If you’re planning a campervan vacation but you’ve never taken one before, there are some things you need to pack that you might not have thought of. When we took our first campervan road trip, it was an incredible experience, but there are definitely some things that we wish we had prepared for. Keep reading to see our travel packing list for a campervan vacation!

 

BEFORE YOU EVEN START PACKING, YOU’LL NEED TO DECIDE WHAT YOU WILL BE PACKING IN

 

Should you pack in a large suitcase, a carry on sized trolley, a duffel bag, a hiking backpack, or something else? My first piece of advice is this: Do NOT pack in a suitcase. Most campervans have pretty limited space, including storage space, unless you’re renting a very large RV or motor home. Even if you are renting something bigger, there’s no reason to take up all of your space with a big suitcase. I wouldn’t even recommend bringing a carry on trolley if you can avoid it.

 

The times we have traveled in a campervan, we have always had a trolley/carry-on suitcase, but that’s because we were traveling to other places before we got the van, and found it easier to roll the trolley around than carry a duffle bag. That being said, once we got into our fairly small van, it would’ve been way better if we had packed in some sort of duffle bag that was smaller and a bit more flexible than a suitcase. It was a pain to need enough space to open our suitcase completely every time we needed to get something. With a duffle bag, we would’ve been able to just reach inside and grab whatever we needed. Keep in mind, bringing a duffle bag means being a bit more organized, because if you just keep throwing stuff back in the bag, you’ll never know where anything is!

 

It’s certainly not a disaster if you feel like you need to bring an actual suitcase, just keep in mind that it may limit your space quite a bit.

 

iceland van inside storage

CARRY ON/TRAVEL BACK PACK OF SOME SORT

 

This could be a small hiking backpack or whatever you normally use as your carry on backpack. It should be small enough that you can put stuff in it and carry it around for the day without being too much of an inconvenience.

 

SMALL PACKABLEWATERPROOF BACKPACK THAT FITS INSIDE OF YOUR CARRY ON BACK PACK

Make sure it’s something that you can empty out and basically shove to the bottom of your carry on and pull it out once you get to your van. If you are hiking or going to the beach, you’ll definitely be happy that you have a small waterproof backpack for your daily essentials. I recommend something like THIS. This is crucial to have on your travel packing list!

 

 

SMALL BAG FOR TOILETRIES

 

This should be something that can hold toothpaste, toothbrush, face wash, any soap or travel sized shampoo, things like that. It’s really nice to have all of this stuff in one place so you don’t have to search for these items every morning and night, or throughout the day when you need them. Inside of the toiletries bag, also bring some bandaids, Tylenol/ibuprophen. I also recommend having cortisone cream, bug spray, and sunscreen (if necessary), but if you don’t want to bring all of that stuff with you, you can just go grab it from a store once you get to your van.

 

BABY WIPES, BABY WIPES, BABY WIPES!

 

I can’t say it enough. Bring some baby wipes. Also bring Clorox or something similar. You can usually find the small travel sized packs that will just lay flat in your bag, so they’re easy to transport and bring with you.

 

When a van is your living room, bedroom, and every other room, it can get messy. Having Clorox or something like that to just clean stuff up from time to time is extremely helpful.

 

Baby wipes are great for cleaning your hands, face, etc and I recommend bringing them with you in your day travel bag as well. They can be super helpful if you’re on a long hike or doing something where you won’t be back to the van or a campsite for a while.

 

inside portugal van

 

ANOTHER ITEM THAT WE FOUND TO  BE INCREDIBLY VALUABLE WAS A QUICK DRY TOWEL

 

We almost never had time to really do our laundry (I guess we could’ve made time, but we didn’t want to), so it was awesome to have towels that dried quickly. They were also great to have for day trips to the beach or while hiking, and they can be rolled up and made pretty small so they don’t take up too much space.

 

DON’T FORGET SHOWER SHOES/FLIP FLOPS

 

I remember going to sleepaway camp as a child, and the one thing I always brought with me was shoes to wear in the shower. You’re going to be showering either outside your van (some have portable showers) or in a hostel or a campsite, which may or may not be clean. I’m not usually a ‘germ person’ or very worried about things like this, but taking a shower without having flip flops on is something I wasn’t willing to do! We bought flip flops at the dollar store and the sole purpose was to wear them in the shower and then throw them away before we got on our flight to come home. You’ll be incredibly grateful to have this on your travel packing list!

 

van lunch

DON’T FORGET A CIGARETTE LIGHTER PHONE CHARGER

 

I think all of the vans we have rented have had USB ports where we could charge our phones, but every single time, at least one of the USB ports was broken, so we had no way of efficiently charging all of the things that needed to be charged. Get a charger that has 2 USB ports so that at least 2 things can be charging at the same time. The vans we were in had more than 1 cigarette lighter port, so we could’ve gotten 2 and then been able to charge more items at the same time. It just depends what you have and how often you need to charge them.

 

LONG PHONE CHARGING CABLE

 

Sometimes when we were getting ready for bed, we would want to spend some time on our phones before going to sleep. If it was the end of the day, often our phones were almost dead and we had to be plugged in to do this. With a long charging cable, this is no problem. If we had only had short ones, it would’ve been a bit more annoying. It’s not a disaster if you only have a short one, but a long one is definitely more convenient.

 

PORTABLE EXTERNAL BATTERY

 

On the note of charging things, bring a portable external battery so that when you go on hikes or are going to be away from the van and campsite for a long time, you can recharge your phone if necessary. We used our phone for directions while driving, as well as directions once we got to places to go hiking or wherever it was that we wanted to visit. We also use our phones to take pictures, as we don’t use cameras, so it was very important that our phones had a charge throughout the day.

 

BRING A FLASHLIGHT

 

We had one that used batteries, and one that you could twist to power up. We didn’t want to bring extra batteries so we brought the little twist one just in case. You can probably find extra batteries wherever you are, but we didn’t use the flashlight enough for battery life to be an issue. We used it mostly late at night when we were going from our van to the campsite to get ready for bed or go to the restroom. Some of the campsites we stayed at were super dark and it was helpful to have a small flashlight to guide the way.

 

 

iceland van manu rae

 

 

We had one that used batteries, and one that you could twist to power up. We didn’t want to bring extra batteries so we brought the little twist one just in case. You can probably find extra batteries wherever you are, but we didn’t use the flashlight enough for battery life to be an issue. We used it mostly late at night when we were going from our van to the campsite to get ready for bed or go to the restroom. Some of the campsites we stayed at were super dark and it was helpful to have a small flashlight to guide the way.

 

No matter how many times you make your travel packing list for a campervan vacation, you are probably going to forget something, or end up needing something that you couldn’t have imagined you would need. Usually it’s an easy fix, but no matter what, you’ll figure it out! Just have fun and learn how to make a better travel packing list for your next campervan trip!

 

Overview of our recommended travel packing list when vacationing in a campervan in case you didn’t feel like reading 🙂

 

  • Pack in a duffle bag, not a suitcase
  • Don’t forget a carry on backpack
  • Inside of your carry on backpack, bring a small foldable water proof backpack
  • Small toiletries bag
  • Shoes/flip flops to wear in the shower
  • Quick dry travel towels
  • A travel sized pack (or 2) of baby wipes
  • A travel sized pack of Clorox wipes (or something similar)
  • USB charger that goes into the cigarette lighter
  • LONG phone charger cable
  • Portable external battery pack
  • Small flashlight

 

Have you been on a camper van vacation? What is an absolutely must pack? Anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

1 Comment

BLOG

About the Author

One Reply to “Campervan Travel Packing List”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *