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Campervan Holiday Checklist

Going on a campervan holiday can be very exciting, as it means that you can enjoy life on the open road, exploring and discovering like never before. However, just like any other sort of holiday, there are some very important things that you must prepare before heading off on your self-drive holiday. You will need to bring more along with you than you would on a conventional vacation and if the kids are coming this list will fast expand. It is also important to find out whether or not your hired campervan comes equipped with things like bedding, utensils and cookery so you know if you should pack your own.

As a campervan junkie I have quickly learned the ropes and discovered what to bring and what to leave behind in order to truly enjoy myself on my holiday. Here is my campervan holiday checklist.

  • Camping Basics
  • • Torch – this will be one of the most useful things that you can pack, especially if you are staying at a camping site that has a restaurant or pub, as it will help you to find your way back to your motorhome in the dark.
    • Lantern – this can be gas, battery or solar powered, regardless it will be extremely useful when setting up camp or if you need an extra light.
    • Awning – some campervans come equipped with one, others don’t. I always find an awning to be useful as it provides a shady area to sit and relax outside of the vehicle.
    • Lighter – if you are in a campground that allows campfires a lighter will be extremely handy. You will also need it for barbequing.
    • Lounge chairs and foldaway table – again, some campervans already have these but if they don’t you will need them. I like to sit on a lounge chair at a table under my awning each morning while enjoying my coffee.

  • Kitchen Stuff
  • • Portable BBQ – this is great for cooking outside and grilling your favourite camping treats. Don’t forget to pack charcoal and tongs as well.
    • Food storage containers – for storing leftovers. I have never seen them in any campervan I have rented.
    • Food basics – this includes things like salt, pepper, sugar, cooking oil and other condiments.
    • Paper towel, tea towels, washing up sponge, scorching pad and dish soap.
    • Zip-lock bags, cling wrap and aluminium foil will all come in handy at some point.
    • Cooler – this is great if you want to go on a picnic or go hiking for the day.
    • Tin opener, bottle opener and wine cork, all in one if possible.
    • All of your favourite foods and beverages. Don’t forget to pack a few snacks as well.

  • Sleeping Essentials
  • • Sleeping bags – these are easier to pack than quilts and in some cases will keep you warmer on a cool night. They are also great when sitting in front of a campfire.
    • Pillows – although in many cases these are included with the vehicle it is always nice to have your own. They can also be used as cushions in the daytime.
    • Window covers – privacy is a must, and these will not only keep things inside private while you sleep but will also keep the early sun out.

  • Personal Stuff
  • • Clothing – this is of course essential. But just how much or how little depends on how long you are going on a campervan holiday. Many camping grounds have laundry facilities so you don’t need to bring too much. Don’t forget things like bathing suits, hiking boots, sandals and a hat to prevent sunstroke.
    • Toiletries – shampoo, soap, cream, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste are essentials, but you will also want to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, razors, shaving cream and feminine products.
    • Towels – campervans do not usually come with these, so be sure to bring your own. I opt for a micro-fibre towel.
    • Sewing kit – because you ever know when you may need to sew something up.
    • Toilet paper and tissue
    • Prescriptive medicine

  • First-Aid
  • Always pack a first-aid kit when going on a self-drive holiday. Here are some things to include in it:

    • Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
    • Anti-histamines
    • Bandages in different shapes and sizes
    • Tweezers and safety pins in case of splinters
    • Antibiotic cream, antibiotic soap and antiseptic wipes
    • Sterile gauze pads and surgical tape
    • Cotton swabs
    • Calamine lotion

  • Other Stuff
  • • DVDs if your campervan comes equipped with a TV and DVD player. If not, don’t forget to pack a portable DVD player as well.
    • Games and toys for the kids
    • CDs or MP3s that can be played in the vehicle’s music system.
    • Digital camera with extra batteries and memory card.
    • Frisbees and kites
    • Books, magazines and other rainy day stuff.
    • Binoculars
    • Mobile phone and charger
    • Jumper cables; just in case

    End Notes

    These are the essentials that are often overlooked or forgotten. You will also need to bring along identification for everyone (passport, etc.), your drivers’ licence (with international license where required), money, credit cards and bank cards, and of course your common sense.