It’s inevitable. You’ve made your lists for your motorhome holiday, you’ve diligently packed, and you’ve also run around the house at the last minute shoving things you might need into a random bag.
Then at some point on the journey to your destination – usually within the first half an hour for me – you realise you’ve forgotten something. I don’t know why, but in my case this is usually underwear.
This summer, on our first family motorhome holiday, the sense of feeling like we’d forgotten something was heightened by the fact we were in new territory.
I’d read lots of blogs and asked my followers who knew more about motorhome life than me, on social media what we shouldn’t forget. But everyone’s different and until you’re actually away you don’t always know what you need until it’s not there.
During our tour of the Scottish Highlands it became clear what was essential and what wasn’t. Over the week I made a list of things I wish we’d taken in case we do a similar trip in the future. There were other things I was glad we’d taken as they made life a lot easier.
I’m assuming (unlike me) you’ll remember the basics of clothes and toiletries etc. The list below is for the extra bits that we found really useful (or would have found useful had we taken them)
1. Portable clothes dryer
To hang from a window or the back of the motorhome. This falls into the category of things we wish we’d taken on our motorhome holiday. We used the bike rack at the back of the motorhome to dry some of the swimming gear but it would have been useful to have that extra space to hang things up to dry.
For stuffing into wet shoes and wellies. On the first day we went to the beach, Big Bear decided to wade into the water up to his waist in his wellies. They were soaked, we were in the middle of nowhere without a newsagents nearby, and they took days to dry out – even though I used a hairdryer to speed up the process. Do yourself a favour and have a newspaper on hand to dry out shoes and wellies quickly. I promise it really works!
3. Toilet cleaner
The toilet cassette (the container that collects the waste) has a chemical cleaner in it but, believe me, if you’re on a family holiday, having a toilet cleaner (preferably environmentally-friendly) in your favourite scent will be your friend on this holiday and make a huge difference to the overall fragrance of the motorhome…
4. Plastic gloves
Something you might not have thought of but believe me, you won’t regret bringing them when it comes to emptying the toilet cassette each day.
5. Warm clothes
Even in the summer it can get chilly when you’re sitting outside with a glass of wine in the evening. Don’t forget the chairs (and possibly a fold-up table if you have room) to make it a more comfortable experience.
The environment is often your entertainment on a camping/motorhome holiday but when you’re on the road or the weather turns you’ll be thankful you packed a small tub of your kids’ favourite toys, a few games, books, magazines and sensory toys for a rainy few hours. Oh, and not forgetting the iPad…
Consistently at the top of the charts of things people forget to take on holiday with them. Don’t be one of them! Keep them all in a designated box or bag so you can easily access them.
8. Kitchen essentials
In the week before you go away, make a note of the kitchen items you can’t live without. Do you have a favourite chopping knife, spice or pan? Check what’s already in the motorhome, if you’re hiring, against your list and take the things that will make life a bit easier.
9. Dustpan and brush
If you’re hiring a motorhome, check if this is provided and, if not, definitely take your own. You won’t believe how much dust, dirt and sand finds its way into the motorhome.
One of the best things I took was a made up bottle of diluted Zoflora, which I used daily on surfaces and the floor. Not only did it clean the motorhome, it made it smell amazing.
If you’re going to the beach, the best way to get sand off the feet (and anywhere else) is to rub talcum powder in first and the sand just brushes off. Better than spending days sweeping it out of the motorhome.
12. Readymade meals
I can see some people rolling their eyes at this one but I promise you, it will help you enormously if you prepare a couple of meals beforehand to stick in the fridge or freezer. For the first night when you arrive at tea time with ‘hangry’ kids or the time you have to stop at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere to have an emergency tea because you haven’t quite reached your destination yet. If you can whip out a risotto to heat up, it can defuse the arguments that will inevitably arise when everyone’s hungry and tired. Also consider taking a slightly larger pan to heat things up in if you have space. All the pots and pans in our motorhome were tiny, making it really difficult to heat up a meal for four people.
13. Medication/First aid kit
If your child is on medication then you’ve probably already got this covered. For everyone else, it’s one of those things that is sometimes overlooked. Make sure you’re stocked up with the basics and everything is in date.
14. Insect repellent
This very much depends on where you’re going and when but it was at the top of our packing list for Scotland where the midges are brutal in the summer. If you’re doing a similar trip, Avon’s Skin So Soft was the number one recommendation to repel the little beasts.
15. Packing cubes
I first bought packing cubes for our holiday clothes a few years ago. Since then we’ve used them on every trip we’ve been on. Each member of the family has their own colour so we can easily identify whose clothes are inside. In the motorhome we put the cubes in cupboards and pulled them out when getting dressed in the morning instead of having to rummage though cupboards, which helped to keep everything organised.
- What’s the one thing you can’t live without on holiday? Let me know in the comments below.
- If you enjoyed reading Why you should pack these 15 things for your motorhome holiday, read: How tour the stunning Scottish Highlands in a motorhome in one week