What To Pack For A Self Catering Caravan Holiday

Summer is fast approaching and that means that caravanners have far more opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. If you prefer to hire a static caravan then you’re one of millions of holiday makers that enjoy this type of accommodation. But there is one thing that can make it feel very overwhelming; the sheer amount of stuff you have to pack. 

There are all inclusive static caravan holidays that give you access to onsite restaurants, extras in your caravan and the like. However, this isn’t always the case and more often than not, you’ll need to be prepared to take a lot with you including food, towels, entertainment and other things. 

You don’t need to pack everything but the kitchen sink. In fact, there are a lot of things you could probably do without when you’re on holiday. In this guide, we’ll be showing you the most important things to take, including outdoor equipment, food, household items and much more. Consider this your ultimate self catering caravan holiday checklist!

What Food Will I Need To Take?

One of the first things you think about when thinking about self catering is, well, the catering. Of course, you do have the option to eat out and discover new bars, cafes and restaurants but this can quickly get very expensive. If you want to make the most of the facilities in your van, then doing some of the cooking is a must. 

Generally speaking, you’ll only need to take the basics as you may not have room to store an entire weekly food shop. The great thing about going to an organised campsite is that there will normally be a shop onsite or if there isn’t, there’ll be one locally. This means that you can go and choose your food each day; for example, if you fancy a BBQ, you can go and pick up some juicy steaks and a few sausages. What’s great about this is that you also won’t end up with any food waste. 

To pack before you go, we would suggest things like tea and coffee, sugar, cereals, long life milk, condiments, squash and perhaps canned pop, bread, butter and cooking oil. Oh and if you’re looking to relax at the end of the day, don’t forget a bottle of wine and a few beers!

What About Other Kitchen Items?

As well as some important food basics, you’ll also need to put together some other kitchen items. Some static caravans come with certain things like towels and dinnerware while others won’t so before you travel, it’s a good idea to look at what’s included. 

Some people like to take plastic-free dinnerware even if there are plates, bowls, cups and saucers provided. This is largely because it’s a great way to avoid breakages, especially if you have young children. 

You’ll also need to take things like kitchen roll, oven gloves, washing up liquid,  foil, food bags and items that you might need every day. If you’re planning to do a BBQ (check whether the site allows this) then you’ll also need to take your utensils and any other equipment you’ll need for this activity. 

If you are travelling with young children, you may also need to bring a high chair. Some caravan sites will give you the option to hire one and you may find some static caravans already have one as standard. But this isn’t something you should take as a given. Check with the site or caravan owner first and if not, be prepared to take your own. 

Bathroom Essentials

Again, it’s important to look at what your particular caravan offers. Some more luxurious accommodations may offer things like towels for free while others may charge an additional fee to hire bathroom linen. 

In the case that this isn’t available, it goes without saying that you’ll need to take your own. Also keep in mind that hiring a static caravan, in most cases, isn’t like staying in a hotel so your bathroom likely won’t be kitted out with things like soap, shampoo or even toilet roll. You’ll need to pack all of these things. 

Some caravans will have a hair dryer, but this depends on which you choose. Large holiday companies like Haven usually have a range of static caravans that vary in levels of luxury. The most basic models won’t come with anything whereas some of the more expensive caravans will have a hair dryer. Again, check this before you travel. 

Keeping Yourself Entertained

The beauty of the caravan holiday is that you have the opportunity to get back to nature and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. However, in the UK, the weather doesn’t always agree with your plans so there may be days where you find yourself staring blankly at the caravan wall and wondering what to do until the rain eases off. 

This is why it’s super important to pack things like board games, books, an iPad, TVs, DVDs and anything else that will keep you entertained on a dull day. Don’t forget to make sure you’ve got chargers for all of your devices. The last thing you want is for your electronics to die and the kids to be bouncing off the walls not knowing what to do. 

These items are also excellent for keeping little ones (and big ones) entertained when you’re in the caravan between activities. Perhaps when you come home from the beach and are getting ready to go out for an evening meal. Or when you’re looking to kill an hour to get out of the hot midday sun. 

Other Self Catering Essentials

While you might think that the lighting outside would be sufficient at an organised caravan site, this isn’t always the case. This is especially true if you’re staying in a very remote location or away from one of the big name sites. For this reason, taking a torch and making sure you’ve always got a way to power it is essential. It’s also great in an emergency situation and something you should get into the habit of carrying in your car at all times. 

We would also suggest getting your hands on a good pair of waterproof walking shoes or boots (depending on the time of year) as these will come in extremely handy when you’re off on an adventure. Again, if you’re in a remote area, the pathways may not all be tarmacked and you may find yourself having to access your caravan along a dirt track which can get pretty muddy when the heavens open. 

If you’re staying on a caravan site then the chances are that there will be an office with medical supplies and first aid equipment. But it can’t hurt to have your own supplies just in case. Anyone who wants to enjoy a camping or caravan holiday should make sure that they have a basic first aid kit that includes things like plaster and bandages, antiseptic cream, sterile wipes, safety pins, tweezers, tape, gauze and other essentials.  

Finally, we mentioned earlier that some caravans provide guests with a high chair for young children. But this isn’t always the case. Similarly, you may find that you need to take a travel cot for the younger members of the family. It’s worth asking the caravan owner first to see if this is provided but more often than not, you’ll have to take your own. 


There is something special about going on a caravanning holiday and with so many self catering static vans around the UK, you certainly aren’t short on options. But when it comes to self catering, this often means much more than just what meals are provided with your stay. You’ll need to think about taking kitchen and bathroom essentials as well as things to keep you entertained and items to make your stay a little more comfortable. 

It’s always worth checking with the caravan site or owner to see what’s included but for the majority of you reading this, you’ll have to take almost everything with you.