We’ve all been there: it’s the day before you’re due to leave for your annual holiday, there’s a pile of clothes the height of your waist on the bedroom floor and your kitchen looks like its been ransacked. Why is it that packing for a holiday is such a stressful chore?

Of course, one of the great things about being a motorhome or touring caravan owner is that you can take all your home comforts away with you without having to worry about baggage allowances or storage space.

That being said, you still need to bear in mind the payload of your leisure vehicle and how you’re going to securely store everything you wish to bring on holiday. Poor packing can increase the risk of an accident if weight is not adequately distributed within your caravan or motorhome, and items not stored properly could fall and cause interior damage.

The temptation with a caravan or motorhome holiday is to throw everything except the kitchen sink in ‘just in case’. However, all this will lead to is greater stress when loading up and extra washing up and clearing away when you return!

Subdividing your requirements is a good way to break down your packing into a list of what you really need: think of your holiday in terms of sleeping, eating, dressing and activities, and under each of these headings create a list of all the items you need. Writing it down is a great way to prevent over packing as well as making sure you don’t forget that vital item – why is it always the kettle that seems to get left behind?! You can also take a copy of your list away with you to check off the items before you return home.

Sleeping bags or duvets and pillows are obvious items to take away, but don’t forget other things you might need at night time such as torches. Make sure you include towels as well as bed linen, as these are forgotten all too often.

Eating is not just about remembering the salt cellar or including your favourite cereal: unless you keep a separate set of utensils and plastic crockery in your caravan or motorhome (which many of you do), you’ll need to bring all your cooking equipment for the week along with you too. This includes cleaning cloths, washing up liquid and a tea towel for cleaning up afterwards.

When it comes to clothing, don’t forget to factor in the variable British weather. Waterproof jackets, trousers and wellington boots are essential items even if bright sunshine is predicted for the entire week. You don’t want to get caught out!
Once you’ve gathered everything together, think carefully about where it can be stored during the journey to your campsite. Some items are best packed in plastic containers so that they can be easily stacked – this is a particularly good idea for foodstuffs.

As a general rule of thumb, the heaviest items should be stored in the centre of your caravan or motorhome to prevent it unbalancing. Medium-weight items can be placed either side of this with the lightest items closest to each end of the leisure vehicle. Don’t place everything at one end as then the weight will not be evenly distributed.

Finally, once you’ve packed everything you need, check all the cupboard doors and drawers are shut properly before you set off – you don’t want all the items you’ve carefully stored away to come crashing to the floor as soon as you turn the first corner!

Even with an expertly packed vehicle, sometimes accidents happen. Coast’s touring caravan insurance and motorhome insurance policies protect you against accidental damage as standard.

For a caravan or motorhome insurance quotation call Freephone 0800 614 849. You can also buy caravan insurance online.

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