Eurocamp/Keycamp type of thing - top tips and things to take?(82 Posts)
We're off to Brittany in a couple of weeks, staying in a mobile home type thing. We've never done this sort of holiday before so was wondering if anyone has any top tips or suggestions of things to take with us. Thanks in advance
Watching this thread with interest as we go next week. I am a novice at this too but I am taking some essentials such as tea towels, washing up stuff, tea bags, sugar, tin opener and corkscrew . I've also seen suggestions to take a sharp knife for chopping food.
We have a 4 hour drive down to the port so I'm going to prepare some bags for DD (4) and DS (20 months) with sticker books, audio story CDs, sweets for the journey and anything else I can think of. DS is a terrible traveller so I suspect this may only distract him until we get to Birmingham but hey ho!
We went a couple of weeks back. The kids club for 2year old DD was amazing.
The buggy we hired was shit though. Cheap, faded, heavy and dirty. The cot we hired didn't fit in the static anywhere other than the middle of the living room. So I wouldn't bother with those!
Essential kit is loo roll, pan scrubber, cloths, multiple purpose cleaner and washing up liquid, tea towels and hand towels, sheets and duvets and pillow slips and bath towels.
The statics have uk plug sockets as well as European ones.
We go next week too - eek! What buggy was it Yoni - was it with eurocamp? I hope not, we've booked one I did look at a 'rumble truck' but can't imagine using that on days out.
A decent knife, preferably one small and a bread knife. Their knifes are always too blunt. We always take a couple of pint glasses for water, beer or wine . Plastic ikea type cups for children.
Some insect repellant for sitting out after DC's have gone to bed. When we went to Brittany we took our duvet as nights/early mornings can be quite chilly especially if you're awake early with children.
Tea towels, j cloths and small washing up liquid, tea bags and instant coffee are good too. Also some tupperware things for picnics and also for keeping flies off butter etc when you're eating outside.
You'll have a great time. We went Eurocamp/keycamp from when our youngest was 2 until last year when he was 16.
Bugger! Do the cots really not fit in the bedroom? I can't have DS in the living room while we're still up and the little so and so will be up and rampaging around the caravan if he's put into a bed.
We've used Haven in this country, and it's standard that travel cots only fit in the middle of the living room. We hired a bed rail for a single bed then put a pop up travel cot on it, rather than have DS sleep in the living room.
Take a tin opener and scissors in case there aren't any provided / they don't work.
If driving, pack clothes etc in those reusable shopping bags - think the big Ikea ones - rather than cases, as they are easily stashed in a cupboard and you can use them for shopping, beach trips etc.
We are driving - very exciting after we've flown with hand luggage only for the past few years. I'm taking EVERYTHING Considering taking a couple of pans but might be going too far ...
Knives and board were on my list after experiencing crap ones in s/c a couple of years ago but had forgotten loo roll
Good to know they have UK sockets. Do they have a freezer or ice box?
We also have a four hour drive, then an overnight crossing. I have sticker books and will prepare snack bags too plus story tapes (actually CDs but story CDs sounds wrong - possibly showing my age). Might also do some I Spy sheets with things for DD to look out for and cross off.
Meant to say good tip re Ikea bags too
Pans might be ok - they're not particularly heavy, and though big you can put other things in them - stuff them with t towels etc then they aren't taking up extra room.
I think they all have fridges with an ice box - the tents do so mobile homes must. Eurocamp says mobile homes have uk or continental sockets, so i'd take adaptor if I was you.
On the cot issue, we did a similar holiday last year in a 2 bed one. We put one of the beds in the 2nd bedroom on its side and put the travel cot up in the space. The bed was just a very light,quite narrow frame with no headboard or anything, so easy to do. We slipped the mattress underneath the other bed. Might work for you.
I'd take stuff like salt, pepper and things like that that you only use a little bit of but make a big difference to your food. Also tea bags, stuff for first evening meal just in case you get there after the shop has shut.
Last time the washing machines were very expensive so I hand washed stuff, so take some hand washing powder.
Washing up liquid, tea towels, sponges, toilet paper, foil.
Have a great time.
Oh yes re the first meal - we're taking frozen bolognese + pasta. Apparently (!) it will defrost slowly in the cool bag and still be ok the next night - hope so anyway! Remember the French supermarkets often don't open on a Sunday if you're arriving on a Saturday. Oh and change for the toll roads.
