Plan the Perfect Spring Break Camping Trip

Spring break is a great time to pack up the car and hit the road with your family or best buddies. Whether it's your first time camping, or you're a seasoned camper looking forward to some time outdoors, we have some resources to help you plan your spring break camping trip. From the best campground apps to stargazing calendars, and popular spring break destinations, we’ve got you covered. 

  • 01 of 10

    Plan a Camping Road Trip

    Friends relaxing in camper van
    ••• Getty Images/David Lees

    The thrill of hitting the open road and heading where the wind blows is pretty appealing -- especially for a spring break adventure. A spontaneous road trip can offer some of the best experiences and memories that you’ll ever have. But a road trip with no plans can also be a disaster. There are a few things to consider before you set out on a camping road trip.

  • 02 of 10

    Campground and Outdoors Apps

    Checking the coordinates
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    Let's face it -- smartphone and tablet apps have restructured the way we live our lives, how we travel and how we search for a campground. There are a lot of great camping apps out there worth a download.

    You've pitched your tent, set up the campground kitchen, and gathered wood for your campfire, but once your campsite is set, now what? For those of us who love to venture in the great outdoors, technology is helping us explore even more. 

    Check out these tried-and-true camping apps and hit the road amply prepared.

  • 03 of 10

    Camping for Beginners

    A traveler gets cozy inside her van.
    ••• Getty Images/Matthew Micah Wright

    Spring break is a great time to go camping for the first time. If you are a camping newbie, have no fear; there are camping lessons for you here. Learn about the gear you need to pack, where to camp, how to set up and break down your campsite, and how to clean and properly store your gear when you get home.

  • 04 of 10

    Easy Campground Cooking

    Father cutting pancakes for son in camper van
    ••• Getty Images/Thomas Barwick

    Campground cooking can be simple and easy, yet still delicious and one of the best parts of the camping experience. From one-pot meals to gourmet Dutch oven cooking, food will taste best when served in the great outdoors.

    Common concerns include what food to take camping and how to keep it cold in the cooler. Cooking at the campground can be intimidating -- there is a lot to pack and you don't want to forget any key ingredients, but a few simple preparations and methods can make campground cooking easy, enjoyable and delicious!

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Dutch Oven Cooking

    Cooking dinner in the Dutch oven
    ••• Getty Images/Karly Pope

    If you are a more experienced camper, Dutch oven cooking is a great way to make up some tasty food for your friends at the campground. You’ll need a few essential tools, a couple of good recipes, and tasty ingredients.

  • 06 of 10

    What Not to Do on a Camping Trip

    Shot of a campsite filled with litter
    ••• Getty Images/PeopleImages

    There are a lot of ways to ruin a good camping trip. And it's even easier to ruin the great outdoors for others -- by leaving your trash in the fire pit, letting the bears get into your cooler and having your raging party go all-night-long, to name a few.

    It's not that camping has a lot of rules, but there are a few things you can do on your trip to make sure everyone has an enjoyable experience, including your neighbors and the resident wildlife.

  • 07 of 10

    Plan a Stargazing Campout

    Father and son looking through telescope
    ••• Getty Images/Dana Neibert

    Campers love the stars, the moon, and the night sky, so why not plan a stargazing campout? Meteor showers, constellations, new and full moons are all great for nighttime viewing.

    Choose a campground that is away from city lights and ocean fog. Mountainous or hilltop locations are ideal for stargazing campouts. You might want to consider skipping the campfire or hike to an area with open sky for the best viewing.

  • 08 of 10

    Top Spots for California Camping

    Summer sunset at beach side campsite
    ••• Getty Images/Stephen Simpson

    Spring break is all about good weather and California is the golden state, after all. From its sandy beaches to tall mountains and desserts, Just about anywhere you go in California there are campgrounds or RV parks, but these are our favorite places to pitch a tent.

    If you love to surf and camp, there are beachfront campgrounds, and if wine tasting is your pastime, the Napa Valley and Central Coast are great places to camp. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Virgin Islands National Park

    Caribbean, US Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands, St. John, National Park, Trunk Bay
    ••• Getty Images/Michael Falzone

    How about warm water, sandy beaches and a tropical climate for spring break? Virgin Island National Park is a quiet national park getaway and has some fantastic opportunities for outdoor adventures and camping.

    Virgin Islands National Park has two campgrounds; Cinnamon Bay Campground is located on park property, and Maho Bay Campground, a privately owned campground is located within the authorized boundary of the park.

    Note: Both VI campgrounds are currently closed due to the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma. Reopening is TBD.

  • 10 of 10

    Mexico Camping

    Morning at sea kayak camp
    ••• Morning at sea kayak camp, Isla Carmen, Baja, Mexico. Getty Images/Danita Delimont

    Spring break doesn’t get much better than beach camping adventures south of the border. Camping on the beaches of Mexico is one of the most popular spring break destinations and is popular among student travelers.