You can make your road trip amazing and less stressful by just carrying these 12 Camper Essentials on your Road Trip

Road Trip Essentials:

1. Flip Flops/Slippers

Since your campervan will serve as your car, your bed, your kitchen, and pretty much your entire life during a campervan road trip, you’ll want to avoid wearing your dirty shoes inside the van. I found that a pair of plastic flip flops worked well for this, and are top of my list for campervan essentials. Having flip flops along is also great for showering at campgrounds. If the weather is cold then you may want to consider a pair of slippers, like these moccasins from Minnetonka. 

2. Hand Sanitizer/Wipes 

Hand sanitizer is a given during current times, but you’ll want both hand sanitizer and wipes to make sure you’re staying clean generally throughout your journey. While our van did have a sink, using sanitizer is a great way to conserve your van’s water supply. If you’re lucky your van might have some sort of shower, but most rentals don’t! Many campgrounds will have public showers available, but having antibacterial body wipes is a good way to stay fresh between washes. 

3. Garbage Bags

I rarely ever accept plastic bags when I’m shopping, but if you still have some stored away then this is the perfect use for them! I prefer to have the small bags rather full size garbage bags while traveling by campervan, as it allows you to throw away your garbage at least once a day to avoid any build up of smells. Trust me, that leftover curry isn’t going to smell great in the van after two or three days.

4. Extra Lights  

From flashlights to fairy lights, extra light sources are key for your van life packing list. Flashlights or headlamps will make things easier, and safer, if you’re navigating outside of you van at night to find a restroom. Luckily, you’ll also be traveling with another person, so a small light source will help you conserve the van’s battery and not disturb your travel partner.

Our rental van luckily came with great lighting, but battery-operated fairy lights are a great way to conserve your van’s battery power, while adding a fun touch! Trust me, it will definitely help you to snag that perfect van life Instagram shot.

5. Plastic Gloves

The biggest learning curve for us on our van life journey was the first time that we had to dump our gray water. For anyone who is wondering what gray water is, this is essentially any dirty dishwater that we’ve used while in the van. There was no toilet in the van so there luckily wasn’t any waste in the water. Most campsites have a designated dump station where you can dump your water and get fresh water. However, you’re definitely going to want to make sure that you’ve got a pair of gloves on for this (not so fun) task.

6. Portable Toilet 

Speaking of not having a toilet in our van rental, this little “toilet” is going to come in handy. There were some very cold nights where we could hear coyotes outside of our van. Safe to say there was no chance I was going to walk outside alone in the dark to find a toilet at the campsite, even with my handy flashlight. This option is under $20 and the perfect solution for late nights and road trips. Just make sure you don’t forget toilet paper!

7. Food Storage

More than likely you’re going to be cooking the majority of your meals in your van. In fact, van cooking is one of my favorite parts and a highlight of campervan essentials. Our van came equipped with the basics — cutlery, pots, pans, cups, etc — but options for food storage are super important. This will allow you to cook less often, and store food for upcoming meals, similar to meal prepping at home if that’s your thing.

I recommend bringing a couple of Stasher bags. These are my favorite reusable baggies that I use every single day, both at home and on the go. You’ll also want to bring along a few tupperware for leftover food. It is best if they are stackable to conserve space!

As I mentioned above, even though most rented vans come with dishware, I never travel without my collapsible Stojo cup. I got my first one just before this trip and have used it almost every single day since. Safe to say I’m obsessed and it’s a must on this campervan essentials packing list.

8. Hammock

Hammocks are seriously a godsend. They are super fun to bring along on scenic hikes, or even to hook up to the back of your van when pulled over. I brought one along with me when I did the Delta Lake hike in Grand Tetons and it was the perfect spot to relax and swing. Make sure to get one that is travel friendly, to avoid taking up to much space in your bag/in the van.

9. Entertainment

It is not uncommon for campgrounds to not have any wifi or cell reception, so remember to bring along some items for entertain. If that’s something that you’re looking for, consider booking with Cabana Campervans, as they off both 5G wifi and a tv in the van for a more luxurious trip. I always travel with my Kindle so I have access to my books.

Playing cards are a fun, travel-friendly game as well! I’ve recently become obsessed with Monopoly Deal, the card game version of Monopoly! Definitely add it to your campervan packing list.

10. Sleeping Bags

I definitely recommend adding a sleeping bag to your list of campervan gear. Most van rentals come with some sort of bedding, but definitely on where and what season you are camping it could get very cold! Look for an option that is warm but also super compact, which makes them great to travel with.

11. First Aid Kit

Whether you are planning a campervan road trip or a normal road trip, having a first aid kit on hand is so important. Fingers crossed for a safe journey, but accidents happen, especially when camping and hiking are involved.

12. Packing Cubes

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I only just discovered the magic of packing cubes. If you’re a frequent reader of my blog or follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve traveled to over 65 countries around the world. And yet, I only started using packing cubes last year!

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