Ready to explore one of the many campgrounds that offer a variety of amenities to suit your needs? Here’s how to find an ideal site for your best-ever camping holiday.
The number one rule is to book early! This is especially true if your destination is a popular site known for its well-maintained premises and attractive facilities (i.e., beach, arcade, pool and restaurants).
Before you book anything
Evaluate your expectations and jot down any questions you’d like to ask the owner or manager of the site.
- What is the goal of your holiday? Are you looking to relax, escape from the city, go on a back country excursion, visit attractions or simply enjoy a family get-together?
- Do you have the necessary equipment or would you like to use on-site lodging?
- How long do you plan on staying? Two days? A week? The season?
- Do you have a dog? Several campgrounds are pet friendly and allow animals (some restrictions apply).
- What are the rules and guidelines of the site? For example, waste disposal, fire regulations, etc.
- What are the activities you’d like to do while you’re there? Hiking, biking, swimming, festivals, shows, etc.
Make an informed choice
Don’t hesitate to ask for references or browse camping message boards for feedback on the best places to visit.
- If you plan on camping at nearby sites, take a weekend to go out and tour them first. You might fall in love with a spot and be thankful you didn’t book another.
- Visit online forums; but take the comments with a grain of salt. Comments made by travellers can sometimes dwell on minor details.
You may also want to create a checklist of what to bring if you’ve never camped before. Have a friend who’s an experienced camper look it over and make suggestions of things to add or remove.
How much do campsites charge and what’s included in the fee?
Generally, you have the option of a space that includes a fire pit, a picnic table and a barbecue.
- Several camping sites are reviewed by provincial and national camping associations. A 5-star rating system compares amenities, on-site activities, settings and maintenance of the location.
- If you’re looking for a deluxe campsite, you can expect to pay $40 to $50 per night for the family; and $240 or more for the week. Remote locations will always be less expensive.
- Some camp grounds offer just the basics, while others provide up to three services: water, electricity and washrooms.
Once there, you may get to select your space and your proximity to these services, although you may be assigned a lot based on what’s available.