In my family, camping was a staple in our vacation arsenal. Every year we would attempt to hit at least 5 camping trips within a calendar year. Sometimes more and rarely fewer. Not every family gets along so well as to survive being put in a tent out in the middle of nowhere so is it even possible to have the "perfect" family camping trip? Sure! I've taken quite a few of them!
This may sound like a given and it should be. The weather will ruin even the most well laid plans whether it decides to dump rain like the biblical great flood or bring out the heat and humidity like the fires of ... well, you get the idea. If you don't account for the weather, you could be stuck many miles from home and very uncomfortable. Comfort, of course, helps to keep tempers cool! Do yourself a favor and give your trip a fighting chance by taking a glance at the forecast!
Everyone has a need for stimulation, especially younger age groups. Make sure you have plenty of activities available to keep you and the others you are with happily occupied! NO, I did not say bring the generator, TV, and video game systems. What I said was, bring bikes, balls, sidewalk chalk, or even coloring books if you or the kids prefer being in camp! You can even teach them skills around the campsite like everyone's favorite, fire building! Why not? It's a great skill to have! Activities are a great way to keep everyone out of the way of each other.
Picking a good location can help with the activities as well as some aspects of the weather. Sometimes you just can't avoid the weather like summer heat so pick a place with a body of water to enjoy if it gets too hot! I'll say this, I typically enjoy my Missouri State Parks above many other things. They are always free entry and offer a wide variety of activity oriented nature from hiking and biking trails to kayaking and swimming areas (though not every location has kayaking and swimming). Sometimes it can't get any easier when looking to have a great time when you start with the right location! Check into the state and local parks in your area to get started!
Mom: Honey, did you remember to pack the (fill in the blank with super important thing)?
We've all been on a trip like that. Doesn't even have to a camping trip either. If you've ever been on a trip where you forgot something really important that you couldn't live without and couldn't make a run to the store to get a new one, you know that can be the worst! Your trip might be over before it ever got to start. You just have to remember: Food/water, clothing, shelter. Make sure you have those 3 covered all the way through, and the rest is no big deal!
Of course there is probably a long list of things I could add here but these are the things I find the most likely to make your next camping trip perfect! I'm not saying that you can't have a great time if you don't have one of these 4 bases covered nor am I saying you are guaranteed to have a great time even if you do have all 4 bases covered. What I'm saying is these 4 will give you an excellent chance in building a love of camping with your family or group.