Destination UK

Our Family Festival Packing List

Posted on
July 31, 2023

This is our tenth year at Camp Bestival and are now seasoned festival campers. Our packing list has evolved as technology changes and the kids get older, but it is essentially still the same.

Camp Bestival is held at Lulworth, a spectacular site in the heart of Dorset which is very hilly so you have to make an executive decision where you pitch your tent. It is either close to your car or close to the main site and I would recommend you find a flat pitch as there is nothing worse than sliding down the tent when you are trying to sleep.

I Love Camp Bestival

As there are lots of hills to climb, dragging a trolley full of camping equipment and / or kids can be very hard work, however, with a bit of planning, you can get it down to two or three trips.

It does all sound hard work, but I can promise you it is very worth it!

Our Camp Bestival Packing List!

Outwell Transporter – With puncture proof rubber wheels this foldable transporter takes up little room in the car and provides easy transportation of bulky items like the tent to and from the campsite. It also doubles as a handy festival trolley and we lined ours with a picnic blanket and decorated it for the kids when they were little, to sit in when they get tired.

The Tent – I would recommend you choose the perfect one for your family and there are loads of affordable options out there. We have a large Coleman Blackout tent which has headroom for taller kids and teens, plus a blackout area, which really does keep the kids asleep longer. Don’t forget the mallet and tent pegs!

Windbreaks: The thing about any festival is it is busy, very busy. It is easy to feel lulled into a false sense of security on a Thursday as everyone leaves each enough space to pitch, however people arrive all through the weekend and any spare inch of space is used to pitch a tent, which we found to our cost when someone pitched right by our front door and we had to climb over their guy ropes every time we needed to access our tent. Using windbreaks creates a divide and stops this happening.

Air Beds: We started off with Self Inflating Sleeping Mats which are great for saving space, but an air bed adds an extra level of comfort and insulation to you stay – just don’t forget the pump!

Sleeping Bags: It may be the height of summer, but trust me it gets very chilly at night, so a good quality, warm sleeping bag is a must!


Pillows: Comfort is a must

Decorations: Solar Fairy Lights / Bunting / Flags: Anything to decorate your tent and trolley with to make it easy to find day or night.

Camp Bestival

Bungee Cord / String / Scissors – great for attaching a sunshade to the festival trolley or making sure things don’t fall out whilst transporting them to / from the car.

Torch and Headlight – A headlight is a must as those festival toilets are pitch black in the middle of the night and can be used hands free when you have to hold on to the kids.

Clothing: it is the UK so be prepared for any eventuality – this year we saw all four seasons in one weekend! Do check the weather forecasts before you leave, but it is wise to take waterproofs and wellies, warm jumpers, t-shirts, shorts, jeans, underwear, sun hats, sensible shoes and pyjama’s / warm onesie’s for overnight.

Mud at Camp Bestival

Toiletries: The great thing about Camp Bestival is it provides warm showers and sinks, so you can take your normal toiletries. I do recommend adding baby wipes and toilet rolls to the list too, as these can come in very handy, especially with kids.

First Aid Kit: Get a decent size one make sure you add paracetamol suspension, insect repellant, antihistamine, plasters, paracetamol, ibruprofen, rehydration sachets, sunscreen and after-sun.

Food / Drink: We invested in a Coleman Extreme cool box a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back, as its keeps food and drink cold all weekend. Food can get expensive, so we take snacks – nuts, crisps, biscuits, fruit, squash and breakfast cereal to help keep the costs down. There are free water filling stations all around the site, so make sure you take refillable bottles too.

For the Kids: Glow Sticks, bubble guns, colouring books / activity packs, top trumps, face paint, glitter etc. Dressing up clothes – we love our tails from Tell Tails as they don’t take up too much room

Tell Tails

Ear Defenders are also a must, to protect young ears from the loud music.

