Top 5 Reasons to Camp vs. Stay in a Hotel with Kids

Camping is a great adventure, but is it good for vacationing with kids
Luxury hotel room is a great way to relax, but is it kid friendly

Following is a list of pros and cons for tent camping with kids as opposed to selecting a hotel.  Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments list below.

1.  Hotel Cleanliness vs. Camping Cleanliness

Hotel Pro: Three star and higher, the room is clean, the sheets are soft, and television is only a click away.

Hotel Con: Actual cleanliness is always a concern (how well did they really clean your room)?  Television is only a click away.

Hotel: Bathtub.  Soap.  Hot water.

Camping Con: Maybe a shower. Maybe hot water. Bring your own soap.

Camping Pro: Who cares about cleanliness, we’re camping?  As soon as they step out of the shower the kids are dirty again anyway!

Camping Con: Bugs

Hotel Con: Bed bugs

2. Kid Friendly Sleep at Hotels vs. Campsite Sleep

Camping Pro: Everyone at a campground is an early riser, you and your kids won’t be the only ones making noise at 6 am!

Camping Con: No sound proof walls, if your child (or someone else’s) wakes up in the middle of the night, everyone will hear.

Hotel Pro: You have your own space, your own room.

Hotel Con: You primarily have one room in which to occupy your child once they awaken.

Camping Pro: The outdoors are entertaining for even the smallest child, and most campgrounds have kid friendly playgrounds, trails, and nature.

3.  Cost of a Hotel vs. Campsite

Hotel Con: Usually costs twice that of a campsite for one night stay.  Plus you can’t cook your own food, so add dining costs as well.

Camping Con: Startup costs are pricey as you pay for tents, sleeping bag, camp stoves and more.

Camping Pro: Once you have the gear, camping will be half the price.

4.  Location/Arrival Times for Campgrounds vs. Hotels

Hotel Con:  Quality hotels are often hard to find in the typical “rustic” outdoor location.  You often drive further to find reasonable priced hotels that are of good quality.

Hotel Pro: You can arrive as late as you want and no one will be disturbed.

Camping Con: Arrival at campsites is often unwelcome after a certain time (and setting up a tent in the pitch black leaves a bit to be desired).

Camping Pro: Campsites abound in most outdoor friendly locations.

Camping Con: Campsites vary in both quality and size.  Uneven ground, proximity to the bathrooms, and proximity to others can make or break the quality of your sleep.

5.  Experience at a Hotel vs. Camping

Camping Pro: My kids view every vacation as an “adventure” because they remember the campsite, the campfire, climbing, camp beaches, camp food, hikes, bugs, and more.  Staying at a campsite is as much a part of the vacation experience as going to the beach, visiting a water park, or heading to a National Park.

Hotel Pro: For those that don’t get to experience the lap of luxury often, staying at a hotel can provide quite the luxury vacation experience.  Room service, fluffy towels, indoor pools and more can truly add to the relaxation and “off duty” feel of a vacation.

Did I miss something? Add it in the comments below.