Christmas in a campervan

Spending time away from home in a campervan is thrilling throughout the year, but to spend the Christmas season away provides a truly unique escape. We take a closer look at some of the practicalities, as well as the fun to be had, when camping at Christmas.

Camping at Christmas

Christmas camping may seem like a crazy idea to some people, especially if you’re used to hosting lots of family members and cooking a huge Christmas dinner. But, with some proper planning and thoughtful choices, Christmas spent camping could end up being one of the best Christmases you’ve ever had. This is especially so in a campervan, which can easily be made into your home away from home.

Why Spend Christmas in a Campervan?

Imagine waking up on Christmas morning in a new and stunning location, ready to spend the day with your nearest and dearest exploring, eating, drinking, and being merry. This is just a snapshot into what Christmas in a campervan could look like.

Less Stress

Holidays are probably the best way to rest and recuperate, regardless of when and where you go. While spending Christmas on a campervan holiday may seem like it could be stressful, in fact, it should be the opposite.

Christmas should ultimately be a time for enjoying and appreciating loved ones, not complicated multi-course meals and extravagant gifts. If you think of Christmas in this way, spending the season away in a camper will help you achieve just that. A new environment means fewer distractions and less day-to-day stress, which makes for an ideal Christmas break.

The Ultimate Christmas Walk

For those who enjoy taking a traditional Christmas walk, camping at Christmas should certainly deliver. Depending on where you decide to stay, you could spend your after-dinner walk soaking up incredible views in the Scottish Highlands or gazing out across the Jurassic coast. Just be sure to pack appropriate clothing, such as walking shoes, wellies, waterproof jackets, hats, and scarves.

Make Unbeatable Memories

As with any holiday, the intention when camping at Christmas will be to make some fantastic memories. Doing something completely different at this time of year is a great start, as it will make your campervan Christmas stand out above the others – for better or for worse. Of course, it’s not likely that the day will go completely without a hitch! From forgetting that all-important present to finding that your turkey won’t fit in the oven, it’s these hiccups that will leave you with plenty of stories to tell in the years to come.

Things to Consider for a Campervan Christmas

After making the decision to go for a campervan Christmas, you’ll need to spend time planning and considering the practical aspects. This includes everything from cooking your Christmas dinner to hiding presents for little ones.

Extras to Pack

Camping at Christmas, as opposed to other times of the year, means you’ll need to bring along a few extra items. It depends on what kind of Christmas you want to experience, but consider the following:

  • Games – in many households Christmas is not complete without a game of charades! Be sure to pack all your favourites, whether it’s a simple pack of cards or a few board games.
  • Entertainment – if you’ll want music and films, make sure you pack the means to play them. This could be DVDs and CDs, a USB stick, or maybe just speakers and a playlist from your phone. On that note, be sure to pack a charger too.
  • Christmas tipple – wine, spirits, or beer, remember to pack your favourite Christmas drinks to enjoy during your festive break.
  • Christmas crackers – this simple addition to the dinner table will help make your campervan Christmas complete.
  • Blankets – you should expect the nights to be colder than other times of the year, so pack a few extra thick blankets and woolly jumpers to stay warm.

Christmas Decorations

To make sure your campervan has that festive feel, consider secreting away a few decorations before you head out. A complete Christmas tree may be a bit impractical, but a few sets of fairy lights (battery for inside and solar for outside), a few well chosen decorations, and maybe a wreath for the door can make a big difference when you wake up on Christmas morning. Consider gathering some foliage on a winter walk and using natural offerings to add some class to your decorations.

Christmas Dinner in a Campervan

The main event of the day; Christmas dinner. For those who have hosted Christmas dinner for even just four people, you’ll know it can be an intricate and complex affair. And that’s when you have a whole kitchen to use. Transfer this to a small campervan kitchen, and you’ll quickly realise how important it is to think outside the box and stay organised.

Depending on family favourites, you’ll need to think about how and when different foods can be cooked. Here are a few ideas that might help:

  • Consider making space for an Omnia Oven. These handy bits of kit will quickly become a firm favourite as they take no more space than a conventional pan but effectively perform the same as a conventional oven when used on your gas hob. Allowing you to bake, boil and steam.

  • This means that for very little storage space you have a hugely versatile cooking implement allowing for almost endless recipe options; wintery favourites could include the gooey cheesy loveliness of Tartiflette, Slow Cooked Hotpots, and perhaps even some Christmas Pud.
  • If you are wanting to go all out with your Christmas Roast you could consider the Cobb – which will enable you to cook a full chicken with all the trimmings in one. Beer Butt Chicken anyone?!
  • Alternatively allowing you to cosy up fireside, enjoy some warmth, as well as offering a cooking surface and the flickering glow of a fire with which to toast some marshmallows; you could treat yourself to a portable frontier stove. These great bits of kit will allow you to enjoy fireside moments on the go in its own self-contained unit -whether it be beachside, van side, or at home in the garden.

Ultimately it's your day. And an opportunity to create different traditions.

Whatever you decide; aim to be prepared prior to your departure. Engage a “no worries” approach and enjoy the process.

Christmas Camping with Children

Families looking to spend Christmas in a campervan with their little ones need to consider how they want to go about achieving the magic of Christmas. That is, how is the big man going to find the campervan to deliver presents?

These days, there are all sorts of accessories available to have fun making or purchase to help with this. From ‘Santa Stop Here’ signs to reindeer food bags, spend some time considering what you can share with your children to make the experience extra special.

Another factor is where to store presents. Obviously, you’ll want to stow them away from prying eyes, so see our guide to campervan storage for some ideas on where things can be stored before the big day.

Consider ‘stocking presents’ as an alternative – allowing Santa to accommodate for the lack of space. That way the magic continues to unfold when you return. It will also allow you to concentrate on items that will mean the most.

Alternatively, a special gift from Santa with a note to say that he has delivered the rest of the presents – as usual - to the normal address.

Hosting Visitors

In most cases, spending Christmas in a campervan is likely to be a low-key event with just a few of your nearest and dearest. Having said this, some campervanners may find that they’re faced with visitors – especially if there are family and friends living in the location where you’ve travelled to.

Anyone expecting visitors during their campervan Christmas should consider the practicalities of hosting. It might be a good idea to pack some extra fold-out chairs, blankets, glasses, and tableware.

Discover Christmas in your Campervan

Choosing a campervan Christmas may seem daunting at first, but it’s sure to give you a festive season you’ll never forget. As long as you think carefully about what you need to bring, and how the day will be organised, you can certainly create the perfect day. Browse our camping accessories to make sure you’ve got it all covered. We have everything you’ll need, from a collection of cosy camping bedding to much-needed fridges and cool boxes.

The true magic of spending Christmas in a camper will mean that you can enjoy time spent away from all the noise, that you can create moments to treasure forever with the ones you love – whether that’s with your favourite four-legged friend, your significant other or the family.

However you spend it -we wish you the very best of the season!