Being a family that doesn’t drive means that some holiday destinations are quite hard for us to get to or it means we can’t take everything we would possibly need. You may have read some of our posts recently about our holiday to Haven in Caister-on-Sea and to get here, we had to take the bus. Luckily, we are able to get a bus 5 minutes from our house and it dropped us right outside Haven. If it had been further away, we might have struggled.
As Haven is a self catering holiday park I thought I’d try to be helpful by writing a list of things you need to pack. I think I remembered most things but it’s always good to be prepared, especially if you haven’t been on this kind of holiday before.
Clothes – this might seem like a really sensible and obvious thing but I actually forgot my own clothes last year on a holiday to Center Parcs. You never know what the weather will be like so taking extras to be covered for all weather is a great idea, as well as taking extra footwear and coats. Don’t forget your swimwear too for the pool.
Kitchen essentials – The kitchen comes with things like baking trays, knives, cutlery etc. but you will need things like washing up liquid, bin liners, cloths and sponges and tea towels. Taking matches can also be helpful in case the gas hob doesn’t light. You won’t get anything like ketchup, salt or vinegar to be sure to take these with you too! If you’re travelling with small children it’s also a good idea to take some plastic plates/ bowls and favourite cups to prevent any breakages!
Towels – for some reason, I thought we might at least get 1 in the bathroom but you really don’t. We didn’t take nearly enough so make sure you pack some extras and maybe throw some hand towels in there too! Having the heating on in the middle of June to dry towels every evening was not the best and I’ll know for next time now.
Food & Drink – as a self catering holiday you will probably need to bring some food. There are options to eat on site but you’d end up having a super expensive holiday. The caravan we stayed in had a really large fridge, loads of freezer space and cupboards. The nearby shop was reasonably priced if you forget anything but the drinks there were quite expensive so stock up beforehand if you can.
Bathroom essentials – the bathroom and any en suite toilets only come with 1 toilet roll each so I think it’s pretty safe to say that this will not last. These can be bulky to pack though and if you’re not driving, it might be easier to get these at the local shop.
Indoor entertainment – we were lucky enough to have a DVD player in the living room so we took some DVDs to watch on an evening. I wish we’d taken some for Erin too as we had quite a bit of time in the morning before anywhere was open. We also took books for Erin and some colouring books/ stickers to keep her busy during times we were staying in the caravan.
Bedding – some caravans come with bedding, as ours did, but some won’t. If you’re travelling with children it might be a nice idea to bring their own bedding so it’s familiar for them. We found our bedding in the Prestige caravan at Haven to be really good quality, thick and comfortable although this could easily vary depending on caravan and location.
Outdoor entertainment – We were right on top of the beach so we made sure we took Erin’s bucket and spades with us. The shop does sell these things but it’s always best to save extra spending where you can. The family in the caravan next door had a swing ball set outside and we saw loads of people with footballs and other outdoor games. If you have space in the car, it’s certainly worth taking extra things to do to keep kids entertained.
We ended up taking one very large suitcase, a backpack and a cool bag full of food and we really could have done with taking more. We certainly didn’t take enough food with us, or drinks and as I said earlier, we really needed more towels. As a non driving family, I think we did okay for our first caravan holiday and luckily for us, the shop at Haven sold anything we could have possibly needed anyway.