Why Smart Packing this Summer will Save your Sanity!

It’s holiday time, feeling the cool breeze on your face and the sand in your toes, listening to the local crickets! But, before you get there, ugh the packing has to be done. It needs to be stress free, and ideally you need to start early.

Beach scene

A proven fact, the one that packs very last minute will forget essentials. I talk from experience, having forgotten our daughter’s underwear for an entire week on more than one occasion, it taught me two lessons

1. Pack early

2. You can buy essentials or replacements in most holiday locations, consequently our daughter’s underwear drawer is a tour of her holidays

Here’s our top tips for stress free, sanity saving, packing.
Packing List
courtesy Ian Muttoo

1. Make a List – There are numerous places to download packing lists, Love the Outdoors Checklist is a good list. But you can whizz one up on Exel, and it’ll prove an excellent prompt. A word of caution, step back from the laminator. The list will be handy for other camping forays, and it will need amending, plus, you’ll want the joy of crossing an item off! (it’s the little things!).

2. Lay it all out, then halve it – you know you won’t wear all those T-Shirts, and many of the items can multi-task. Use your sarong for a picnic rug, dress, towel, rolled up pillow etc. Make each item work together. Most campsites, and glamping resorts have a laundrette, and you can get the smaller members of the party to indulge in the washing, having fun figuring out how the machine works.

3. Roll Me Up! – if you’re camping and everything is going in a holdall, then roll, roll and roll again. Rolling clothes keeps them relatively wrinkle free and is a great space saver, we even roll clothes to go in the campervan.

4. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate – even if you have smaller children, they can still choose their toys (if you are off camping etc) and look after them. We split the load in a very Victorian manner, Richard looks after the technical aspects, whilst I look after the ‘little woman’ side. It’s not very modern at all, but it gets the job done.

5. Last In, First Out. – pack the camper van, car, caravan on the basis of last in, first out. We always pack bikes, scooters, colouring equipment last or at least easily accessible. Occupied children mean you can put up the awning or peg out the tent, in relative peace and quiet. If you’re jetting off, put underwear and toiletries, near the top of the suitcase. When you arrive you can chill out, as you don’t have to unpack the whole lot.

More sanity saving tips….
Packing List Hot Dogs
courtesy Jason Pratt

6. Food – don’t go mad stocking up the caravan or campervan with food, take the essentials to get you going for the first couple of days. Then explore the markets and supermarkets or better still, eat out! You could invest in a Dutch Oven, or a small BBQ, like this Cadac Safari Chef.  Think compact, with reduced size cooking equipment.

7. Mini Me – even in a caravan, campervan or yurt, mini versions of the full size come in handy.

Gruezi Washbag
Gruezi Hanging Washbag

Smaller versions of your shampoo, conditioner etc can save lugging huge wash kits to the showers. If you’re worried about leakage, pop a piece of clingfilm over the opening, then screw on the lid. A hanging washbag, such as these by Gruezi, are invaluable. Most showers have hooks, saving your wash bag from getting drenched on the floor (yuk!).

8. Entertain Me – it’s great to be outdoors, smelling the fresh air, unplugged from all of your devices. However, boredom is just around the corner. Or even quicker for some, a little planning goes a long way.

Pop in a ball, skipping rope, cricket set, or petanque. Any activities you can think of that will get the family together.

9. Finally, take a look at the forgotten list….. this is a list of the most forgotten items, care of Thule, use as a reverse checklist!

Tips for Smart Packing
courtesy Guillaume Capron
List of top ten forgotten items……

1.Locks for bikes or keys for bike racks

2.A mobile phone car charger

3.Glasses and sunglasses

4.Bin bags

5.A working torch

6.Matches or a lighter

7.Paper goods like toilet paper, towels and handy wipes

8.Hand sanitizer



So there you go, follow these tips and you’ll be packing in no time, thus saving your sanity!  Let us know how you get on. Have a great holiday.

Until next time, have fun and #getoutside whatever the weather holds.

Jo & Richard

4 Points Leisure
The Glamping, Camping and Festival Accessories shop, with years of camping experience


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