Agree to all those listed below. We did this every year for 10 years (Eurocamp every time), this is the first year we are not going - you will have a fantastic time - wish I could get back those years when my DC were little! They were the best hols, definitely better than the Mark Warners etc that we also did.
Definitely take a box with things you only use a bit of - eg, salt , pepper, olive oil etc, as the supermarket on the campsite will be eye-watering expensive, also take tins of tuna and passata and also dried pasta so you can knock up something quick when everyone is tired - especially the first night. Also breakfast cereal.Also, if you have a cool box, before you go, freeze a few 2ltre containers of milk (pour a bit out first as it expands when frozen). they will slowly defrost on route, and then you already have fresh milk to put in the fridge when you get there. Put a couple of beers in with them for you and DH to have a cold beer when you have unpacked.
Have a small bag with tea, coffee, toilet roll, biscuits close to hand when you arrive, also swimming stuff and towel so you can easily grab and run.
So not go to the nearest French supermarket on a Sunday morning -it will be packed!!!
Buy the semi-baked baguettes you can get from Asda at the moment 2 for £1, so you can easily have fresh baked baguettes -the queue at the shop in the morning will be long.
Take your own carriers for French supermarkets - they charge for them.
We now take a bike lock thing to put on the caravan door after DH's phone was stolen from a locked Eurocamp caravan 2 years ago .
I wish I was going this year....
Might be worth getting a peage device from the Sanef website. We got one a few years ago, and it is fantastic! (was recommendation form a mumsnetter on the skiing threads). It is a transponder that automatically charges you when you go through the peage (toll booth). Queues are shorter, and you don't have to stop twice (take ticket, pay ticket) - you just pay afterwards by direct debit. I love it!!
(and TickledOnion great name )
Where do you get them from Catherine? They sound great!
With regards to locking up - as we're staying in a tent I had wondered about this! I guess we just shouldn't leave valuables?
Duh sorry just seen about Sanef website. Ignore me!
Some excellent tips, especially the frozen stuff which should be nicely defrosted when we arrive. We are overnight from Portsmouth to St Malo and have been pondering that food to take for the picnic on the drive down as anything chilled would be warm by then but I may nestle it amongst the frozen milk.
For anyone else who has booked a cot. I've spoken to Eurocamp and they are asking the couriers on site to remove one of the single beds in the second bedroom to make room for the cot.
Let the countdown begin!
Ooooh Portsmouth to St Malo - we always did this! Hol starts when you board the ferry!
I would really recommend taking a pair of kitchen scissors. It's surprising how often we seem to need a pair of scissors for opening packets/other odd jobs, and they never seem to have them in the mobile home, so we always pack a pair now.
As someone else said, breakfast cereals are a good thing to take as the choice in supermarkets is quite limited and very expensive.
I'd also recommend stocking up on packs of ice creams from the supermarket as they have really delicious ones and save you a fortune compared to buying them from the shop on site.
If staying in a tent we tend to lock anything of any value in the car or roof box rather than leave it in the tent, although I've never heard of anyone having anything stolen this way.
ooh which one. we got back from l'atlantique last week. it was such a lovely holiday.
take more towels than you think you might need but they have most stuff there
Getting excited, going in 3 weeks, and have had some brilliant hols there over the last 6 years. We have 10 hours travelled before we even get to Birmingham!
Just take it add it comes and enjoy the experience!
Best tip someone gave us is everyone has 1 pillowcase to pack - limits how much everyone takes, and very efficient for packing into car(not good if you like everything ironed!). Everyone has 1overnight bag to carry what they need in the journey. We bring box of snacks/picnic for journey, plus some basics like teabags x sharp knife, potato peeler etc. French supermarkets are good, and you will get most things you use, but beware they are not open on Sunday evenings.
Tips for travelling.... don't over pack, only take the essentials that you will use.
What keeps your children amused - books, talking, music, games etc.
Take regular stops before everybody gets grumpy (we stop every2 hours).
Keep a sick bag handy in car.
Keep toilet roll ready to hand.
French roads are great, and nowhere near the congestion as over here. Lots of tolls, but worth it.
Fuel cheaper in France, but motor way service stations extortionate (15 to 25c more expensive than supermarkets!).
After crossing, put watch/ring on wrong hand our dicker on windscreen to remember to drive on wrong side of road.
Bring triangle, high vis vest share bulbs with you, and buy disposable breath testers on boat.
We take sheets and sleeping bags for children.
Most kitchen utensils are there.
