When it’s time for a week away, the success of your trip might depend on packing appropriately. You never want to forget the necessities (a toothbrush, a jacket, a phone charger…) but beyond the obvious are the items you may not consider, especially if it’s your first experience with van life. It might be tempting to pack everything you can carry and more, but to truly enjoy the minimal lifestyle of the mobile hotel, there’s a lot you can leave at home. 

How can you possibly know what you’ll need and what will wind up wasting space? Here’s a little list to get you started!

The Obvious

We know you know you need to pack these essentials, but here’s the Cabana specifics:

Clothes + Shoes

Are you hiking, swimming, urban exploring? The options are endless, but make sure to pack for your preference, and check the weather. Loungewear for long drives and cozy nights is a must.


You don’t have to worry about packing too many liquids –– natural shower amenities are provided in your Cabana. Pack some sunscreen, possibly bug spray, and the personal amenities you require. (Cabana tip: There are towels in your Cabana, but you might want an extra beach towel to dry off items such as dirty shoes.)



In addition to your favorite road trip snacks, plan ahead for the meals you’ll want to cook. If you’ve added a kitchen to your Cabana, all the cooking utensils are provided for you! 



Two bottles of drinking water is provided for you in your Cabana, but bring along any other favorite beverages. (Cabana tip: Cans fit nicely in the fridge, but if you’re bringing bottles of wine or lots of refrigerated items, consider packing a cooler.)



Wherever your Cabana adventure takes you, it’s sure to be a photo worthy experience, so don’t forget your camera! (If you’re posting on Instagram, tag @CabanaVans and you might get featured on the Cabana Insta!)

The Van Life Extras

You might not normally add these items to your packing list, but here’s what we think makes a van feel like a home:

Down time activities

What do you like to do after a long day of adventuring? The table is the perfect size for a card game or small board game, so pack your favorites!

A personal jam sesh is another popular choice, so don’t shy away from bringing along a guitar or ukulele. You can play music through the Cabana stereo, but consider bringing a speaker for your time outside the van.

For a night in, pre-load your latest TV binge or the movie you've been meaning to watch, and pack an HDMI cable to connect your device to the Cabana TV.


Picnic essentials

The beauty of van life is the ability to step outside somewhere stunning. A picnic blanket will be a great addition for a day on the beach or a night of stargazing. Camping wine glasses or koozies are a big plus. If you like a little extra ambiance, a pack of string lights can really help set the scene.

Photo Credit: Roberto Nickson

With all the necessities Cabana has thought of for you, you can save your packing space for the items that really elevate your stay. If you’re new to life on the road, a few favorite comfort items makes a big difference. If you’re a road trip regular, let us know the little things you’ll never travel without!