For the adults: Although festivals tend to have charging stations now, I still recommend taking a power bank for your smart phone as taking photo’s and videos really wipes your battery. Camp Bestival allows you to take in your own alcohol, just make sure it isn’t in a glass bottle, as its a glass free site.

If you forget something, don’t panic – there are stalls onsite that pretty much sell everything that you could every need!!

What is your family festival must have?

Check out this link for my packing list:

Disclaimer: The links in this post are affiliate links, which are at no cost to my readers, but help to pay for the running costs of my blog

  1. Reply

    Rhian Westbury

    June 30, 2017

    There’s so much to take to a festival but a self inflating mattress is one of the most important as if you can have a good nights sleep then that’s the best x

  2. Reply


    June 30, 2017

    I’ve seen a lot about Camp Bestival, it looks so much fun! I’ve never been to a family festival only the big music ones. I definitely agree with the self inflating mattress and clothes for all weathers.

  3. Reply

    Rachel neal

    June 30, 2017

    That outsell transporter looks fantastic. Perfect to use even not at festivals. Going to the beach or anything really. My kids would love to sit in it and be pulled around.

  4. Reply

    Nayna Kanabar

    June 30, 2017

    What a wonderful way to spend time with family, the outwell transporter looks so comfy for a nap and great for outdoors, very versatile in its usage.

  5. Reply


    June 30, 2017

    Such a comprehensive list! The self inflating sleeping mats would be one of my essentials – can’t beat a bit of comfort 🙂

  6. Reply

    Carla S

    June 30, 2017

    I haven’t been to any camping festivals but this one seems to be very popular. It always looks like so much fun!

  7. Reply

    five little doves

    June 30, 2017

    Oh I’m so jealous, I bet it is amazing! That’s a great list, I am useless when it comes to remembering the important things!

  8. Reply


    June 30, 2017

    Have a great time and this is a great list. I wouldn’t have thought of solar lights and the gigsak sounds ideal

  9. Reply

    Lauretta at Home and Horizon

    July 1, 2017

    This is a very good list. My favorite is the Self Inflating Sleeping Mats.

  10. Reply


    July 1, 2017

    Never been to Camp Bestival but I’ve been to Bestival quite a few times – such good vibes – these are essentials to put on your festival packing list!

  11. Reply


    July 1, 2017

    I like the sound of self-inflating sleeping mats. That sounds so handy to have for camps.

  12. Reply

    Kizzy Bass

    July 2, 2017

    Great list, I would have never thought about decorating a tent or trolley so it was easier to find! Have a fab time

  13. Reply

    Tea bees trips

    July 2, 2017

    I have never heard of this festival before but it looks nice.

  14. Reply


    July 2, 2017

    Great list, I would have never thought to have taken half of this stuff. maybe that is why we haven’t been to a festival before. eek. x

  15. Reply

    Baby Isabella

    July 2, 2017

    Great list and love the windbreaker idea! We’d also recommend taking earplugs incase someone decides to shout BOGEYS at the top of their lungs in the middle of the night 😉

    • Reply


      July 4, 2017

      Do love a good game of campsite bogies, just not in the middle of the night

  16. Reply

    Musings of a tired mummy...zzz...

    July 2, 2017

    I’ve never been to a festival so this was really helpful! I’d love to take the kids, (maybe next year) but need to do a lot of planning!

  17. Reply


    July 4, 2017

    Wow that’s a fab camp set up you have! The transporter looks really handy

  18. Reply

    Ayesha Farhad

    July 4, 2017

    I have actually never been camping or to a festival so your list is now making me want to go to one desperately!

  19. Reply


    July 4, 2017

    What a fantastic list of must haves, there are so many useful items too that I would have never thought of.

  20. Reply

    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    July 14, 2017

    We went camping once with a brand new tent, only to find on arrival in Somerset that the tent poles were missing! So make sure that what you are taking is working before you go is my top tip.
    (Craig helping out)

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog