Which preparations are necessary before a camping trip?

No matter whether you are going on a well-considered and well-planned camping trip or go wherever the wind is blowing, some preparations are necessary before you can start your journey. Depending on the extent of your camping trip, you should make the first preparations 6 to 8 weeks before you leave. But don't let this discourage you - we have you covered with our checklist. It helps beginners not to lose their heads and serves as a reminder for experienced campers. Let's get started with the essential travel preparations.

TimTam on holidays

Make the following preparations 2 to 8 weeks before the camping trip

Planning several weeks before departure
Planning several weeks before departure
  • Choose your destination to better balance the equipment you need. A rough idea, whether you want to go to the beach or the mountains, is enough for now.
  • Search and reserve the campsites as early as possible, especially if the site has to meet specific criteria, if there are children or pets, or if the trip is in high season.
  • Inoculations of all travelers must be current. Also, accompanying pets usually need vaccinations such as rabies vaccination.
  • A health check of all travelers is essential to avoid unpleasant surprises during the trip. It is better to see a doctor now, instead of getting problems on vacation.
  • Check all papers and documents such as identity cards, passports, driver's licenses, and EU pet passports for pets for validity (tip: make a copy of your documents so that you can identify yourself even if you lose the originals).
  • Examine your car or motor home thoroughly
  • Also, check the water tank and gas supply.
  • Take care of any child seats or transport belts/boxes or pet barriers that may be needed.
  • Take out health insurance for trips abroad (Tip: For temporary stays in EU countries, you are often still covered by the statutory health insurance. You should check this beforehand).
  • For your vehicle, you need the international insurance card for motor traffic.
  • Letter of protection (classic breakdown and accident assistance, towing service, salvage, and often also vehicle and patient return transport or car rental in case of vehicle failure)
  • Content insurance for expensive equipment (a kind of "mobile home insurance")
  • Vacation protection package (reduction of the own contribution in the event of damage with rental vehicles, travel cancellation, and loss of rental income insurance)
  • Check the international fee of the credit card or apply for a bank card that allows free international withdrawals.

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One week before the camping trip you should prepare the following

  • Now it is time to research general information about the destination (experiences, activities, places of interest, public holidays, is the site suitable for children or pets, traffic regulations, fuel, electricity and water supply, weather conditions, etc.).
  • Update the navigation devices and provide up-to-date road maps as well as travel guides.
  • Inform yourself about possible tolls (highway, bridge, and tunnel tolls), route length, and rest stops to avoid stress on the road.
  • Checking the customs regulations of the country of travel will save you a lot of suffering when crossing the border.
  • Write down critical telephone numbers such as emergency numbers, the telephone number of your embassy, or relevant doctors.
  • Also very important: checking first aid kits, life jackets, warning vests, and the warning cross!
  • Take care of necessary tickets, such as ferry tickets.
  • Travel adapters, storage media, and emergency batteries should be available.
  • Explain to your neighbors, friends, or acquaintances how they should handle and care for your mail, plants, or remaining pets.
  • Meal Prep is a great way to have enough food with you but avoid excess food. To plan your meals before your trip, get inspiration from our recipe suggestions!
  • The best thing is to pack your bags now. But please do not pack everything you can get your hands on. On our equipment checklist, you will find an overview of all the essential things that you should pack for a perfect camping trip.
A few days before departure
A few days before departure

Two more tips

  1. Unfortunately, camping beginners often wait to try out their equipment until they have to rely on it. However, testing gas stoves and lanterns before the trip prevents you from sitting hungry in the dark. Sleep is critical to stay fit for your adventure. Put your back to the test before you start your journey. Sleep one night in a sleeping bag on the floor of your apartment. This way, you can find out if you need extra padding.
  2. Practice reversing your motorhome before you leave. It will save you stress and sweat.

Shortly before your camping trip, you should make these preparations

Just before the start of the trip
Just before the start of the trip
  • Check again all identity cards or passports, health insurance cards, papers for the car or motorhome, credit cards as well as traveler's checks and booking confirmations, and then stow them appropriately in hand luggage or easily accessible places.
  • Pack all important keys and duplicate keys for vehicles, locks, lockers, etc.
  • Fully charge all devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PC as well as your navigation system.
  • Save your kitchen from perishable food and yourself from new roommates after the camping trip!
  • Disconnecting electrical appliances such as telephone, TV, computer, and co. from the electricity, telephone, and antenna network and turning off the gas and water main faucet should be done when leaving home.
  • In the camper or caravan: Check cupboards, drawers, windows, doors, and tailgates to make sure they are closed and that the load is well secured. (Tip: If there is no automatic gas system, the gas bottles must be closed for the journey).
  • One last check, if you have everything relevant with you

Just before you start your trip, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. We have prepared these checklists for you, so you can be sure that you have everything you need.

Do you still miss something important on this list? Feel free to write us further preparatory measures to make your camping tour as carefree as possible. 


Written by

As a native of Thuringia, he feels most at home in the forest and at the barbecue and is rarely to be found without his headphones. Responsible for everything to do with marketing at Caravanya.

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