On our first few trips away, there were a few small things that we had forgotten, that we needed.  Unbelievably, our first ever trip in the van saw us leave the can opener at home…Eeeeeeek! When we got back from our East Coast adventure in 2015, we commented that the only thing that we missed were “salad servers”….. and that didn’t really matter because we had tongs and forks/spoons…Winning!

Our caravan is always ready to roll out of the drive, we pack very very light with very simple items…we then only need to add clothes and fresh food.  We are weekenders, short trips and family holidays.  If you have read some of our other articles, you will know that we are not Big Lappers…just your average family that had never camped or caravanned and then fell in LOVE with caravanning after it brought our family closer…we have never looked back!

Surprisingly, we get a lot of people ask us what we keep in our van.  Questions from other families that are hitting the road on the weekends to spend quality time with their loved ones and see this incredible country….families like you…like us!  (if you are hitting the road FULL TIME, scroll to the end for some ripper lists we have found online)

After another question came through while we were on our Red Centre Adventure. we decided to make a list of EVERYTHING that was inside our caravan…it was actually a fun activity… (recently the team from GO RV made a list, got the scales out and weighed every item!! WOWZERS…this would be soooooo interesting…check our their article here)

Ok…here is our list! (…packing is very personal, don’t pack what other people TELL you, be wary of the claimed “must have” items…pack what you think you need and then go from there…it won’t take you long to figure out what you are missing…plus, I am sure you’ll pass a hardware store hahaha…) This is us…Very simple, nothing fancy…just what we need…

We would love to know what you can’t leave home without!!

• Salt ‘n’ Pepper • Spice basics
• Spreads – honey, vegemite, peanut butter
• Coffee, tea bags, sugar
• Pancake mix • Popcorn
• Maple syrup
• Tomato/BBQ sauce/Soy Sauce
• Olive oil
• Salad dressing – balsamic, ceaser, ranch
• Dry biscuits
• Snacks

• Dishwashing liquid
• Dish rack/small tub for doing the dishes outside or at the camp kitchen
• Chux/scourer – we recently switched to Biodegradable Dish Cloths – the caravan design is too cute!
• Hand Soap
• Toilet paper
• All purpose cleaner – we use Dreambly Laundry Sheets for all our cleaning!! Replaces all the cleaning chemicals!
• Rubbish bags
Mozzie repellent, thermocell
• Flyspray
• Paper Towel
• Cling wrap, Foil, Baking Paper – we recently replaced baking paper & cling wrap with Agreena Wraps – saving more space & $$$
• Tissues
• Sunscreen
• Toiletries
• First Aid Kit/Fire extinguisher
• Pen & Paper  • Chargers

• Cutlery
• Plates – Let’s talk crockery for the van – there are lots of options out there and three of our favourites are the Van Go Bamboo tablewareRe-Play recycled tableware (made from recycled Milk Jugs, bright colours, perfect for the kids) and the NEW ClipCroc which we can’t wait to road test ourselves…
• Bowls
• Cups
• Peeler
• Spatula
• Tongs
• Sharp knives
• Cheese knife (Happy Hour!)
• Bread board
• Colander/Steamer – we use one that doubles as both! Click here…
• Pots – 1 large, 1 small – if we are away for longer we will pack this Collapsible Non Stick Set
• Frying Pans – 1 large
• Serving spoons
• Potato masher
• Mixing bowls – mixed sizes
Collapsible containers – mixed sizes
• Zip lock bags
• Scissors
• Egg rings – lol – they are there, but we have never used them! hahaha
• BBQ egg flip/scraper
• Gas Lighter/matches
• Can opener (we forgot this one on our first trip..hahaha – and now buy cans that have the ring pull!)
• Bottle opener (we would never forget this…hahaha)
• Kettle
• Toaster
• Torch
• 2 burner electric hot plate
• Single butane gas cooker
• Oven tray (not sure why, as we have only used our oven once and it took 45 minutes to cook a pizza…hahahha..we now use it for storage of chips & dry biscuits)
• Microwavable bowls – 1 large & 1 small

Pegless clothelines x 2

  • We used to pack Laundry Detergent & Preen – but we have replaced these with the awesome Dreambly Laundry Sheets – saving weight and Space!

Collapsible laundry basket – this one doubles as a bath for the little ones too!
• Bath towels
Beach towels – we use ECO Towels that are Australian Made, Sand Free and AWESOME!
• Face washer
• Tea towels
• Broom & dustpan/brush
• Camping table & chairs & Winerests

• Travel Journal & Log Book, Board games, cards, colouring in etc
• Tennis racquets, pool toys, scooters helmets
• iPads

• Butter
• Milk
• Fruit & vegetables
• Meat
• Eggs
• Cheese
• Mayo
• Dips
• Fridge temperature gauge

There you go…not much eh!!

Many families travel with slow cookers, coffee machines, even thermomixes! We often wonder if we were travelling full time, would we take more? Check out these lists from some part time & full time Lappers – giving you loads of ideas of what you could take for your huge adventure…for inside and outside the van…

This one gives some great tips for inside and outside the van, for the car and also some pre-holiday tips! –  Caravan Checklist: Essential Packing List and Pre Travel Checks

Here’s a little one for the Big Lappers – some basics from Without a Hitch (this website has loads of tips…)  – The Ultimate Big Lap Packing List

Our mates from Trip in a Van have been on the road FULL TIME for over 3 years.  They have prepared an incredible packing checklist with EVERYTHING on it – a handy resource that you can refer to and decide if you need to pack it or not. – Travel Australia Packing List 

Aussie made Travel Journals – SHOP HERE!

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