Your complete CARAVAN PACKING LIST guaranteed to make this your most comfortable family holiday (and secret hacks from an expert packer!)

This guide is perfect for your family caravan, lodge or chalet holiday.
Plus, my ultimate packing tips for saving space!

What to pack for your family’s Hoseasons or Haven holiday

As international travel gets increasingly more expensive, we are booking our UK holidays in droves. Many families like us are not going to risk airport chaos and flight cancellations by going abroad this year. There are so many locations to see in the UK, you might be looking to hire a caravan or lodge in the forest or near a beach.

Our family love doing a UK staycation! We have stayed with most holiday companies including Haven Holidays, Park Dean, Hoseasons, Butlins, Centre Parcs, Darwin Escapes, Hendra Holiday Park, Pontins and Park Holidays.Blue skies over Nequay lodge holiday park for families

With all this experience, I’ve become an expert packer for this type of family holiday. And with these pro packing tips for a caravan holiday, you will be too!

In this article, you’ll find my complete guide for families to pack for their caravan holiday. But even better is my PRINTABLE caravan packing list. It is perfect for any family, and has items for kids from pre-school age to tweens and teens.

Caravan packing list - perfect for a family UK caravan holiday

GET AN EDITABLE, PRINTABLE CARAVAN PACKING LIST FOR UK LODGES, CHALETS AND CARAVANS  ON SALE IN  MY ETSY SHOP NOW 

Caravan packing list for family holiday

*This post contains affiliate links that offer commissions to help support this free website. All opinions are my own and clicking a link will never affect the price you pay except to offer you a discount. 

The caravan packing list for families (perfect for lodges and chalets too)

I’ve broken down this caravan packing list into categories, starting with the journey and then moving on to the different parts of the holiday you might be doing (ie pool, beach etc).

Car journey 

Travelling with kids means thinking ahead to their needs and making them as happy and self-sufficient as possible. And that way you can concentrate on driving!

The night before our trip, I pack one backpack each for my two boys and a large handbag for myself. My husband has a backpack and a picnic bag that he looks after. (I do all the driving in my family, so you might have a different way to organise your things.)

In the pockets of the back seat in the car, I always have these on my caravan packing list in case of accidents:

  • Travel tissues
  • Pack of wet wipes

On the seat of the car, I have for each child:

  • Travel blanket (they love their Harry Potter fleece blankets from Primark)
  • Small travel pillow

In each of the kids’ backpacks are:

  • Bottle of water/drink (make sure it is leak-proof/non-spill)
  • A small snack (we like fruit crackers, dried mango, raisins, rice cakes, packets of Haribo, or a mini Freddo chocolate bars. It’s up to them when they eat it)
  • A book, magazine or children’s newspaper for them to read
  • Headphones
  • A small sketchbook & coloured pencils (I get these from The Works)
  • Cuddly toy (if they sleep with a comfort toy, you may need to remember to take this from their bedroom on the morning of your trip)
  • Game devices or tablet or iPad (with a good cover!) + games/downloads 

Car journey tip:

If you can, it’s nice to save a new game, book or magazine just for this road trip. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but the ‘newness’ will often keep kids happy for longer. Try eBay for second-hand books and games to put on your caravan packing list.

In my handbag, I pack:

  • My sunglasses
  • Lip balm
  • Hand cream
  • Water bottle or drink
  • Flask of coffee 
  • A small pack of tissues and hand wipes
  • Hand sanitiser and masks for everyone when we stop at services on the way

In my husband’s bag are these electronics and food:

  • Portable music speaker, if your car doesn’t have a good one (this is also handy for the beach)
  • USB chargers for mobile phones and any of the kids’ electronics, and/or spare battery packs
  • Charger splitter (this goes in the cigarette lighter and turns it into 2 USB ports. Handy if you’re short on power points)
  • Selection of food depending on how far we’re going. This might be sandwiches, crisps, fruit, chocolate chip brioche, snack bars, etc
  • Flask of coffee for him
  • Selection of painkillers (ie Calpol melts, paracetamol, and/or motion-sickness medicine)
  • A small bin bag

Then, I pack 1 or 2 large travel bags for all the rest of the caravan items. I like the the kind that is lightweight and easy to fold up and store away. In this holdall, we put these items from our caravan packing list:

 

For your holiday 

For our arrival

Tip: Put these in a separate small bag that’s easily accessible, not in the holdall. You’ll want easy access when you are tired from your car journey.

