How to Pack for a Week in a Few Easy Steps!

How Tos & Tips

Planning a week-long trip can be a challenge for the novice traveler. From accommodations to budgeting, to planning out the itinerary, and of course packing, there are a lot of factors at play. Whether you’re headed to picturesque national parks, sandy beaches, or charming small towns, proper planning can make or break your trip. 

But the good news is, packing doesn’t have to be stressful and can actually be quite fun if you do things right! With a little organization and preparation, you can ensure you have everything you need no matter what you’re doing for your seven-day camping extravaganza.  

In this article, we’ll walk you through our top tips on how to pack smart for a week on the road, including all the factors you need to think about while you’re making your packing list.

How to Pack for a Week-Long Trip

Packing for any trip is a skill that requires practice. But packing for longer trips takes even more forethought.

That’s doubly true for when you’re packing for an RV trip, where you’ll have to be sure you have not only your personal essentials, but household essentials as well, like bedsheets, cookware, and towels. 

Assessing Your Needs

Before you go making lists, you’ll first want to think about your travel party, your destination, and what types of activities you’re going to be participating in. Consider what the weather will be like, your RV’s weight limit, whether or not you’ll be traveling with pets, and how many people will need to be fed. 

If you’re renting an RV, check first to see what items are included with your rental. Most owners include linens, cookware, and other household essentials, although sometimes there is an additional fee for these items. If the listing doesn’t clearly state what the rental includes, you can always message the owner and ask. 

The best thing to remember when making your packing list is to not overdo it. Space is minimal in an RV so only bring what you actually need. Since your living quarters are on wheels, you can always stop at a store if you forget something.

7-Day Packing Essentials

Our first tip when considering what to pack for a one-week trip is to separate your packing list into several categories. Dividing your packing list into categories is a practical move that makes your packing experience more efficient and can help you avoid those “Oops, I forgot that!” moments. It simplifies the process, allowing you to pack similar things together and stay organized. 

Below is a sample breakdown of what your packing list might look like for a week of RV camping. Keep in mind that each traveler’s list will be a little different depending on their needs, but this should give you a good place to start!

Above all other packing list items, these are the ones you definitely don’t want to hit the road without:

  • Driver’s license
  • Insurance cards
  • Credit/ Debit cards 
  • Cash
  • Prescription medications
  • Pet paperwork


  • Underwear and socks
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Hoodies or sweaters
  • Cargo shorts or pants
  • Athletic shorts
  • Sweatpants
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking boots
  • Sneakers
  • Shower sandals (in case you need to shower at a rest stop or campground)
  • Hats
  • Bathing suits
  • Outerwear
    • Rain gear (jacket, ponchos, umbrella)
    • Snow gear (coat, boots, gloves, etc.)

*Pro tip: For camping, it’s a good idea to ensure your clothing is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and can be layered. That way, you can adjust your outfits to the temperature around you, no matter what activity you’re partaking in or what the weather is like. Think breathable fabrics like nylon, polyester, or bamboo.

Of course, if you’re planning a winter camping trip, it’s important to bring along even more outerwear and gear built specifically for cold weather. Wool or fleece are good choices for winter camping. 


  • Stocked first aid kit
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Face wash
  • Makeup
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Hair styling products
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair ties or clips
  • Moisturizers, including any special facial moisturizers you might use
  • Sunscreen and chapstick with SPF
  • Bug spray
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Pain relief medication (Motrin, Advil, etc.)
  • Q-tips
  • Body wipes for in-between showers

Outdoor Essentials

  • Camping chairs
  • Flashlights/lanterns
  • Hammock
  • Backpack
  • Wood for campfires
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Small cooler
  • Outdoor mat or rug for under awning
  • Tablecloth
  • Bear spray

Adventure Gear

This list will vary depending on what your version of “adventure” looks like, but don’t get caught without the gear you need to make your dream vacation a reality! Whether that means special hiking gear (like boots and trekking poles), your trusty mountain bike, or a kayak, be sure to bring it — or make arrangements for rentals once you arrive at your destination.

And, for an RV trip, wherein you’re basically bringing a whole house along for the ride, don’t forget about the following categories! 

Kitchen Essentials

  • Pots and pans
  • Sheetpan
  • Cooking and eating utensils
  • Cups & mugs
  • Plates & bowls (or disposable tableware) 
  • Cutting board & knives
  • Corkscrew & bottle opener
  • French press or tea kettle
  • Dish towels
  • Can opener
  • Sponge
  • Dish soap and hand soap
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Food storage (Ziploc Bags, Aluminum foil, Tupperware, etc.)
  • Lighter or matches
  • Trashbags

Linens and Towels

  • Bath towels 
  • Quickdry towels for the pool or beach
  • Hand towels
  • Washcloths
  • Bedsheets
  • Sleeping bags/ Extra blankets
  • Pillows and pillowcases


  • Dry foods, like cereal and rice
  • Fresh foods, like produce, milk, and deli meats
  • Road snacks, like trail mix and jerky
  • Coffee and tea

(Keep reading for food packing tips!)

