If you’re going to be going away on a caravan holiday, then you might be tempted to take along with you an enormous amount of creature comforts to help ensure that the experience is as enjoyable as possible. But you needn’t do so; the vast majority of caravaneers find that packing just a few choice items will yield the same amount of fun – and that all of those superfluous extras just make life more stressful when it comes to packing and unpacking.
With that in mind, let’s examine some of the essentials you’ll need to take with you – and some of the items you most certainly should leave behind.
Kitchenware is enormously heavy – and it’s delicate, too. With this in mind, it’s perplexing that so many choose to take such a considerable volume of the stuff with them on their caravan holidays. The vast majority of modern caravans come equipped with a selection of pans, which will allow you to get through your stay.
Carrying along a huge selection of cooking utensils will result in unnecessary packing, unnecessary weight in your car, and unnecessary stress when one of you precious items inevitably picks up a chip or scratch – or shatters entirely. Since you’ll likely be eating out for at least some of your stay, the effort is even more worthless.
By the same token, home appliances like microwave ovens and televisions will be present – and so there’s no point in bringing along your own.
While the items you need to cook your food will be ready and available, the food itself might not be. For this reason, you’ll need to bring along a selection of essentials in order to protect yourself against running out of food. After all, the last thing you’ll want to do in the immediate aftermath of moving in is have to contend with the stress of a shopping trip.
Take along with you non-perishable goods, like cans of beans, teabags and ketchup, as well as essentials like bread and milk. You needn’t bring too much with you – just enough that you aren’t going to run out within the first few days. This will provide you with an opportunity to check out the food that’s available locally, too – which, after all, is part of the fun of a caravan holiday.
While there are plenty of items that we can do without, adequate protection against the sun isn’t one of them. Even in late autumn, when the sun isn’t out as much as it once was, we can still experience waves of sunshine than can burn. During sunny spells, take precautions and apply some sunblock. If you take your own with you, then you’ll have one less thing to have to shop for when you arrive at your destination.
If your campsite is located somewhere where insects are likely to live, then you’ll want to be sure that you’re immune from their bites. This concern applies especially in the summer months, where biting midges are more prevalent.
If you’re travelling when the weather is likely to be muddy, then you’ll want to take along some suitable footwear. The last thing you’ll want to have to do is ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes in order to get around during muddy weather – and making the effort will likely result in discomfort, too. So in order to save yourself trouble, be sure that you’ve got a dependable, rugged pair of wellies for every person who’ll be staying in your caravan.
If you’re going to be spending time on the beach during your trip, then you’ll want to bring along suitable entertainment. When it comes to beach distractions, a bucket and spade make for a classic entertainment. If you’d prefer, however, a Frisbee will serve a similar purpose, and it won’t take up much space in your bag. Ideally, you’ll want a selection of beachside entertainments to choose from – that way you won’t have to pay the premium charged by shops on the seafront.
While some caravan companies will provide essential items like toothpaste and shampoo, others – like a toothbrush – you’ll need to bring yourself. Hairbrushes and combs also fall into the latter category, and while most caravans will come equipped with a toilet roll or two, you might want to take a spare with you – just in case you’re ever caught short.
A caravan holiday just wouldn’t be a caravan holiday without a selection of suitable board-game distractions to busy yourself with. Classic board games like monopoly, mouse trap and trivial pursuit are reliable favourites – but newer games like Pandemic and Munchkin will also provide hours of fun without consuming too much space in your bags.
Of course, an enormous amount of different games can be played with a simple deck of cards – so be sure to take along with you a deck of standard playing cards, so that you can play pontoon, poker, rummy and all of the other classics.
You’ll want to be able to enjoy some music while you’re in your caravan, so be sure to bring along a selection of suitable tunes on your smartphone or mp3 player. You’ll also want to bring along a suitable portable speaker, or a set of mini-jack cables so that you can connect your device to the hi-fi in the caravan. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with a Bluetooth-enabled speaker system – but if you don’t, you’ll want to be able to play your music.
Cash is something that won’t consume much space in your luggage, and that’ll come in extremely handy when you come to buy things. Even if you’re not travelling abroad, cash will come in useful – as the last thing you’ll want to have to deal with is a walk back to the caravan after you’ve trekked in search of supplies only to find that the card machine at the shop is broken.