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Embarking on a Camper Adventure: Our First Test-Camping Weekend

Yes! We bought a camper. A large, red hippie van! But, I thought you liked to travel long distances? That’s true!! The plan is to discover more of Europe this summer and to make a nice long distance trip in the winter. But before the big camper adventure starts, we need to take this bad boy out test-camping a weekend of course!

Preparing for the Camper Adventure

That’s a good question. Step 1 is arranging all the insurances. After comparing a few we ended up with NKC, because you don’t want to go on the road without insurance of course. The camper needs to be fully equipped too. I didn’t really think of that before. Not a lot fun for my wallet but lots of fun getting all the new stuff you need for the camper! The list was long; cushions, bedding, a quilt, towels, dishcloths, plates, bowls, cutlery, cups, glasses, pans, a cutting board, good knifes, a teapot, tea lights and of course all the stuff to make the camper nice and cozy and to your liking. We love the result!

Outdoor Essentials for Camping

But wait…. Two weeks before we left on our test-camping trip I found out I had forgotten one crucial part of our inventory… Everything that goes outside! Camping is living outdoors, so what did we need? Well, a nice table to start with (preferably for 6), relaxing chairs for us, chairs that are adjustable in height for the kids and a hammock of course! A holiday is not complete without a hammock!

Off to the Campsite for a Test-Camping Weekend

Before you go test-camping a weekend you need to have a proper stock of food and beverages of course, and clothes, toiletries and plain old stuff like kitchen- and toilet rolls. Preparing the camper for its maiden voyage happened to be less easy than one would think. Luckily the camper is parked outside right in front of the door. I’m walking back and forth at least 10 times, carrying a full crate of stuff to the camper and an empty crate back. And every time I think of new lame stuff to bring that may come in handy such as a little speaker, lights for outside, chargers, cleaning products and a brush and dustpan.

After done towing stuff around half the day the camper is stocked. We put the kids’ bikes on the back and off we go!

First Stop: Camping Bakkum

Before we go on a road trip through Europe we want to go test-camping a weekend to ‘get to know’ our camper. But Floris is almost ready for his first swimming certificate so he can’t miss a single swimming lesson. So what do you do? Exactly, you go to a campsite that’s just a 30 minute drive from your house (and swimming class). That way you can go back and forth on Saturday morning. So we find ourselves on campsite Bakkum. I have to admit I am a little sceptic at first because it’s seems like a huge campsite which I’m not really fond of.

It turns out Campsite Bakkum doesn’t seem like a huge campsite, it is a huge campsite. But it’s fantastic too! We’re welcomed heartily at the entrance and after the check-in we drive to our camping spot, number 104, at the playground. As it turns out this is a great spot!! We’re set in a circle with about 10 small campervans, caravans and tents in the dunes. From this point you can’t really see how large the campsite is. In the middle of the field there’s a big sandbox where the kids can play with all kinds of playground equipment, lovely! We’re seated under our awning, enjoying a glass of wine while the kids are frolicking around in the playground just 5 meters in front of us.

The heart of the campsite feels like a village square with a Spar supermarket and multiple restaurants, varying from Italian to a chicken bar, fish restaurant and a snack bar. So we decide we won’t be cooking the first night but we have a delicious roasted chicken off the spit.

First Night in the Camper: A Learning Experience

Well we do need some adjusting the first night: we have electricity but the phones are not charging, how’s that possible? Lotte needs to go for a pee before dinner and when we get back from dinner her pee has come up through the shower drain again… rather interesting. So to go test-camping a weekend is a good idea, because you don’t want to deal with this kind of stuff when you’re on a real holiday.

Child-Friendly Activities at Campsite Bakkum

Well, for ours at least. After a wonderful night’s sleep in the camper we have our breakfast in the fresh air before Flo and I go back and forth to Zandvoort for his swimming lesson. When we return we rent a go-kart for the both of them. Such fun!! Flo’s big go-kart even has a seat on the back for Lotte to rest on when she gets tired of her own go-kart. Turns out the hammock is not only favored by Kev and me but by the kids too. They love to just lay back, relax and swing around a bit. The campsite really has 101 activities for the kids. They have multiple playgrounds, a bouncing cushion, multiple sportsfields, a petting farm, an extensive activity program and even a “read to caravan”.

At 16:30 the campsite mascot Eki the Squirrel comes out to read to the children in his caravan. The kids love it and after listening to the squirrel they want to have their picture taken with their new best friend. This evening we have our dinner at the camper. We want to have a barbecue but we’re only allowed to have a gas-barbecue because of danger of forest fires.

After dinner we go and search for the children’s disco. Our search is ended after a short while. When arrive at the disco and see the people exiting the place with one last dance. Too bad… But we won’t let it bring us down. Kev and I take a seat on the terrace of the Italian restaurant while Floris and Lotte enjoy themselves with sand and water in the playground in front of us. It’s great to be able to relax and chat while the kids are playing in sight.

Second Chance at the Children’s Disco

After another nights sleep in the camper we start the morning with a nice breakfast of fresh bread rolls we bought at the Spar supermarket on the campsite. And what do we find out?! The children’s disco isn’t just at 19:30 in the evening but at 10:00 in the morning too, yippy! We take the go-karts to Eki straight away!

The kids absolutely love “dancing with Eki”. After the dancing they get to hug with Eki as well. Lotte and Flo’s day is made! And then it’s time to tidy stuff up because we have to leave the campsite at 12:00 o’clock. No fun… I was just getting used this test-camping.

I tidy up and clean everything in the camper while Kev tidies stuff up around the camper. Our new camping gear from Obelink is the best! The table turns into a suitcase and the chairs and hammock are easily folded into handy storage bags. Oh that’s right, we need to return the go-karts. The rental is near the campsites exit so Lotte and Flo race in front of Kevin and the camper to “show him the way”.

Wrapping Up Our Test-Camping Weekend

Our test-camping a weekend has come to an end. We have hit the road for the first time with our new red mobile home. It needed a little getting used to for me but all in all we had a great time!! When you buy a camper you simply need to go test-camping a weekend, for sure. This way we know how the electricity works. How to stop the toilet form flooding and how the kids can sleep the best way. It’s a lot less fun to find all of this out “along the way” when you go on a real holiday.

Camping in the Netherlands was rather fun too. I think it was only last year that I said “over my dead body” when someone told me to go camping in the Netherlands. But with our red camper it’s actually a lot of fun! Granted, my travel bug is probably too large to make camping in the Netherlands my new hobby. But I can certainly get used to the idea of discovering Europe in the summer and choosing a long distance trip for the winter! Although I couldn’t help checking what it would cost to put the camper on a boat to America or Australia ;).

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