Stock up in supermarket, site shop will be expensive.even ice lollies are good value from supermarket,but extortionate on site shop.
Fresh bread available every morning (one of the best parts of France!!)
Pools usually well supervised, but need swimming trunks, not shorts at some sites.
Passports (in date!!!)
EHC card, travel insurance and breakdown insurance.
V5, mot and insurance and licence plus copies.
Vouchers, tickets and information for boats/sites.
Credit card (good euro rate) and cash.
Maps / Satnav.
Suncream and raincoats!
Take your first year as a learning year. Once you have done it once, keep your checklist for next year to make it easier for next year!
detailed local map so you can go to the more remote/quieter beaches. a badminton set to use on the pitch and a cricket set is an easy way to make friends onsite.
Good point Dreaming on maps..., local maps normally available in local supermarket our tourist office.
Tourist office will be good source of in formation on lock area.
Omg portofino have done these style of holidays since i was 4 and your tip re ikea style bags is amazing! Really am so pleased I read that! << slinks off to look and see how many bags she can find, whilst shaking head in wonder>>
Sorry to say OP it was eurocamp. My honest advice is to cancel it and beg steal or borrow a quinny or other small fold up pram.
The first one they gave us had sick stains on it and had been put together wrong so the breaks didn't work. The second one was just 'left outside' filthy but didn't fold up well at all so barely fit in the boot of a Volvo.
The brochure had pictures of microlites so I was when we got a cheap hunk of utter crap.
I can definitely second the toll doodah. We have had one for years. Speeding though the express lane whilst your compatriots queue up is a wonderful feeling. If you google sanef uk toll you should get the link. It is well worth the administration fee.
Ooh, have just made a great list of holiday essentials all required for next week!
Definitely going to pack in ikea bags! I used to do that for going back to uni! It's amazing how much you can fit in
We've just got back from a Keycamp holiday in Holland.
We found that with the exchange rate, even using the supermarkets off site, everything was pretty expensive. I'd take salt, pepper, tin foil, clingfilm, sandwich bags, oil, coffee, tea, sugar, oil, washing up liquid, soap, anti-bacterial spray, hand washing liquid if you're going to wash, ketchup, salad dressing etc, cordial, cereal, fun size chocolate treats (depending on your children), other snacks / cereal bars etc for out and about, kebab sticks if you'd use them for BBQ, charcoal, matches. Its obviously nice to have the local fresh produce, but if you can save having to buy things that you'll only use a little of, its worth taking them if you can fit them in.
Equipment wise the "mobile home" was surprisingly well equipped. I wouldn't bother with pans but did take a sharp bread knife, a chopping board, a veggie peeler and a corkscrew with bottle opener. Also took scourers, cloths, tea towels, pegs, the children each had a drinks bottle, took Tupperware for picnics, picnic rug. We took our own bedding I "double sheeted" 2 fitted sheets on each bed because I'm just a bit funny about it singles for the children with sleeping bags and pillow cases, doubles for us and our own double duvet and pillows. It did get a bit chilly in the evenings in the caravan so although blankets were provided, if you're wary of how clean they might be, I'd take extra bedding too just in case.
oh just remembered. they didnt habe a baking tray and could have donevwith one for pizza
you should be able to get hold of a list of whats in the mobile from the company. is there not one on the website - i'm pretty sure there used to be one in the brochures. we used to have baking trays in ours. I'm amazed at how much some of you take....i thought we were ladened down. will you have enough room for alcohol on the way back?
I'm going too in a couple of weeks time. This is my list, having had a few years experience of this kind of holiday, having an overnight stop in England on the way as we have eight hours driving and a 3 hour ferry journey just to get that length!
Car reg and insurance
Hotel booking refs
Gb car sticker
First aid kit, sticking plasters and tablets
Salt, pepper, vinegar
Cool bag and ice packs
Flash wipes or antibacterial spray
Swimsuits and goggles
Jumpers or fleeces
Ipad and kindles
Toothpaste and brushes
Hairbrush and comb
Whereabouts in Brittany? We have been to des Ormes near Dol de Bretagne and discovered that there's a laundrette at the nearest big supermarket which was cheaper and faster than the campsite one. Especially the dryers. One of us did the laundry while the other got the groceries.
