We are currently halfway through our stay at Haven Rockley Park, in Poole, Dorset. This basically means that on Sunday I was surrounded by piles of our belongings and trying to pack everything we needed for 5 days in a static caravan, self-catered.
This is our fourth or fifth static caravan holiday and our second Haven one, and so we’ve got used to packing seemingly random but necessary things for our trips. You only need to go shopping for tea towels on the second day of your holiday once before remembering to take them every time!
For me, the key to filling our car boot without forgetting something vital is LISTS. I always have a packing list for sorting things the day before we go, and often another for the morning, so I don’t forget any of the last minute things. This second list is especially useful if you’re getting up really early and won’t be quite awake when you’re headed out the door!
Here is my list of essentials for a self catering holiday in a static caravan:
- The usual clothes for all family members – including spares in case you fall in the sea and get drenched, et.
- Towels – hand towels, bath towels, beach/swimming towels, and a bath mat if you don’t want to flood the bathroom when you have a shower
- Washing up essentials – cloths/sponges, washing up liquid, tea towels
- Bathroom essentials – in addition to the normal toiletries you’ll need toilet roll & hand wash
- Kitchen essentials – as well as all the food you plan to eat! you’ll need to buy or bring cooking oil (a spray can type will prevent leaks en route), coffee, tea bags, a sharp knife, a few decent size mugs if you object to using small ones, bin bags
- Entertainment – if you’re lucky or have paid enough to have a caravan with a DVD player it might be worth bringing some DVDs for relaxing in the evenings, puzzle books, novels, etc
- Personal tech – iPads, mobile phones, camera… and all the relevant chargers!
- Bedding – you can save on the bedding charge by bringing along your own sheets, duvet covers & pillowcases. It has the added benefit of making your caravan a little home from home, especially if you have children
- Picnic gear if you’re planning on taking a meal down to the beach
And if you have young kids…
- Child friendly kitchenware – we bring a few of their plates, bowls, cups & cutlery
- A small selection of toys & books for entertainment – and don’t forget some bedtime stories too!
- Travel cot if you have a baby/toddler still sleeping in their cot – bringing your own instead of renting saves you money & it will help them settle if they are used to it. We also brought Lydia’s Purflo mattress as she is so used to it & sleeps well on it.
- Any sleep aids or bedtime toys your children like to have at night – Ewan the sheep, Ewan snuggly & Georgie’s Melody dollcome everywhere with us!
- If it’s easy to pack, bring a highchair or baby seat for any little ones who can’t be trusted to sit on the sofa to eat at the table. In the past we’ve used Lydia’s Cushi Tush for this, and this week we disassembled her Tripp Trapp and brought that, instead of hiring a highchair she’d almost certainly hate using for £12. You can’t use booster seats as static caravans generally don’t have regular dining chairs.
- Nappy changing supplies, if required