I am not sure how other people plan for camping trips away, but our process goes something like: At 3:45 on Friday afternoon, decide to go camping. Find a campsite. Make a booking. Realise it is a 4 hour drive away and that the gates close at 9. Manically pack. Dither back and forth about wether or not we will make it on time. Drive 10 miles out of the way to collect remaining 2 members of the family. Shoot down the motorway, but realise it is rush hour, so shooting becomes "driving for miles at 40mph". Get lost in Carlisle. Realise campsite of about 1 hour away from the reason we were heading down south in the first place. Arrive at 8:55pm - exactly 5 minutes before the gates close (There may also have been a small amount of bickering...ahem).
I tell you what, it was so so so worth the stress. We stayed at the most magical campsite in the Lake District. I have been very very reluctant to camp in the UK since our last experience of a 5* campsite was so bad - too many people packed in like sardines. Yuck. But Fisherground...the most amazing place ever. Beautiful setting, kind staff, and, as you drive in your are met with this:
All they wanted to do was play at the pond. Ellis taking the little ones on trips to the island on the tyre rafts or making friends, planning rescue missions. They were wet and happy the entire time we were on site.
Of course, there were the other obligatory camping activities as well.
Sigh. We would have stayed forever.
Well ok, considering the children didn't sleep AT ALL, forever may be a bit ambitious.