Last time we went, scooters were popular with the kids, they don't take much room in the car if they're the fold up type.
i don't understand why some of you are takiing so much stuff (and i say this as someone who always argued with her husband as the boot was full). French supermarkets are actually very good and stock all the things we do at home. except for baked beans and gravy powder
dreamingofsun I think its because there are things that you only need a little of - say salt - no point in buying a large packet in France, using a tiny bit so having to either throw nearly a whole packet away or bring it home. For us personally, it was also because even though supermarkets were well stocked, the exchange rate meant that we were getting virtually £1 : 1 Euro so everything was v expensive.
Tell your credit card company you are going on hols.
Definitely pack a torch.
We take really old towels that we can use on the floor , and then bin them before setting off for home.
I wouldnt have needed half of that stuff. you can make do without every single thing you have at home believe it or not
Agree with taking sleeping bags for kids. The caravans can be cold at night even when day temp is 30+. Also swimming trunks not surf shorts ( French swimming pool rules!).
Have a BIG bag of snacks in the car for the journey.
If you are stopping overnight on the way or getting there very late, make sure you pack an overnight bag with the families essentials in, to save a big unpack when you're tired.
Utilise the excellent French motorway services - nothing like ours and almost every other one has green areas to 'exercise' the dcs.
Thank you all so much for feeding my excitement and sharing your lists and tips, they're fantastic
We're going to Les Mouettes in Carantec (and actually have the opposite problem to arriving late at night - we're arriving first thing in the morning and presumably can't book in until 2-3 pm).
I'm taking a lot of stuff partly because I can - as I mentioned above, this is the first year we've driven rather than doing hand-luggage only flights, so can definitely pack light (particularly as that included cloth nappies!). I want to have a few things that I know (picky) DC will definitely eat. Plus last time (s/c, flying with hand luggage only) we ended up buying eg salt, wu liquid, binbags etc and only using a couple and it was expensive and annoying feeling as though we were stocking the apartment for the rest of the season. Plus I'd rather take a few bags of value pasta if we have space and spend my holiday pennies on wine and cheese
I 2nd that Brittany was very expensive due to the exchange rate in the supermarkets so take what you can!
oh but i <3 french supermarkets. The biscuits, the yoghurts, the wine, the CHEESE
obv dont get your bread from the supermarket though, get it from a boulanger
i like banette best
its a fucker drying the pots with a beach towel
Why all these breathalysers? I have never heard of this?
The law changed in July 2012 so that when driving in France you must always have two, French government-approved, disposable breathalysers in your car at all times (along with high-vis jackets, first aid kit, warning triangle etc). If you get pulled over and don't have them you can get a big fine.
Oh, I didn't know they had to be gov-approved, I was going to get them off ebay Not sure where we're going to get high-vis jackets for the DC either
The law regarding breathalysers in France has changed again -breathalysers
Theoretically, you are still required to carry them, but if you get stopped by the police, they will not fine you if you don't have one . You don't need high-viz jackets for your DC either - you just need one per car.
We're off to Berny Riviere Eurocamp in 2 weeks time - I can't wait
We've just returned from Vias Plage with Thomson Alfresco- 3 bed static and the travel cot fitted fine in place of one of the twins in the second bedroom. It was a travel cot we gored as part of the baby pack ( bath and high chair also included) but it was a pretty standard sized one, same as the graco one we have at home.
Sorry if this has been said before, but in the mobile homes, the lower bunk usually flips up so that you can put the travel cot in that room. Have to say, most people didn't realise...
We went to Les Mouettes a few years ago. It was great
Has your mobile home got a dishwasher? If so take tablets. Yes to knives, I would also take a chopping board because they often only have those horrible glass things <shudder>
The campsite website might have a list of what each mobile home has in it - I tried to have a look, but I'm on my phone.
If you'd like any tips about the region we have been loads (we live near one of the ports and can go for the weekend) do PM me. There is an excellent E Leclerc in Morlaix and a Super U in St Pol de Leon. I *love* E Leclerc. We can't go this year because I am PG and we won't have time before the cut off. Oh, and the Casino supermarket in Carentec opens on Sunday mornings but closes for lunch
The markets in Carentec and Morlaix are really good.
Marking place! We're off to Argeles at the end of July with a 4 year old and an 8 year old. We're driving down with stop overs...
Anyone got any entertainment tips for kids?
Haven't read whole thread, so apologies if its been said, I take a frozen homemade bolognese and pasta for first night meal. It's a cool pack for other food, and defrosted ready to heat when you arrive. We are always too tired to look for somewhere or something to eat!
