Caravanning and camping can be a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of the everyday. For many, it’s a way to reconnect with nature and loved ones. But now that most Australians are choosing to explore their own backyards, camp sites may be a little more jam-packed than usual.
Regardless of whether you’re a regular at your favourite holiday park or enjoy making spontaneous stops at free sites, there are unspoken rules you need to know and follow – after all, good manners can go a long way.
To help you and your temporary neighbours have an enjoyable outdoor adventure, we’ve listed the dos and don’ts of caravanning and camping.
Be considerate of thy neighbours
First things first. If you’re staying at the same site and sharing the same amenities, you’d want to be respectful of other people and their space. If you can, choose a location that offers you and your temporary neighbours some privacy. And it’s not just about being considerate of your human neighbours, think of the wildlife too. If you spot a wild koala munching on gum leaves in a nearby tree – although a photo with the furball would make great content for your Instagram page – let it be.
Allow for personal space
Being and having a friendly neighbour is delightful, but you need to recognise the limits. Some people may want to socialise and make new friendships at caravan parks, others might prefer their space and be there solely for solitude in nature – you just have to read the room, be friendly but also allow for personal space.
Whether you’re staying at a spacious site or a busy holiday park, never encroach on another camp site. When walking around the site stick to walking on the road or the walking paths. Never walk across someone else’s site and teach your children the same rule.
Follow park rules
All holiday parks and camp sites have rules in place that every camper needs to abide by. The reason these rules are made is mainly for the safety and wellbeing of everybody, so be sure to read the rules for each caravan site and respectfully follow them.
Clean up after yourself
Whether you’re using the shared kitchen, barbecue, toilets, showers or laundry, leave it as clean as possible for the next person to use. Even if the amenities weren’t in the best condition before you used them, you should still take the time to leave them tidy and clean.
Keep the noise to a minimum
Campsites can either be very noisy or blissfully quiet. Generally, it’s best to be considerate of others and keep noise and lights to a minimum. There’s not much separating you from your neighbour so be as courteous as possible and use your inside voice even though you’re in the great outdoors.
Supervise your children
One of the great things about camping with kids is the chance for them to socialise and make new friends. But it’s important to teach them manners and to be thoughtful of other campers too. You wouldn’t want to be woken up by children bursting into your caravan and eating all your food first thing in the morning or being knocked over by a kid racing on their bike, so teach your children the dos and don’ts.
Patrol your pets
If you’re at a pet friendly caravan park, make sure your dog is trained and well behaved. As much as you may love and trust your pets to stay close by, it’s risky to let them roam off on their own. An alternative to this is buying a spiral stake to put in the ground to keep your four-legged friend close by while allowing them with a little freedom to roam. Keep in mind that most pet friendly holiday parks have rules you need to follow to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. A number of properties may also be located in national parks or on or near water supply systems, where domestic pets are prohibited – be mindful of this.
At the end of the day, common courtesy plays a big role when caravanning. So, to ensure you and your temporary neighbours have an enjoyable outdoor adventure, always practise kindness and follow the rules.