Don’t leave home without it
What little luxuries do you take on holidays? Caravan and camping doesn’t mean you have to go without your favourite things. When you are travelling on a long road trip you are probably more conscious of carrying less to lighten the load but on shorter distances or longer stays why not take some home comforts.
Some things we pack in all the time and they have their own dedicated space in the van but other items we take on just specific trips to suit the destination. Our always packed in items include:
Weber Baby Q: This extremely handy little BBQ is the perfect size to carry in the van front boot and lets us breakfast, lunch and dinner outdoors and not miss any of the views and socialising on holidays. What I love about it, is that you can do anything from BBQ to roasting, pizzas and one dish meals with the help of accessories like a grilling rack, pizza stone and deep (weber) frying pan. It uses very little gas too, a bottle lasts for ages. We also bought the stand for the BBQ which has wheels and lets us conveniently move it to whatever spot we need to.
Nespresso Machine: This was a bargain find at a garage sale we stumbled across while on holidays and means we can have the luxury of a really good coffee wherever we are. There are lots of pod style coffee machines out there that are small enough to fit in vans but the Nespresso is particularly good because the pods (or compatible ones) can be picked up at any supermarket.
Vacuum food sealer: we have a little Russel Hobbs vacuum sealer and it does the job so simply and makes keeping and storing food easy. It packs in such a small space that it’s easy to carry in the van all the time. A very handy gadget for being able to keep freshly caught fish and squid for longer but also useful when buying meat and fruit and veg. It gives everything a longer fridge life but also makes food easy to pack down very neatly and without spills, for stacking in a fridge or freezer.
Our only for particular holiday items are:
Bread Machine: A bit of a large unit, so not something you would carry everywhere but for certain holidays where we go with a large group this is brilliant! I can put in a packaged bread mix needing very few ingredients, set it and forget and in three to four hours have a fresh, hot, tasty bread ready to share with dinner. This is something we set up either outside or in the annexe and is a hit every time. It’s great for making something a little different, a tomato and olive bread, garlic and herb bread or you can even make your own pizza dough in it with no mess.
Deep fryer: Another really cheap item we bought that has more than exceeded its expectations for the price. Again this is only used on certain holidays when there is an abundance of seafood and we can cook up a storm of battered fish and crumbed or salt and pepper calamari. Throw together a salad or two and dinner is served.
Electric frying pan: Ours is as old as they come but you can still pick up old beauties like this in second hand stores around the country. This is always packed in (plenty of under seat storage in the van) and has come in very handy as a crab cooker but is also useful for dishes that need a deep cooker and slow cooking such as Bolognese sauce, risottos, curries etc… What is really useful about it is that we can set it up outside the van on a table, so no cooking smells throughout the van.
Caravanning and camping doesn’t have to mean roughing it by any means, you can enjoy the great outdoors and still have some of the comforts of home. Even if you don’t have access to power the Weber BBQ uses gas, you can also use little butane single burner cookers, and boil up a nice strong coffee in an espresso machine. All of which get thrown in when we know we’ll be free camping or off the grid.
I’d love to say I’m sponsored to endorse all of these items but unfortunately not! These are just items we use all the time and love. What are your luxuries when caravan and camping?