Pros, Cons and Cost of Camping with Small Children

As a bit of a summary after our road trip camping across central Finland:



  • The children where not always thrilled about the drives but  as we didn’t cover huge distances in a day, it wasn’t too bad. If we drove 2-3 hours we always timed it to the younger one’s napping time. Usually the older one would nap too, and still they slept well in the nights. Must be the fresh air. Also, always have a spare carrot in the car to entertain a bored/ hungry child, buys you some time.
  • Us parents would have loved it all if it would not have been for the *cold* nights. It was the coldest June for years and we were stupid enough to only take summer sleeping bags for us. After a couple of nights we bought a winter bag for hubby and I slept with both summer bags on top of each other, and then we could enjoy the nights in the tent. We had been looking forward to loads of this from our previous roadtrip around Finland, but this time it was not going to happen.
  • Rain. We checked the weather forecast in the mornings and headed away from the rain… but returned home 2 days earlier than planned as we just were not interested in two days in the tent with only rain.


25-27.6 Metsäranta camping, Jyväskylä (1)


  1. […] said that, we invested in a tent and sleeping bags before our first camping summer with the children 4 years ago, so no extra cost this summer. A night in a tent for 4 people (2 […]

  2. […] hassle with babies in nappies for me. But when our younger one was 2, going on 3, we made our first camping trip, and found that doing it all together with no schedule was much more fun and far less hard work […]

  3. […] are interested in camping in Finland and wondering about the cost, maybe the calculations I did on last years camping trip through central Finland will give you an idea of how much this sort of travelling costs, as well as […]

  4. […] Last summer camping was so much fun, that we want to do it again. This time it is time to explore the far north, the Finnish Lapland, to let our kids meet Santa and do some reindeer spotting too. […]

  5. Great post! I look forward to the day we can do this with our little ones. Even though I have a 19 month old, he’s pretty adventurous and LOVES the outdoors. He might have a problem with the fact that “we’re not going back home after a wonderful day outdoors”, but nothing we can’t handle. As for my 5 yo who is a Highly Sensitive boy, he has grown to be extremely adventurous that way and has been asking us to take him camping for a while now. Camping with family is a great “memory-making” activity. Most of my favorite moments growing were on our camping trips! The fresh air, the sounds of crickets and wildlife, the campfires, the marshmallows… What’s not to love!

    1. We “trained” by first playing inthe tent, then having a nap there on my parents yard, then went to an island just for a night with friends… in hindsight i think that training was more needed for us parents 🙂 but camping was just a very relaxing way to spend time togeyher outdoors!

  6. I think the huge pro is that children are “forced” to be outdoors. They are “forced” to play, discover things etc… instead watching tv.

    1. Probably. But not just children; parents too 😉

      I loved Valencia when I was there. Beautiful.

      1. Thank you. Every day more people discover Valencia.

  7. That is such good value! I was wondering whether to risk taking my two girls camping as a cheap holiday but as the one year old doesn’t sleep at the best of times I am not sure if she would sleep at all in a tent!

    1. …then again, she might surprise you and actually sleep better than ever due to loads of fresh air. Or not. I guess you can never know before hand… but pretty well done that you even consider it! When our kids were keeping us mostly up, I would never have considered doing anything different, my brain wasn’t able to even think about doing something in a new setting!

      1. Yes that is about where I am at. But sometimes after a rare four hours sleep I start planning things! Then after another bad night I wake up and think No Way!!

  8. I own two heaters – one for each tent during the cold times. I also own an AC unit, which I’ve never had to use, but several fans that always go camping with us for the heat! 🙂

    I’m glad that overall you guys had so much fun! I loved reading about the different places!

    1. really, a heater for the tent? The only ones I know are the stoves with fire in army tents… 🙂 Not that I have ever looked into that either; when I was younger, staying in the tent mainly meant hiking as well, and if you carry everything, you try to keep it light.

      Glad you enjoyed it, so did we!

  9. Æ has put a rule in that camping is out til the youngest is reliably toilet trained. I guess if it was a driving trip that might be different, though (I think he’s ok with one nappy overnight). He just wants a few extra facilities in case – though I stayed with both of them at an onsite cabin in a camp ground and caravan park in Tasmania and we did just fine.

    Definitely you don’t have to go far. I’m just coming to that conclusion for our side-trip when Grandma and Grandad come to visit – less travelling is better, I think.

    1. I can understand his sentiments regarding his rule for the toilet training 😉 that is a tough balance, we just always put a nappy on for drives, nights and days where all rhytm was gone as that also usually means a need for about 6 changes a day = not an option while travelling. Let’s see how he goes without again. I have my hopes, he was only 1,5 when he said he didn’t need a nappy anymore…

      1. 1.5yo! Yes, T was a bit the same in that she insisted on starting young, but unfortunately it hasn’t translated into early training….

        1. Well, we are also still training…. and big mats are still off the floors 😉 (oh yeah, we don’t have carpets here, so the removing part is easier)

          1. Yes, thank goodness for no carpets!

  10. Wow! Great list! And it was so inexpensive! I like seeing how much trips cost (except my own that is, haha). I am often surprised.

    1. Yes, this really ended up being very affordable! And we just did what we felt like. We saved all the receipts to be able to sum it up later on, didn’t want to spoilt the holiday by counting pennies.

      But the one thing it really shows, we had a good time but when I was asking on fb too for tips on what to do, everyone always suggests all the fun parks and if we’d gone to all 6-7 of them that were on our way, the cost of the trip might have tripled…

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