Ready to campervan with kids? My basic packing list.

Exciting! You’re booked and ready to go. Yi ha.

I guess it’s time to pack.

A good dose of your fun and your adventurous spirit is first on the list. Heck! Put that in your day pack now, it’ll be handy today too.

Next roll up some flexibility and willingness to compromise to squeeze into your bag. You’ll need that.

Some practical things, yes, I hear you.  If you need a basic list to cut and paste from this was our packing list for kids.

We were away for 4 months campervanning and we hit -7 overnight in Andora and heatwaves in Portugal and survived with buckets of stories to tell over the dinner table. 

Pack Light:

It’s a camper holiday. You’re going to be exploring and adventuring. Wild swimming and hiking. Laughing and crying (tears of laughter and joy).

Keep it simple, prepare for your kids to wear the same thing in most of your photos. There’a less washing then too. Our kids had one cubby hole of clothes, a rain coat plus a puffer jacket each.

A rough packing guide for kids – think layers.

  • A set of thermals are great for kids and they pack down nicely
  • 3 pairs of shorts
  • 3-4 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve tops
  • 1 Woollen Jumper and a polar fleece/hoodie  (2 for little ones who end up in mud)
  • 1 pair of trackies (again 2 for the muddy kids)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 rain coat
  • 1 puffer jacket
  • Shoes: 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pairs of hiking boots and 1 pair of crocs or flip flops (we did end up buying them river shoes)
  • Bathers (no boardies allowed in French pools and swimming caps are necessary for Italian pools)
  • A packing cell each of undies, singlets and socks (including warm woollen socks, gloves and a beanie)

We moved to Europe so we had wetsuits, water shoes, surfboards and bikes. These can usually be hired in the places you need them.

However, we did use our wetsuits and water shoes in lakes and rivers as well as at the beach for surfing. They were very handy.

We also had a scooter on board for our 5 year old who had not long been out of a stroller for long city walks. That was brilliant in saving our shoulders and backs.

We also had a bike for one of the kids who is a whippet and needs to move. He rode wherever it was possible.

This was adapted from a larger post I wrote previously titled ‘So you want to campervan in Europe with kids?’ There’s a load more there including the games and toys we took and all round practical camper tips.

(Tip: you won’t need much if any extras, there’s so much to play with outside – ok definitely a deck of cards or UNO so you can eat French food in cute cafe’s with red and white checkered table cloths while the kids play cards.)

Hope this has helped. Now unpack all the extras you thought you’d need or do you take even less?

If there’s anything you’d like to ask about camper van travel please ask in the comments. I’d love to update this post with relevant information as I know how hard it can be to find information about motor home travel with kids.

If you know anyone who is contemplating this kind of travel or daydreaming feel free to pass it on. I don’t have Facebook but you can link the article from here. 


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