Caravan Holiday Packing When You Can’t Drive
We are very excited to be off on a Caravan Holiday to the Isle of Wight however neither Adam or I can drive so when it comes to travel we have to navigate public transport. It can be really tough when you’re having a staycation and trying not to pack the absolute world, especially with children. We love caravan holidays because they provide a good base for us to explore, are usually pretty affordable and holiday parks usually have great facilities to enjoy. This is the second time we’ve had a caravan holiday at Landguard in Shanklin so we know what to expect of the park which makes packing quite a bit easier. However, as you can do when you have a car, we can’t be taking loads of things with us and nor can we do a massive food shop and drive it over to the caravan when we get there which means we have to be pretty savvy when it comes to packing. This year our plan is to take one medium wheelie suitcase, our Cabin Zero hand luggage bag and a backpack. Evie will also have a bag to carry herself. We’ve been doing caravan holidays for ages now but I would love to try a luxury lodge as recommended by Wandermust Family.
Our caravan includes bed linen, duvets and pillows which is perfect as we don’t need to worry about taking those with us however we still need to take towels which I find take up the most amount of space. I try and get those into the case first, laying ours at the bottom and rolling Evie’s towel up as it’s much smaller and thinner. However, caravan holidays don’t come with everything you need. We’ve gone with a slightly more luxury grade caravan for our break which does include more space and a few more things that we wouldn’t need to worry about bringing with us which is great.
Wear Your Heaviest Clothes
I think this is a given no matter where you’re going just to save on space and if you’re flying somewhere, luggage allowance. Wear your heaviest items the day you travel and dress in layers. The annoying thing about public transport is of course having to get on and off so you don’t want so many layers that it gets annoying but enough so that it’s not taking up precious room in your case. I try to them make the rest of our clothes fit as snuggly as possible. Evie and I wear quite thin tops and dresses which are easier to fold and roll but Adam’s t-shirts are a little less flexible and heavier. This time we’re only going for four nights so thankfully don’t need as many outfits, and, we aren’t going anywhere that requires having to dress up which is nice. When it comes to shoes, I usually wear trainers to travel in and pack a pair of flat shoes or flip flops as a spare. I do the same for Evie, getting her to wear heavier shoes and packing her sandals. Adam only has his trainers so we’ve saved a bit of space there as his feet are huge!
Think of the Essentials
For a caravan holiday we then need to consider what we need to bring to the caravan that isn’t provided like washing up liquid, a tea towel, extra toilet paper and a bin bag. For four nights I know we won’t use much of this and we are planning on eating out for dinner each night however, the washing up liquid will be needed for mugs and breakfast things, an extra bin bag is handy and no one should ever run out of toilet paper, especially not on a caravan holiday! You just don’t need that stress! Plus I’m pregnant, I wee about fifty times a day now. It’s needed. Toiletries and hand soap are also needed although I think these can easily be condensed down into smaller bottles. Anti bacterial wipes are also a great thing to pack to give everything a wipe down. An essential for me is absolutely bringing a couple of my favourite tea bags and coffee. I have a small tin that I fill with tea bags and 3 in 1 coffee sachets. I’m not fussed about sugar in tea and a pint of milk is something on our list to buy once we get to the caravan holiday park but having a nice hot cup of coffee after travelling and whilst unpacking everything will be just lovely. Something you might want to consider is a tire pressure monitoring system when travelling by car or if you have a towing caravan.
We will be away when I’m 28 weeks pregnant and where, hopefully, I can still be relatively comfortable however there are a few things I am considering bringing with me before we go to make sleeping more comfortable. A pregnancy pillow will be really handy as will a small fan to keep me cool, however, again not being driving these are both really bulky things that probably won’t fit in our luggage. I think because of this Adam is going to be sleeping on the sofa bed so we both have a bit more space at night and I am going to get some cooling face spray. Everything else will be as normal, however, it would be a good idea to decide what you want to do and where you want to go before travelling and get an idea of distances, especially if you find walking long distance to be a bit tough. Also, I’ll be taking my maternity notes as a precaution.
Packing for Children
One good thing about a caravan holiday is that you usually have a lot to see and do on site however Evie does sometimes get up quite early when we are away and can get bored whilst waiting to head out. Evie likes to bring her own bag and suitcase and over the years has actually got better at carrying it. This time we’ve said it might be easier if she just takes the one bag or suitcase as we’re only going for four nights and won’t need much. The travelling isn’t as far either with our longest train journey being an hour and a half so not much entertainment equipment is needed. However, I know she’ll want a few things to do in the caravan or if the weather takes a wet turn so we usually pack her tablet and charger, paper, pencil case and a couple of books. Sometimes I get her a small new Lego kit too which I usually let her open when we get to the caravan as it’s a nice new treat for her and keeps her happy whilst we unpack. However, depending on where we are in the park and if it’s still dry when we arrive, hopefully she can have a little play to burn off some of that energy before we eat.
If, like me, you thought you wanted to give your seven year old child a bit of independence and let her pack her own bags…always check them before trusting them. I found Evie had packed 2 pairs of knickers, seven dresses, a bikini, a rubber ring and sunglasses. I swapped a few things around and may have added some extras…
Eat Before You Travel
When it comes to using public transport as a method of getting to your holiday destination you really want to try and eat something hearty before you go. We aren’t leaving until after lunch which means we can have a nice big brunch before getting on our first train and means we will only need a few snacks to keep Evie (mainly) occupied and less grouchy. With a caravan holiday being self catering we know we will have to head to the shops, there’s a Lidl just around the corner from our park, before we can get a good meal though so having had something to keep us going through the travel will be key to surviving. Also, if you have something a bit big before you go, should you encounter any delays, it won’t be as hard on a full stomach.