If you’re embarking on an adventure in your caravan, a Big Lap or something a bit shorter (but no less exciting!), there is a lot involved in organising your trip. Destination planning, understanding caravan and vehicle weights, learning how to tow confidently, developing an emergency plan and undertaking first aid training- it’s a lot, but a trip well planned is a trip that you’ll remember for the right reasons.
Next, it’s time to fit all your worldly belongings into your caravan. Well, perhaps not all of them, but you are certainly not going to go without some creature comforts, so you need to find a way of fitting it all in. If you have kids, multiply the stuff you need by the number of kids (and then some, because, kids- right?) If you cram it all in, you won’t fit it. If you box it all up, you won’t fit it. You need to get creative in your packing, and take some inspiration from Tetris games – it’s all about fitting oddly shaped pieces into a tight space- for a great reward.
- Lists, lists and more lists
If you’re not a list-maker, become one. Write down everything you need, thinking about the structure of your days – what you have planned and what you’ll need for each day. This includes meals, sleep, bathing and entertainment. Write a list for each person (or let them write their own and check it). Look for duplication, nice-to-haves that you can do without sacrificing too much comfort. Things like beach toys for the kids- a spatula and Tupperware container will do nicely. Beach towels can double as bath towels. T shirts can be worn to bed. It’s all about doing everything you need to, with the least amount of ‘stuff’ possible.
- Think outside the box
Remember ‘You Gotta Door? You Gotta Gym!’? Well, You Gotta Cupboard Door? You Got Storage Space! Every surface can be utilised:
- Invest in some magnetic strips, glue or blue tack to the back of the bathroom mirror and put your nail clippers, tweezers, scissors, hair pins on it.
- Get yourself a hanging shoe rack– pop it on the back of a cupboard door and store in it all your cleaning products
- Hooks, hooks and more hooks– stick hooks to the inside of your kitchen cupboards, put your ladles, spoons, spatulas and even keys on there.
- Think geometrically
Measure all your available storage spaces, and purchase tubs and containers of different sizes to fill up every inch- depth and height. No point in filling a cupboard right to the back if you have inches of empty space above or below it. Stackable storage tubs are perfect to utilise your space effectively, and can house anything from toys to towels to clothing.
- Under the bed is not a scary place
Under the bed doesn’t have to be a no-go zone, filled with dust and goodness knows what else. You’ve probably got yourself a sizeable space there to house more belongings.
- Be ruthless
Be honest with yourself and others about what you are bringing on your trip. Are you bringing along too many clothing options? If you will have access to a laundry, then you won’t need as many sets of clothes. Kids ‘stuff’ is often big, plastic and chunky. Try playing games with your kids using nature, like organising a scavenger hunt using the environment around them.
However you may feel about screens, a smart phone or tablet certainly can come in handy on a holiday, especially in a caravan. Load all your books, music, recipes, movies and tv shows onto your device and save yourself a lot of space.
If you’ve planned an amazing caravan adventure for yourself and your loved ones, the last thing you want is for all your hard work to come undone when you have to sacrifice creature comforts due to size restrictions. The good news is, with a little planning and creativity, you can utilise all the space you have available to you so no one has to miss out.