same feeling as if you had been camping even when you stay somewhere other than your tent [e.g a unit/house/cabin]? Nothing really beats sleeping in the outdoors, underneath the stars, listening to the waves crashing and waking up to the sound of birds chirping. But staying in a unit/house/cabin has some pretty good perks as well, especially with kids - a toilet nice and close, hot shower, oven and heater etc. Plus we ended up having some pretty rainy weather while we were away (in Yamba) - so it was such a blessing to have somewhere warm and dry to go to each day. 

So here are our tips on how to feel like you've had a camping holiday even when you're not camping:

Get outside first thing

Have a look at the ocean, take a short walk, get some coffees or take a flask of coffee to look at the view outside. Getting outside in the fresh air first thing in the morning is such a simple yet powerful way to refresh you and set the tone for your day. 

Pack a picnic breakfast

This can really be for any meal, but I want to highlight breakfast here. It goes with our first tip, getting outside first thing in the morning. Go and find an electric BBQ, or just bring a picnic, spread out a rug and enjoy your meal in the fresh air with your family. Starting your morning with a nice relaxing, slow breakfast in the outdoors, where the kids can run and kick a ball around is such a great thing to do on holidays (and at home). 

End your day watching the sun go down 

Even if it's just for 15 minutes, get outside and watch the sun go down. Go for a walk, a short bike ride or just watch the sun set over the sea, the mountains, the fields, wherever you are. By doing this, we find that it not only ends the day off perfectly but also wears out that last bit of energy in Zion. 

Watching the dolphins playing as the sun was setting in Yamba, NSW.

Watching the dolphins playing as the sun was setting in Yamba, NSW.

Ditch the technology

Bring cards, backgammon, board games and books. Things that you don't normally do or have time for at home. These can be things you do with the whole family or things to do when the kids go to sleep instead of putting the TV on. 

Get Out

Enjoy the luxuries of the place you're staying (fridge, shower, spa etc) but don't JUST stay there. Get out, explore the local sights and experience nature.

Bike rides

Pack your bikes or skateboards. Find some paths, pack a picnic or stop for lunch or coffee on the way. Enjoy a nice long slow bike ride, take time to stop and look at things along the way (depending on the age of your kids). Or let Dad take the kids for a ride, while mum goes for a walk - and or vica versa. 

Eat your meals outside

Eat as many of your meals outside as you can. Is there a balcony or outdoor area at the place you're staying? Or you can pack a picnic like we mentioned above. Just take the time to enjoy your meals outside in amongst nature, it's something you might not normally do at home. 

take a deep breath

Each morning and night stand outside and five deep breaths. Close your eyes, become mindful of your surroundings, the smells, the sounds, the feeling of the air on your skin and take 3-5 deep breaths. You can take more if you want, and do some stretches while you're there - but at least take these few moments to take a few deep breaths of the beautiful fresh air.