In today’s post, we will share what to bring on a caravan holiday. This is a list of things to bring that I can’t believe I didn’t write down sooner!
My husband and I own a stationary caravan in Abersock and visit almost every weekend throughout the spring and summer. Before owning our own caravan we took a lot of caravan holidays. I don’t like to blow my own trumpet here, but I’m a pro when it comes to what to bring on a caravan holiday!
Packing for a caravan holiday in the UK can seem a little daunting, as you’ll need to be prepared for essentially any type of weather. British summer means blazing sun, warm nights and scorching days at the beach. However, there is also a chance of cold temperatures, rain, and freezing nights. You never know. You’ll also need clothes for outdoor activities and nights out, especially if your caravan park has bars, restaurants and night entertainment!
Here’s everything you need to pack for a caravan holiday and some caravan packing hacks to make it easier!
Packing using plastic boxes, not bags or suitcases
Watch this video to see how much easier packing is when you use boxes instead of bags!
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post shared by Monica | Travel Blogger (@thetravelhack)
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that when packing for a caravan holiday or other staycation, it’s much easier to pack things into plastic storage boxes.
There are several reasons why plastic boxes are easy:
- No need to unpack when it arrives, just put it in the cupboard
- Can be stacked neatly in the car
- Easy to pack (even for kids)
- It’s easy to find what’s inside
Realistically, you don’t have 10-15 plastic boxes (not that you already have a house full of trash). As a result, some items may end up in plastic bags or small bags, but it would be much easier if they had their own boxes. All these things!
I find it easier to use many small bags rather than one large suitcase. Partly because we don’t have anywhere to store our suitcases upon arrival, and partly because we want everyone in the family to have a few bags so they can quickly unpack/clean up. I also find that smaller bags are easier to pack in the car, especially for small children with short legs, as smaller bags can end up in the footwell of the car.
Box 1 – Clothes (every family member has their own box or bag for clothes)
Box 2 – Extra shoes
Box 3 – Coats and waterproof clothing
Box 4 – Things for dogs
Box 5 – Kitchen essentials
Box 6 – Toys, Games and Entertainment
Box 7 – Towels and bedding
Box 8 – Beach gear
Box 9 – What you need in the car (snacks and entertainment)
Box 10 – Food
Other stuff you’ll need for a caravan holiday
- A small backpack perfect for multi-day outings
- Cooler boxes and cooler bags for picnics
- The perfect water bottle for a few days on the go
- If it gets cold, comfortable sleepwear such as a hoodie or fleece dress
- bicycle or scooter
- stroller for babies and toddlers
- Swimsuit if your holiday park has a pool
What clothes to pack for a caravan holiday
Most caravan holidays will be quite relaxing, so you can leave your happy rags at home and opt for comfortable, casual clothing.
We’re talking jeans, t-shirts, and cozy jumpers for the cooler months, and shorts, tops, and summer dresses for the warmer months.
What clothes should kids pack for a caravan holiday?
I make a packing list for my kids to go caravanning every weekend. In this list I wrote:
- Pants and socks x 2-3
- 1 x pajamas
- 1-2 x Shorts
- 3-4 t-shirts
- 1-2 x jumpers
- 1~2 x Jeans
- 1 x coat
- 1 x hat (either wool hat or sun hat)
- 1 x Swimsuit
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What shoes should you pack for a caravan holiday?
I believe that the shoes you bring with you on your caravan trip are very important as you will probably need several pairs.
- The perfect sweatshirt for everyday wear
- Comfortable walking shoes or boots
- Sandals for the beach, pool, and hot weather
- Slippers for a cozy night
- children’s boots
What coat should you pack for a caravan holiday?
Again, each usually requires 1-3 coats, depending on the season we have:
- light jacket or cardigan
- Wear a warm coat when it’s cold
ideally, something like a 3-in-1 coat would be best. Those with a light fleece inside and a removable warm, waterproof coat on the outside are ideal for caravan holidays. FatFace has made some really nice 3-in-1 coats in the past, so check out these stylish options that aren’t too outdoorsy. Mountain Warehouse also has some great items for a more outdoorsy and practical look.