Methe no real tips for en route (we haven't got any kids, we just like the campsites ) but the Aires (the equivalent of our service stations but much, much better) are really good with play areas. Seek out the disabled loo - not really the done thing I know, but I can remember from our own childhood holidays getting to a hole in the ground and finding I didn't need to go any more.
Merge, a portable DVD player and headphones!
The shops on sites where I've been are always open early in the morning and sell fresh bread and croissants . If your dc are older than toddlers, try to fit in their bikes.
We have them and plenty of story tapes. I'm planning on putting the cool box inbetweeners themin the back as physical barrier to keep them from scrapping.
Are the toilets really holes in the ground? [ohmyactualgod]
You just need to flip up a bunk to fit a cot in. We have hired a buggy a couple of times and both were all terrain, great for using around the campsite but too big for folding and putting in the car. They were both a bit dirty, though not as dirty as one of the high chairs we had.
Methe I'm going to steal that idea and mine are 11 and 14. This year we threatened to leave them behind if they scrapped, so we could bring home more wine
I've not come across a hole in the ground loo in France for awhile!
they do still have hole in the ground loos in loads of places
candycrush we stayed in Berny Riviere a few years ago en route to Alps. Very nice - have a lovely memory of DH and I sitting by the lake with cold beers whilst the DCs played in the play area.
Thanks for that info, never heard of it.
Methe - where are u going in Argeles? We've been and loved it!! Yes yes to the above! And u can get hi vis vests suitable fir kids t the £1 shop! A bit big but they do the job!
Camping le solei. Ve never even been to France before so it's all new. Can't wait!
toilets are only hole in the ground at the public reste areas along motorways. not at service station s or campsite s
We have not been to a keycamp site we have not liked. This year we went to Duinrell which was fantastic!
Ooh, thanks Boo
We've never been on this kind of holiday before, so it's reassuring to hear that my plans for drinking wine whilst the DCs play is not too far off the mark
candy ...works like a dream. just be clear with your kids that if they make lots of friends - which is quite likely - they don't bring them back to your mobile. do not offer anything positive in the way of food/toys/encouragement to other people's kids and you will be fine. otherwise you will become site babysitter.
I don't think you need to take lots of kitchen equipment (there's a list somewhere on the website of what kit is provided) but tea towels and pegs are useful. And if your dcs are little and you're still at the stage of peeling fruit etc then a vegetable peeler is handy.
Cereal is quite expensive if your dcs are very keen on it for breakfast. Got a feeling nappies might be quite expensive too although it's been a while since I had to worry about those!
Ooh good tip dreaming
Holes in the ground ... I remember the horror of those from trips to France as a child. Haven't seen them for years and probably wouldn't bother me so much as an adult!
Thanks for info re hi-vis jackets/breathalysers too.
Comtesse you got me very excited about the possibility of a dishwasher then, but we are just in the most basic chalet I think (booked through Brittany Ferries as was cheaper) so washing up for us.
Great info re supermarkets/markets.
Any suggestions for day trips/rainy day activities very welcome ... For rainy days I was thinking of taking a few games/craft things to play in the caravan plus I think there's a games room and indoor pool.
Day trips - I've got beaches (Kelenn), Ile de Batz, maybe Brest? Have a 4.5 yo and nearly 2 yo. Also maybe something to do when we arrive, as ferry docks at 8 am but presumably we can't check in to Mouette until 2 pm or so.
Was it someone on here who said the chalets don't have ovens, just hobs, or did I imagine it?
I will add my own tip for those with small children who don't like being showered - very small paddling pool for bath time (we do this on camping trips too).
Thanks again all for your input, I am feeling properly excited
Has anyone been to the Sound Discovery Centre? It's an hour away, wondering whether it's worth the trip.
Also Huelgoat - any good for small children?
Ooh dingit, any tips for duinrell?
We just stayed in a key camp mobile home and everything there, just need towels and duvets (unless you pay for theirs). Don't waste space packing pillows - there were millions of the buggers.
talkingnonsense we went to Duinrell to earlier this month - put quite a detailed review on the Reviews page.
Duinrell was fab, like staying in the middle of Chessington, you could go back to your mobile home for a cup of tea! Lovely beach nearby, and lovely little village for a wander in the evening complete with ice cream parlour ( a pre requisite for DH)
Pm me if you need to know anything else.
Following this as we're off to the vendee in 3 weeks.
We're staying in a safari tent which looks v posh indeedy. I do need to ring and ask if they have duvets on the beds or just blankets.
Thank you dingit, and thank you Mandy! Never thought of looking in reviews!
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