We recently spent two weeks in a campervan with our two young kids. It was a great trip but there are definitely things I would do second time around to make life easier.

So if you are planning a van trip read on:

  • Pack all your gear into soft bags. I cannot stress this enough. We bought a Rip Curl F-Light Transit Bag before we left and it was great, large enough to carry all our clothes but it squashed down flat so we could store it in one of the camper cupboards. Most campers will have a cavity underneath the living area for suitcases but it is usually small and if you are travelling with a pram this will take up most of the space.
  • Pack everyone’s clothes into packing cubes. Most camper vans have small cupboards for unpacking your clothes and gear into. Everyone had a cube and their own cupboard. This made things super easy for dressing time and packing washing away.
  • Pack half the clothes you think you need and twice the bug spray. We had no trouble finding laundromats but we did struggle to find mosquito coils when we were in small towns.
  • Pack a USB with movies or some DVD’s. We didn’t read the small print and assumed because we hired a van with a TV we would have TV reception.  The TV in our van worked for DVD’s and USB only. It was nice to not have TV on all the time but it would have been handy to be able to pop a show on for the kids when we were setting up or when we got snowed in.
  • For those of travelling to NZ: Phone and Internet connectivity are limited outside of towns so if you want to stay connected go to a Vodafone store or the Vodafone stand in airport duty free when you land and get a travel sim. They come with 10MG for a fairly reasonable price, it can be topped up via text and offers good coverage. I bought other sims and ended up with this one, so in future, I would just get one as soon as we land.
  • Some camper van branches have a donation cupboard where other travellers have left items they no longer needed. It is a great place to pick up some basics you might need and helps to reduce waste. Not all offices have these though so maybe best to call in advance (before you stock up!) and check
  • Sign up to a local supermarket so you can do Click and Collect orders on the road, it saves you dragging cranky kids into the shops.

I hope you have a great time on your own Campervan adventures.

Got some tips? Please share them below.

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  • The idea of driving a camper van scares me.


  • Great read, excellent tips and hints. Enjoy the travels.


  • Excellent tips/. I love the usb one makes sense. My girls even download movies off my internet before they do road trips as well.


  • This is definitely something we want to do with our son when he is a bit older! Seems like so much fun


  • I’ve always wanted to buy a campervan when we retire and just drive around Australia. Not settling anywhere for too long, visiting all the wonderful sights off the beaten track. Now I know the prices of campervan, we’ll have to have a lot of savings, I can’t see it happening. Maybe a tent and a 4WD vehicle instead


  • Handy tips for when we use a campervan,thanks!


  • I don’t think I could do this with my family, but maybe one day when all kids left home I could do this just with my hub.


  • There are some great tips here :)


  • In Rotorua the air has a very strong sulphur smell. Washing the washing there even if you dry it in a Clothes Dryer your clothing will smell of sulphur. Maybe try not to have to do washing there.


  • Never done anything like this but some good tips!


  • Great tips! I certainly agree with the packing of clothes – soft bags only and don’t over estimate how many clothes you will need!


  • Fantastic tips – thanks for sharing.


  • Hubby and I are hoping to take a trip in the next couple of years so this article was really helpful. Thanks so much! :)


  • Really helpful practical tips. Thank you.


  • Great tips. My parents-in-law are about to travel in one so will pass on some tips .


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