Don’t forget basic kitchen essentials
When hiring a caravan, you can’t always be sure that they have the necessary kitchen essentials, such as:
- salt and pepper
- cooking oil
- tea, coffee, sugar
- Garbage bag
- kitchen roll
- tea towel
- detergent and cleaning cloth
- Aluminum foil or cling film
- sharp knife
- Plastic plates, bowls, and cups for toddlers
Some caravans provide everything, while others don’t provide anything, and it’s a pain to arrive and discover you don’t have a tea towel or rubbish bag!
I have listed my favorite cooler backpacks here
What games or entertainment should you pack for a caravan holiday?
If you’re preparing for a caravan holiday in the UK, there’s a good chance it’s going to rain at some point, so make sure you pack some games to keep the whole family entertained on rainy days!
Good old board games like Monopoly are a staple for rainy days in the caravan.
Other family favorites include Guess Who, Cluedo, Game of Life, Scrabble, Operation, Frustration, Snakes and Ladders, Chess, Drafts, and Connect 4.
If you know it’s going to be a rainy day in your caravan, also pack your Nintendo Switch and the adapter you need to connect it to your TV so you can play games together. Mario Kart and Just Dance are favorites in our house.
If you’re planning a family movie night, bring your laptop (and the necessary cables to connect it to your TV) as well. Download some movies from Sky Go or Netflix before you leave the house so you can watch them without Wi-Fi when you arrive.
Most caravan sites have WiFi, but it’s not always reliable, especially during busy times when everyone is trying to use the WiFi.
I always pack a book or two. Don’t forget your pack of playing cards!
- a book
- playing cards
- Board game
- Laptop with downloaded movies
- game machine
- Leads and adapters to connect your laptop or console to your TV
What beach gear do you pack for a caravan holiday?
We have lots of beach items! To be honest, it feels like I’m moving house every time I go to the beach.
- Microfiber Beach Towel – Folds up small so it’s easy to carry
- beach chairs for adults
- big mat
- If you plan on swimming, change your robe (I have a red changing robe and love it)
- Wetsuits – especially for children
- Cooler box or cooler backpack for drinks and snacks
- Small portable BBQ
- beach tent
- bucket and spade
- cricket set
- dog tennis ball
- bat and ball
What toiletries do you pack for a caravan holiday?
Our caravan holidays are usually very casual so we don’t need many toiletries. I rarely wear make-up and no one does my hair in the caravan.
I just receive:
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- shower soap
- face wash
- sunscreen cream
- Toilet paper (rental caravans often only have a few)
What to pack for a caravan holiday for your dog
If your dog is accompanying you on a caravan holiday, there are a few additional things you will need.
- dog towel
- Dog blanket (especially if your dog sits on the couch!)
- dog brush
- poop bag
- dog bed
Do you need to take towels and bedding on a caravan holiday?
You will need to check with the company you are renting your caravan from as they may not provide towels or bedding.
If you’re traveling with young children, it’s worth bringing a tarp just in case!
Also, when renting a crib for your baby, bedding for the crib is often not provided.
If you need a travel bed, you can rent one in most cases.
If you need to bring your own towels, but they’re bulky and you don’t have a lot of space, we highly recommend purchasing extra-large microfiber towels. We have a Dock and Bay set and it’s pretty awesome.
Do you take your food with you for a caravan holiday?
For me it really depends. If I’m well organized and have space in my car, I like to take everything I eat with me. So you don’t have to spend an hour or two of your holiday at a big grocery store!
If you’re not very organized when it comes to food, Hello Fresh delivery (or any other type of recipe box) is a great option. These boxes contain recipes and all the ingredients needed to make a specific meal.
This is a great idea when you’re in a caravan because you don’t have all the usual spices and ingredients so you can make delicious homemade meals without having to pack your entire pantry!