Updated: Long road trip ahead? Here’s how to pack your car

It’s almost road trip time, and time to start thinking about what you need to pack – and how to fit it all in your car. Because after all, it’s not just about the destination. If you’re well-prepared and well-packed, your holiday starts with the journey, as soon as you hit the open road!

If you’ve been on a road trip before, you’ll know from experience that the inside of the car can get cluttered, messy and disorganised pretty easily. But packing your car for your trip doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Whether you’ll be driving for two days or two hours, these road trip tips will come in handy:

Packing your car the night before you head out on your road trip is the best way to ensure you can wake up and get going without any delays.

Before your trip, make a list of everything you need to take along. Once it’s packed into bags – check it off your list. That way, when you are ready to start packing the car, you aren’t stressing about whether or not you’ve packed those must have trip items!

Now that you’re ready to put all those bags into the car, try and get everyone who is traveling with you to bring all their packed luggage to the driveway. This will give you chance to assess the luggage situation beforehand.

Start with the bigger, heavier items; things like camping fridges, cooler boxes, bigger suitcases, etc. Then, pretend you’re playing a game of Tetris; fit the rest of your luggage into the boot, finding suitable slots for the various sized bags. This trick helps you fill in any empty spaces and maximises the space you have.

SAFETY TIP: Make sure you’ve packed as much luggage into actual bags (like duffle bags or kit bags etc) so that you don’t have any loose items flying around.

The very last items that should be packed into the car should be those items that you may need along the way. The last thing you want is to be unpacking your entire life story during your pit stop at the garage to find that cozy hoodie sitting right at the bottom.

While stuffing your car full of your holiday essentials, remember to always be prepared in case of an emergency.

Make sure your emergency car tools (such as your jumper cables, triangle, tyre kit, etc.) as well as your first aid kit are all easily accessible. We know a lot of cars keep their spare tyre under the boot, in which case unpacking your entire boot is necessary to get to it. But, imagine having to unpack your entire boot just to get your emergency triangle or a headache tablet for your passengers.

Read more: Safety items you should always have in your car

No matter how much stuff you need to take along, never over pack your car to the extent that it makes it unsafe or affects your visibility.

If you simply can’t fit all your passengers and their luggage into a car safely consider hiring a trailer or roof box to ensure a comfortable and safe trip.

Snacks are probably one of the most important “necessities” to have on a road trip. Before you head out, make sure you’ve packed enough snacks for the entire trip.

To save space inside the car, section your road trip snacks into the different legs of your trip and keep the rest packed away in the boot. Keep your drinks cool by placing them in a cooler bag or mini car fridge. Also, don’t forget an empty packet for your rubbish.

Besides choosing comfortable clothing to travel in, it’s wise for you and your passengers to bring along a few comfort items that you may need during the trip.

Things like: A travel pillow, a blanket, an oversized jumper and socks are all a good idea. Another suggestion is to bring along a towel. If it’s a really hot trip and you’ve got leather seats in your car, you’ll be a lot more comfortable sitting on top of a beach towel (which can also then be used during your holiday).

If you don’t need these items straight away, pack them in the boot, on top of your luggage and somewhere that will be quick and easy to access.

Staying safe in today’s world is a reality no matter where you go, so don’t forget to pack your safety essentials like a face mask and hand sanitizer. Pack extras in your boot, so if you misplace them you don’t have to worry about going into the shops to buy more. You might even want to consider packing some cleaning materials and disinfectant wipes in your car, just in case.

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