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Things you mustn't forget to take when caravanning

To help ensure that motorhome and caravan insurance customers don’t leave home with the kitchen sink and not a lot else, we have compiled a list of the top five things you mustn’t forget to take on your travels.

What many package holiday fans may fail to appreciate is that transferring the entire contents of a four bedroom detached into a two berth twin axle tourer caravan takes considerable effort, experience and skill, not to mention endless patience. Organisation’ and ‘efficiency’ are just two of the skills that most caravanners, motorhomers and campers are likely to have in abundance and are essential to the planning and packing stages of any road-based adventure. But no matter how times the lists is checked and rechecked you can guarantee that half way into a journey you will remember something that you forgot to pack.

Shield's top five holiday essential tips

1. Don’t forget to take: teabags

No matter where you roam or whatever the weather, nothing is as comforting or tastes as good as a ‘nice cup of tea’. Tea is the liquid equivalent of a warm welcome after a long journey, a good morning greeting at the start of the day and a hearty hug after a wet walk. The last thing you want to have to do when you arrive on site is to go out searching for a shop. So whether you like it sweet and strong or milky and mild - don’t forget your teabags.

2. Don’t forget to take: the bathroom essentials

We’ve all been caught short on occasion and experienced the sinking sensation of staring at an empty toilet tissue dispenser or realising you have forgotten the soap and the toothpaste. These are the three bathroom staples that we need the most yet take for granted, so often leave home without. By being prepared and keeping an ‘emergency’ supply permanently in your caravan or motorhome you can enjoy the smug satisfaction afforded by your efficiency and forward thinking.

3. Don’t forget to take: home comforts

The great thing about a caravan is that you don’t have to leave the comforts of home behind just because they won’t fit in your suitcase. You can take things with you on the road that you would never dream of taking on a package holiday. These few little touches make all the difference to the cosiness of your home-from-home. Popular additions include televisions, DVD players, portable heaters and blankets; all the ingredients for a cosy night in once the sun goes down. Some caravanners and motorhomers have been known to go to the extra mile, loading up their vehicles with high tech home entertainment systems, computer consoles, wide screen TV’s, Egyptian cotton sheets and even the very best china. Anything goes!

Just remember that your belongings, particularly valuable ones, should be insured against theft or accidental damage on either your house, caravan or motorhome insurance policy.

4. Don’t forget to take: bad weather ‘bored’ games

We all joke about the British summer but, really, there is nothing funny about being stuck in your caravan or motorhome with nothing to do except listen to the rain and wind and wish you were back at home. It’s not pessimistic to plan for bad weather days; you’re just learning from experience!  Many people will have at least one recollection of a caravan or camping holiday spent playing board games to the sounds of the rain beating down on the roof. It’s often one of their most cherished memories of a cosy togetherness (so long as there is plenty of tea and cake!).

Prepare for every eventuality and pack a deck of playing cards and some board games such as Scrabble, Monopoly and Cludeo, which are favourites with all ages. If there is just the two of you why not take some DVD’s or a Kindle, which takes far less space than a mountain of paperbacks.

5. Don’t forget to take: precaution

Sadly, even on a caravan holiday you can be a victim of theft and a caravan is a far easier target for an opportunist thief than a house. Use your common sense, take a few precautions and make sure you have adequate insurance.  Take a mobile phone with you and keep a note of the telephone number of the local police station. Don’t keep large sums of cash or credit/debit cards in your caravan or motorhome and lock any valuable electronic items, jewellery or wallets out of sight. Secure all doors, windows and sunroofs every time you go out, even if it is only for a few minutes. It is worth looking into installing an intruder alarm as this could help scare a thief away for fear of it attracting the attention of other guests on the campsite.

If you’re on a large campsite with hundreds or caravans make sure you get a map and mark out your caravan or motorhome’s pitch number. After dark, and a few beers, they will all look the same. It is also useful to invest in a torch. A head torch or a pocket-sized mini-maglite are both easy to carry around and give off a powerful beam helping you navigate unfamiliar territory and return to your vehicle quickly, easily and safely.