  • Disinfectant spray and cloths or wipes. You may need to do a quick tidy when you arrive. Always make sure to wipe the TV remote, but the light switches and door handles are also a good idea. To save space, I use a travel-size spray bottle for the disinfectant spray solution.
  • Coffee, tea bags and a small container of sugar, plus a packet of biscuits. I go everywhere with my stovetop espresso maker, but caravans and lodges usually have a cafetière
  • Bottle of wine, beer, or soft drinks
  • Something easy for dinner if you can’t get to a shop on the first day. For our family, we take dried pasta and sauce and a can of sweetcorn. Plus a pack of pastries and a bag of fruit for that first morning.

Children washing dishes in caravan kitchen

Kitchen items to pack for a caravan holiday

  • Tea towels
  • Small bottle of washing-up liquid. I use the travel shampoo bottles from Primark or Amazon. If you have a dishwasher (available in some lodges), bring a couple of dishwasher tablets too. Put these in a sandwich bag
  • Sponge or cloths
  • Baking sheet for the oven (if you’re going to make fish fingers, chips etc.)
  • Travel salt and pepper shakers (although they frequently have these in the caravans now, it’s very annoying to be without)
  • Small cooking oil, ketchup and mayo squeezy bottles. You could bring spreadable butter/vegetable spread for toast and sarnies if your journey isn’t too far from home, or pick it up along with milk etc when you arrive.
  • Child-size cutlery and plastic plates if your kids are small
  • Paper towels
  • Sandwich bags (great for picnics or kids’ snacks)
  • A small bar of soap
  • A couple of spare bin bags

Storage in Hoseasons caravan bathroom - all the essentials for your holiday packing list

Bathroom(s)

  • Toilet paper (we bring one roll for each day plus one spare)
  • Small handtowels. There’s usually a small ring to hang these on.
  • Small bathmat (your floor will get flooded)
  • Hand soap or bar of soap for each bathroom. We like these foam soap dispensers. You just pop your normal liquid hand soap into it, at a 1-part soap to 4-part water ratio and give it a good shake. It makes your soap last ages and is easier for children to use. 
  • Loofah, shower sponge and/or flannels/muslin cloths
  • Bath towels. We like these fabulous micro fibre towels because they save space and dry quickly.
  • Comb/mini brush

Tip: There probably won’t be a bathtub (just a shower), so if you want one, make sure to check with your holiday company before you book

  • Wash bags (adults): mini shower gel, mini shampoo/conditioner, face wash, face moisturisers/treatments, eye makeup remover, eye cream, razors, travel-size shaving cream, small body lotion, small contact lens solution/case/spare lenses/eyeglasses, travel-size dry shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, nail clipper/file, cotton buds, cotton pads, sanitary towels if needed. I love this zip-up hanging wash bag with lots of compartments. TIP: There is no counter space in the caravan but you can bring an over-the-door hook to hang your toiletry bag up. 
  • Makeup bag/brushes if not packing in your toiletry bag
  • Wash bags (kids): mini shower gel (if not sharing with the adults), mini shampoo (or 2-in-1 product), toothbrush, toothpaste

Two boys dancing on the patio of their caravan. Pack swimsuits for a UK holiday park Kids

  • Travel clock for their bedroom (depending on the age of your children, this helps if they wake too early and want to know if it’s time to get up)
  • Children’s comfort dolls/toys for bedtime
  • A couple of bedtime storybooks
  • A small selection of indoor toys and an outdoor ball or frisbee for entertainment

General

  • Bed sheets if not provided (do check your booking, as this varies widely)
  • Lavender spray and an eye mask if you have difficulty sleeping
  • Hand gel to keep by the front door
  • Over-the-door hooks are helpful for coats and bags

Tip: On longer trips, we pack a lightweight, foldable, over-the-door organiser. They’re made for shoes but perfect while on holiday for putting away everyone’s little bits.

  • Travel washing line and pegs, plus liquid laundry detergent. TIP: I put hand wash laundry detergent in a travel shampoo bottle and label it with a tiny post-it note. Then I put Sellotape over the label to seal it. This way you can wash something quickly in the sink. I might also bring a couple of laundry tablets if I plan on using the washing machine. Once or twice the kids have done an onsite activity, which ended in them being covered head-to-toe in mud. We had to use the onsite laundry facilities to sort them out, so I was glad we’d brought laundry tablets with us as none were available in the holiday park’s laundry room.
  • Tip: Pack a mini first-aid kit in a Sistema to go lunch box. We bring arnica for bruises, bite cream, and Savlon and plasters for small scrapes. Calpol and headache tablets we already have in the car bag. But we pack a bit extra in here. You might have vitamins or personal medicines, or allergy medicine to add
  • Scissors and tape. We use them every trip for one reason or another!
  • A hairdryer if I have space (the one provided by the holiday park isn’t that great). And straightening/curling irons if you need them

