Oh my! Of all the activities you could choose to go on with a three year old, I am not sure camping for a holiday is a sensible one.
Holidays are generally considered to be periods of time where responsibility is lessened and those involved are able to relax and enjoy themselves. Camping with a three year old does not tick these boxes.
My three year old is a particularly loud one, I believe. He is also quite highly strung (see my previous post - I am not blaming him, I accept responsibility and this is merely an observation). He is highly social - which makes him rather demanding of attention.
So when mummy and daddy take him and attempt to erect a tent and all the paraphernalia that will make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable it can be a quite considerable test. Then there are the nights which are filled with very different sensory experiences as we attempt to settle him down. The mornings, generally, begin earlier than usual (campers are early risers!) and my wife and I are not great at just 'going with it'. We have friends that are superbly gifted at this and we admire and resent them in almost equal measures!
But, as with many things I am finding in my life, we do it because we think it will be good for Henry. Campsite culture comes with a sense of freedom and independence, even for young children. There is a deliberate move away from the technological distractions of modern family life (although I will admit Henry sat in the car playing a game on my wife's phone whilst we erected the tent - the previous camping trip he had walked around with a mallet 'fixing' the ground. Our mallet has now broken). We walked, we visited the beach. We ate dinner on our laps and biscuits in bed. We drank hot chocolate before bed. We looked at stars. I am already beginning to look back at it with more affection than I recall feeling at the time and while holidays remain as expensive as they do outside of term time (for example, see this article) camping is likely to be the forseeable future of holidaying for us.
So I best get back to eBay to try to find that piece of equipment that does that thing that will make all of this easier.