Essential Packing Tips for Your Adventure Camper Van Trip

April 29, 2024

8 minutes

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in your very own camper van? The freedom to travel, explore, and have all the comforts of home on the road is an exhilarating experience. But before you hit the open road, it's important to ensure that you have all the essential items packed for your camper van trip. In this blog post, we'll provide you with expert tips and recommendations on what to pack to make your journey comfortable, convenient, and stress-free. So, let's dive in and get you ready for your camper van adventure!

Planning your trip

Research and Destination Selection

Before you start packing, it's crucial to do some research and select your destination. Consider the type of adventure you're seeking, whether it's a beach getaway, a mountain expedition, or a road trip through scenic landscapes. Research the weather conditions, local attractions, and camping regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Looking for some inspiration? Check out some of our favourite camper van destinations here

Choosing the Right Camper Van

Looking for the perfect camper for you? There are various options available, including the popular VW Caddy camper van, the Fiat Ducato camper van, and a wide range of smaller vans suitable for conversions. Consider your budget, the size of your travel party, and the amenities you require when selecting the best camper van for your trip.

Not got a van in mind? Head over to our guide to choosing the right camper van for you here

Camper Van Conversion and Customisation

If you opt for a camper van conversion, it's essential to customise your van to suit your specific needs. This may involve installing a bed, kitchenette, storage units, and other amenities. 

If you’re unsure about a DIY camper conversion, why not speak to us about your dream van to ensure a seamless and efficient conversion process, with all the on-board amenities you need. 

Checklists and Organisation

To ensure you don't forget any essential items, create a checklist to keep track of everything you need to pack. Organise your checklist into categories such as camping equipment, clothing, toiletries, and documents. This will help you stay organised and efficient as you get ready for your holiday, with no last-minute packing required!

Camping Equipment

Sleeping Essentials

A good night's sleep is essential for an enjoyable camping trip. Be sure to pack comfortable bedding, including a mattress, pillows, and blankets. If you're travelling with a larger group, consider investing in a drive-away awning or an additional tent for extra sleeping space.

Cooking and Dining Supplies

One of our favourite things about van life is having the ability to cook the meals you love whilst on the road. Make sure you have a portable stove, cooking utensils, pots, pans, and cutlery. Don't forget to pack essential items such as plates, bowls, cups, and a cooler or refrigerator to keep your food fresh. 

Got a kitchenette on board? Even better for fine-tuning your van life culinary skills!

Outdoor Essentials

When camping, it's important to have the right gear for outdoor activities. Pack camping chairs, a camping table, and perhaps even a portable BBQ for outdoor cooking. Additionally, consider bringing sunshades, insect repellent, and a first aid kit to ensure your safety and comfort during your outdoor adventures.

Navigation and Safety Equipment

To navigate your way through the great outdoors, make sure you have a reliable GPS device or smartphone app. It's also crucial to have a well-stocked first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, and a basic tool kit in case of emergencies. Don't forget to pack a flashlight or headlamp for nighttime visibility.

Clothing and Personal Items

Layered Clothing

When it comes to clothing, it's important to pack for various weather conditions. Opt for layered clothing that can easily be added or removed depending on the temperature. Pack items such as t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets, and waterproof outerwear to stay prepared for any climate.


Choose comfortable and versatile footwear for your camper van trip. Pack a pair of sturdy hiking boots or sneakers for outdoor adventures, as well as flip-flops or sandals for relaxing at the campsite. Don't forget to pack socks suitable for hiking and warmer options for colder weather.

Toiletries and Personal Care Items

Bring along essential toiletries such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and sunscreen. It's also wise to pack insect repellent, hand sanitizer, and any necessary medications. Consider using travel-sized containers to save space and minimise weight.


While camping, it's important to have a range of entertainment options for cosy nights in your van. Pack books, board games, playing cards, or any other activities that you enjoy. 

Keen explorer? Don’t forget to bring your favourite outdoor equipment such as bikes, kayaks, or fishing gear to make the most of your holiday!

Documents and Essentials

Identification and Legal Documents

Before hitting the road, ensure you have all relevant identification and legal documents. This includes your driver's licence, passport, health insurance cards, and any necessary travel visas and holiday insurance if you’re travelling abroad. It's also a good idea to carry a copy of your vehicle registration and insurance documents.

Financial Essentials

Be prepared for any financial transactions by carrying cash, credit cards, and a debit card. Some camping areas may only accept cash, so it's wise to have some on hand. Additionally, consider carrying a spare set of van keys and a spare tire for peace of mind.

Emergency Contacts and Information

Prepare a list of emergency contacts, including family members, friends, and local authorities. Include important phone numbers, addresses, and any relevant medical information. It's also a good idea to have a paper map as a backup in case of GPS or phone signal issues.

Additional Tips and Resources

Packing and Organisation Tips

Maximise your space and stay organised by using packing cubes, storage bins, and travel organisers. Roll your clothes instead of folding them to save space and minimise wrinkles. Keep frequently used items easily accessible and secure loose items to prevent shifting during travel.

Camper Van Accessories and Upgrades

Consider investing in camper van accessories and upgrades to enhance your camping experience. These may include solar panels for off-grid power, or awnings for added outdoor living space. Research the wide range of options available and choose accessories that best suit your needs.

Maintenance and Safety Checks

Before setting off on your camper van adventure, perform routine maintenance checks to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. This includes checking tire pressure, fluid levels, and the functionality of lights and brakes. It's also wise to have a roadside assistance plan in place for peace of mind.

Campsite Etiquette 

Respect nature and fellow campers by following campsite etiquette and Leave No Trace principles. Leave your campsite as you found it, dispose of waste properly, and be mindful of noise levels. Practise responsible camping to ensure the preservation of natural beauty for future generations.

Start your AddVenture…

Embarking on a camper van adventure is a thrilling and rewarding experience. By packing the essential items outlined in our blog, you'll be well-prepared to enjoy your journey to the fullest. Remember to plan, organise, and customise your camper van to suit your specific needs. With the right equipment, clothing, and mindset, you're ready to create unforgettable memories on the open road. So pack your bags, hit the road, and let the adventure begin!

If you're in the market for a new camper van, why not take a look at our AddVenture Camper and Re-Cycle Caddy? These exciting vans offer innovative features and designs to enhance your camper van experience.