Fun things to put on your caravan packing list

  • A selection of DVDs. Most holiday homes have a DVD player or a game system you can play DVD’s on, but check before you go. We bring a couple of kiddie ones for them to watch while we’re unpacking, re-packing, or getting ready etc. Then we have a couple of family films to watch together, in case it rains. And a couple of DVDs for my husband and me to watch after the kids go to sleep.
  • We always bring our Google Chromecast. Not all holiday homes have a TV with a USB port that you can access. But some do, so we take a chance with this one, as it’s so small to pack. This means we can watch Netflix or Disney+ etc. It doesn’t always work, especially if WiFi is patchy, so DVDs are more reliable. 
  • Pack an extension lead for a UK family vacation to Hoseasons or Park Dean or Haven holiday parksWhatever electronics you want: camera, Kindle, tablet/iPad etc. Make sure to pack the chargers.
  • TIP: We take an extension lead so we can all charge our devices at the same time (see picture)
  • Magazines/books/journal
  • Yoga or exercise mat if you like
  • Playing cards and board games (we bring at least 2-3). For ideas check out our post on best family board games.

 

2 muddy children playing on their UK holiday. Pack wellies! And laundry tablets

Clothes for your caravan packing list

I love using packing cubes for clothes. I use one packing cube for each member of the family. To save space, we put the packing cubes straight in the car as-is. But you could pop them in a suitcase or travel bag instead.

  • Pyjamas (2 pairs for the kids)
  • Socks (with 2 spare pairs at least)
  • Underwear/Bras/Boxers
  • Flannels, if cold
  • Tops/Tshirts/dresses
  • Bottoms/Joggers/Jean/Trousers/Leggings
  • Fleece/Hoodies/Jumpers/cardigans

Your mileage is going to vary, but I get asked a lot how many clothes to bring. So, as a benchmark, for a 3-night/4 day trip to Cornwall, Kent or Isle of Wight in the spring/summer, I would pack this many clothes:

Sample woman's outfit for a UK caravan holiday - playsuit, hat and loose cardigan
Clothes for myself
  • 1 x pyjama bottoms/joggers (something warm)
  • 1 x pyjama shorts
  • 2 x pyjama tops 
  • 1 x comfy, warm sweatshirt
  • 4 x knickers, 2 x bras
  • 1 x light pair of trousers or jeans or leggings
  • 1 x pair of shorts
  • 1 x t-shirt
  • 2 x vest tops
  • 1 x medium weight cardigan
  • 1 x t-shirt style midi/maxi dress and/or 1 x smart/casual dress depending on our plans
  • 1 x beach dress (pool coverup/beach coverup/lounge on the deck if we get a nice lodge)
  • 2 x swimsuits
  • 3 x extra soft and warm bedtime socks
  • 2-3 x no-show trainer socks
  • Shoes: One pair of trainers. One pair of cheap flip flops for around the pool and/or inside the lodge/caravan as the floors are a bit dirty. Sturdier flip flops or sandals (like Havaianas) for the beach 
  • 1 x foldable rain jacket
  • 1 x medium coat if it’s going to be cooler.
  • Note: I would have travelled in a cardigan, vest top, shorts or leggings. And I’d wear Birkenstocks/sandals if it’s warm. Or Uggs if it’s cooler.
What clothes to pack for a UK caravan holiday
Clothes for my husband
  • 3 x t-shirts
  • 2 x jumpers
  • 1 x jeans
  • 1 x joggers
  • 1 x shorts
  • 4 x socks
  • 3 x pants
  • 1 x pyjamas
  • 1 x fleece
  • 1 x jacket that’s waterproof
  • spare trainers or flipflops
The inside of a UK lodge holiday home
Clothes for each of our boys
  • 4 x t-shirts
  • 2 x shorts
  • 1 x jeans
  • 1 x joggers
  • 1 zip-up hoody or fleece
  • 1 jumper
  • 5 x socks
  • 4 x underpants
  • 2 x pyjamas (one lighter set and one warmer set)
  • 1 x jacket that has a hood and is waterproof
  • spare trainers
  • bathrobe if there’s space (handy for getting in and out of the jacuzzi)

Two kids in a beach tent on their family beach holiday - put one on your caravan packing list

Beach items for a UK holiday caravan packing list

For the beach near our caravan holiday park, we use a beach mesh bag with pockets. Or if you have a net bag, these are also great for sandy toys as it lets most of the sand drop out on the way back to the car.

  • Sunglasses/sun hats
  • Sun cream and after-sun gel
  • Beach ball, frisbee, buckets and spades
  • A couple of beach towels
  • A light blanket is handy for nap time or when it feels cooler in the evening.
  • Talcum powder (baby powder) is wonderful for putting on your feet when you’re leaving the beach. The sand will drop right off!

