If you’re a seasoned camper you’ll no doubt already have your list of must-have items already firmly in mind, however if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of Campervan holidays you might be excused for wondering just what you need to take along.
The first rule of packing for your Campervan experience is to keep things as lightweight as you can and avoid too many bulky items. Your Campervan offers a perfectly practical and comfortable living space but part of its charm is the compact nature of the accommodation. It pays therefore to plan carefully and make sure that what you take is chosen to make the most of the space available.
If you’re hiring a Campervan, the basics such as kitchen equipment (pots, pans, plates etc.) will be covered, and you’ll also have the chance to opt for items such as bedding and towels to already be on board for you.
So that just leaves a few essential areas to consider:-
House-keeping – boring but necessary. Your Campervan will be your home for the next few days, and there will inevitably be a few chores that you’ll need to keep up with – such as washing-up, the occasional wipe-down of work surfaces and if you’re away for a long time you might even need to wash a few clothes. Look out for miniature versions of household essentials such as washing-up liquid and disinfectant spray, pack a couple of multi-purpose cleaning cloths and don’t forget a rubbish bag or two. For clothes there are a number of fabric detergents that can be obtained in sachet-sized doses for either sink or machine washing (with launderette facilities available on many campsites), as well as travel-sized fabric refresher and wrinkle release sprays for the more appearance-conscious amongst us! Try http://www.minissentials.co.uk as a possible source of many small essentials.
Clothes – a Campervan holiday is a relaxing and outdoorsy event, so focus on casuals and leave the smart stuff at home. No-one will really mind if you wear the same outfit twice so (perhaps with the exception of underwear) plan for two or three days of use from each garment and opt for lightweight layers that can be added or removed to suit the temperature at the time. A good quality, fast drying fleece jacket is a good investment, along with a waterproof for when the good ‘ole British weather lets you down. For feet, depending on what you’re planning, a good pair of boots or walking trainers and some slip-on pumps are probably all you need. A pair of flip-flops for visits to the shower-block might be a worthwhile addition to your packing list.
Personal care – again, the campervan experience is a relaxed and undemanding one. Consider what the absolute essentials are for your hygiene and comfort needs and stick to them – perhaps even leave the make-up bag at home ladies? Travel-sized shower gels, toothpastes, shampoos and deodorants are readily available and make all the difference to the weight and size of the luggage you need to take along. You might even be happy to use wipes for some of your routine personal care – a further opportunity to reduce bulk and avoid the risk of spillages whilst on the move. Think ‘overnight toiletries bag’ that you might take on an aircraft and you’ve got the idea.
Food – Your Campervan is equipped with a small but functional kitchen which will allow you to prepare simple meals – the key really is to keep it simple. One of the joys of travelling is to shop locally and enjoy the flavours of the area you’re in (or even to eat out in local cafes and restaurants), so don’t pack any more than the store cupboard basics you can’t do without – e.g. coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, sauce or ketchup – buy the smallest packs you can or consider obtaining all of these basics in sachet form – and then top up your daily needs from the local shop wherever you end up!
Entertainment – with luck the places that you visit will provide all the entertainment you need, and the fresh air will certainly help with long refreshing sleeps, but if you need a few extras for lazy days consider taking a couple of travel sized board games along to play with your travelling companions – not something that many people do now as a regular thing but surprisingly enjoyable as part of your holiday experience! Books are often a good relaxation activity, and a kindle is ideal for taking a number of books without the bulk and weight – with electrical hook-up now available at many campsites, charging your device should pose no problem. If you really can’t do without of it, some hire Campervans are equipped with TV/DVD players so adding your favourite box set to your packing list will also help to pass the time – if you find you have any to spare……
With a bit of advance thought you’ll find that a small amount of luggage is quite sufficient to ensure you have a comfortable, relaxing and above all fun Campervan holiday.