Pet Supplies

  • Food and any medications
  • Collapsible bowls
  • Toys
  • Treats
  • Bed or crate
  • Eco-friendly poop bags
  • Reflective collar or harness

Emergency Safety Items

From traffic triangles to thermal blankets, there are certain emergency items no RVer should be without. Here’s our full guide on RV emergency gear that every owner should have on hand. While the guide is tailored toward RV owners, renters can use this guide as a checklist to ensure their rental is properly equipped to handle an emergency situation before hitting the road. 

All RVshare rentals come with 24/7 roadside assistance, but it’s always good to have emergency items on board. A flat tire with no cell signal or a means to change it is surely not how you want to spend your trip.

Miscellaneous Items

  • Personal electronic items, like cell phones, cameras, and laptops (although it’s nice to take the chance to disconnect if you can!)
  • Chargers (a portable power bank is good to have too)
  • Entertainment items like playing cards, board games, puzzles, books, a portable Bluetooth speaker for music
  • Cleaning supplies like cleaning wipes, all-purpose spray, a broom, and a mop
  • RV-specific toilet paper
  • Laundry detergent / Dryer sheets

We’ve covered all the basics of your week vacation packing list. But just as important as considering what to pack for a week-long trip… is considering what not to — or at least planning to buy some of the items once you arrive. (This is especially true for those taking their vacation in a travel trailer, where weight is an important consideration and can even be a safety concern.)

a man with a backpack next to a Class B campervan

Tips to Avoid Overpacking

It’s all too easy to *over*pack for your week-long vacation, and doing so can quickly lead to a claustrophobic, cluttered camping space that’s anything but relaxing. Thus, learning how to properly pack for a week will help you avoid going overboard.

Tip #1: Hold off on Groceries

Your grocery list holds a special place in your packing list for a week — or at least it should. But one of the easiest things to go seriously overboard with when it comes to packing for a week-long trip is food. We recommend that campers put off buying their groceries until they’ve arrived at their destinations, as all that food is heavy and can put a lot of extra weight into your rig. Plan to go to the grocery store a time or two during your trip rather than trying to cram a whole bunch of ingredients into your tiny little kitchen. 

For those hauling travel trailers, that extra weight can become a serious burden on their hitch… or even a downright safety issue if it puts you over your towing weight limit. Plus, your food stores will be a lot fresher and better thought-out if you purchase them once you’re already set up at your campsite and ready to start your vacation. (That said, you probably want to make sure you have a few quick snack items, at the very least; there’s nothing like attempting to set up your campsite hangry!)

Tip #2: Wait to Fill up Your Water Tanks

Finally, although this doesn’t directly play into what to pack for a week-long trip, we also strongly encourage campers to avoid traveling with their rigs full of water, whether fresh or waste. Water adds a shocking amount of weight — eight pounds a gallon! — and with some RVs boasting holding tanks with a combined total of over 100 gallons, water is a fast way to take your weight over the limit. Instead, fill up once you arrive at the campground… or, if you’re boondocking, right before you get to the point where it’s time to get off-grid.

Tip #3: Plan Your Outfits Ahead of Time

We recommend planning one outfit for each day of your trip, plus any special outfits needed for activities like hiking or dining out. Try to pack clothing that can be easily mixed and matched to create different outfits, reducing the number of items you need to pack. Extra pairs of socks and underwear can come in handy and don’t take up too much space, but you want to avoid just throwing all your favorite clothing into one big pile. Keep in mind that you can always stop at a laundromat during your trip if you need to do a quick load of laundry. 

When it comes to accessories and shoes, it’s also easy to overdo it. Chances are you’re really only going to wear one, or maybe two, pairs of shoes — and if you’re actually the type to wear more than that in a week’s time, you might want to tone it down for your vacation. 😉

Packing Steps

  1. Check RV Provisions: Again, if you’re renting an RV, check with the owner about what items are already included with your rental, such as cookware, linens, and towels. This can help you avoid packing duplicate items.
  2. Check the weather forecast for your destination. This will help you pack appropriate clothing and accessories.
  3. Create packing checklists by category.
  4. Pack your essentials first, such as travel documents, medications, and important items. This ensures you have the most crucial items on hand.
  5. Lay out your clothes, then roll them as you place each item into your bag to maximize space. Consider using travel-friendly bags, such as duffel bags or backpacks, that are easy to carry and don’t take up too much space. 
  6. Use storage containers or bins to organize things like kitchen items, making it easier to bring to and from the RV and access what you need during the trip. 
  7. Pack a “day bag” with items like snacks, drinks, chargers, and anything else you and your travel party might need easy access to while you’re on the road. 

We’ve also written a variety of RVshare blog posts about fun ways to ensure your rig is well-organized, such as:


Packing for a week-long trip can feel like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! By streamlining your packing process, you can ensure that you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. 

Ready to hit the road? No matter where your week-long trip is taking you, renting on the RVshare peer-to-peer market is a great way to get where you’re going with ease. Our network of well-maintained rigs are owned and offered for rent by everyday people just like you, which means you stand to save a bundle on the big box store prices.

Along with cash savings, renting on the peer-to-peer market gives you the opportunity to choose from a wider array of RV body styles and types, as well as to use the opportunity to potentially even make a friend in the bargain.

Check out the RVshare rental listings in your area today to get your one-week trip of a lifetime started!

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