This is a great beach hack: When you get the kids off the beach, and you’re ready to put their shoes on, rub their feet with baby powder. The sand will drop right off!

  • Beach blanket to sit on if you have space
  • Beach pop-up tent (we got this pop-up beach tent from Decathlon)
  • Wetsuits or swimsuits
  • Spare clothes for kids
  • Beach shoes/water shoes are great, especially for kids.
  • Coolbox if you have space. Pack water, drinks, pop, beer etc
  • Picnic bag and food or you might buy local. Make sure to take a big bin bag for all the rubbish to take back with you.

Pool

If your holiday park has a pool, you could take these items in a large carryall bag, preferably a water-resistant one:

  • Swimsuits (or some clothes if you’ve changed at home)
  • Pool towels for everyone
  • Flip flops
  • Earplugs if needed
  • Hairbands for long hair or swim caps
  • Coins for lockers
  • Plastic bag for the wet swimsuits
  • Hand gel (or it’s usually provided)
  • Goggles if you want them
  • Inflatables for babies (large inflatables/balls probably won’t be allowed)

TIP: Kids get fussy when they are cold and tired from swimming. Bring a small snack to get them changed without tears.

SPECIAL TIPS for using the pool POST-pandemic:

Rules have changed since 2020. If you haven’t travelled in the last couple of years be aware the pool rules may be different than before. Check the specific rules with your holiday provider. At some of holiday parks, these are the new rules we experienced:

  1. We were allocated a specific swimming time. Each day of our holiday, we had to go to guest services and ask for that time to be assigned to us.
  2. We were not allowed to use the changing rooms. Guests were told to arrive already in their swimming costumes. I wore a dress over my bathing suit, and the boys popped on t-shirts. This sometimes made for a chilly exit, so pack accordingly!
  3. We weren’t allowed to wear shoes/flip flops around the pool. All belongings had to be stored at the side of the pool.
  4. Showers were unavailable, so after the swim, we used the one in our holiday home instead.

My top tips for a family using the holiday park pool:

  • Pack your things into a couple of bags so that not everyone is waiting and scrambling to get towels and t-shirts from the same place. 
  • If you can, have everyone wear shoes they can easily slide on, and don’t bother with socks. 
  • If anyone wears eyeglasses, or if you’re carrying sunglasses, make sure to pack their cases. You do not want those glasses to get crushed in the bag. 
  • Because lockers are unavailable, your things are not secure. So although it would probably be safe, you may wish to leave your mobile phone, wallet etc. in your caravan or lodge.

 

Larger items to pack on a caravan holiday with your family

  • Bikes or scooters or pushchair
  • Bodyboards for the beach (or you can buy these nearby)
  • Light and foldable camping chairs for the beach or for sitting outside your holiday home
  • Foldable highchair or booster seat (or check with the holiday provider if they will have one)
  • Travel cot if not provided
  • Bed rail for small children if they use one at home
  • Kids fishing nets if you are going to any rock pools (or they sell these at the beach usually)
  • Windbreaker (also available to buy at the beach)
young teenage boy holding a body board at a UK beach caravan holiday park

Do’s and Don’ts for getting all this in your car (and into your holiday accommodation)

  • Not everything has to go in a bag or suitcase. For example, bodyboards can go at the very bottom. Then board games can stack easily on top of that. 
  • Towels can either be stacked or crammed into the small spaces around your luggage
  • Don’t underestimate the space under the kid’s feet. If they’re small, you can squeeze a little case in the footwell or in the middle seat.  
  • Generally speaking, you will be able to park near your caravan or lodge.

TIP: take a couple of extra-large blue Ikea bags with you. They cost only 50p! Fold them up small, and when you arrive, fill them with the miscellaneous small items straight from your car boot. This will make it easier to carry everything inside your caravan or lodge. Do the same in reverse when you leave.

caravan lodge packing list UK

Most of all, have a wonderful holiday! Take lots of photos and make priceless memories.

Using this ultimate caravan packing list for families, you should have the most comfortable trip.

I hope you find this list super useful. If you did, leave me a comment or drop me an email. I would love to hear if this post has helped you. 

If you would like a printable version of this caravan packing list that you can edit yourself, it is available here on Etsy.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:

This awesome Isle of Wight, UK lodge holiday trip report
This list of our 4 favourite UK holiday parks 

Pin ‘caravan packing list’ to your Pinterest for later!

Pinterest pin for ultimate packing list. Photo shows sunset over a caravan holiday park

At Peachleaf Street we bring you our honest recommendations for family travel, entertainment, home decor, partyware and more.  We update links when possible, but note that products are subject to availability and prices are subject to change. If you buy something off this caravan packing list through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission, which helps support this site and our small business. This will never affect the price you pay unless it is to offer you a discount. All reviews are our own.

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