Booze, games and obviously spandex: Lindsay from Quirky Campers lists her campervan essentials…
When I sat down to write this blog I soon realised that my favourite thing about going away in a campervan is actually all the things you don’t need to pack! Compared to tent camping, it’s so easy. No need to dig the tent out of the shed, or find (and patch up) the inflatable mattress. You never have to squeeze the stove, the pans, the crockery and cutlery around the kids’ seats in the back of car, and then realise when you get there that you’ve forgotten to take any cups and will have to drink your first morning’s tea out of a saucepan. All the practical items are already in the campervan, and they have electricity from leisure batteries or solar power so you’ll never have to go to bed at 7 because it’s got dark, or huddle around the light from a single mobile phone as it runs out of battery.
Best of all, though, not having to think about these boring things actually opens up a world of opportunity of things you can pack in a van’s generous storage space, including but not limited to…
Dressing up clothes
Obviously an out-there outfit or two are essential if you’re going to a festival, but why not take a floor length gown, a pair of wings or your spandex collection on your ‘normal’ holiday, just in case you fancy wearing them? You’ve got space to put them and space to get dressed, after all!
Your cocktail kit
There is nothing like relaxing with a proper drink in a proper glass in a field under the stars. So why not pack the angostura bitters? After all you’ve got a fridge and cupboards to keep all your cocktail paraphernalia in, and you’re not going to have to carry it for three miles in a rucksack. Many of our campers have proper glassware and some even have freezers for your ice.
Some of our vans have their own bike racks, otherwise why not borrow one or even just stick your bikes in the back. There is an amazing sense of freedom that comes from being able to park your van wherever you fancy and hop on a bike into the sunset. Our favourite place to do this was the Isle of Mull: we even took them over to the blissfully car-free island of Iona for the day.
Lots of lovely bedding
Grown-up camping is the name of this game, and now is not the time for roll mats and sleeping bags. Pack your fluffy pillows and thick, warm duvets, of course. And if you’d prefer not to even have to think about this, just let us know and we can supply bedding for you.
Your favourite ingredients
There’s nothing like the prospect of having to squat over a wobbly camping stove on a tent floor to drive you to the nearest restaurant or takeaway. But for many of us, having time to prepare a leisurely dinner while enjoying a drink is one of the chief joys of being on holiday. If you love to stir a soup to the sound of the Archers in the background, or if nobody else can whip up mussels in white wine quite like you can, then take advantage of the vans’ fully kitted-out kitchens. And if you can’t bear the thought of going a week without pizza or your Sunday roast, then take one of the vans that has a full-size oven – yes, really!
Books and games
Our family loves sitting round a campervan table for a board game or snuggling up in bed with a book – something we don’t often have time to do in ‘ordinary’ life. If you’ve got a particular favourite, bring it along: Monopoly, Articulate, or why not get serious and have a week-long Settlers of Catan tournament? Many of our campers come with a selection of games and books already inside, so you might even find a new favourite from the ones left behind by other campervan fans…
Your sense of romance
We all know the British weather can be somewhat moist. Well if, for you, this usually means squatting on a tent floor with a pan collecting the water that slowly drips from the roof, you are in for a treat! You’ll be in cosy, dry-socked comfort while your tent-dwelling neighbours are struggling with guy ropes. On the other hand, if you usually stay in a hotel with the telly on while you wait for the weather to become a bit less ‘British’ then don’t be put off: the sound of the rain on the roof actually makes a campervan feel even more romantic. Lots of our glampervans have log-burning stoves to drive out any draughts and if you choose one with an indoor toilet you won’t need to venture out for any reason at all.
It’s your holiday, so if you can’t bear to miss Game of Thrones, or you like to watch a film of an evening, go for it. (Quirky Campers staff member Sophie once had to sleep with the light on after watching “The Hound of the Baskervilles” late at night at a deserted campsite in the middle of Dartmoor – thank goodness for electric hook-ups!) Or if, like David and myself, you are lucky enough to have a job that lets you work from anywhere, you can make the most of it and go on a working adventure where your office has a different view every day. Some of our vans have charging facilities and otherwise you can always plug in at your nearest café. Funnily enough, that’s what I’m doing right now as I write this on a family getaway in Bella.
OK, so there are some practical things you might want to bring: a torch is very handy, especially in the vans that don’t have inside loos. But we offer a host of optional extras such as camp chairs, satnav, or even breakfast hampers, so you can concentrate on the fun stuff. We want you to have a stress-free, comfortable holiday, and when we say a Quirky Camper is a home from home, we mean it.