Packing Your Car for a Road Trip

With spring and summer right around the corner that also means road trips. Whether you’re off to some never before seen part of the country, off to Grandma’s house, or some other vacation spot, a well-packed car can make the trip all the easier and more enjoyable. It might even keep you sane. To better prepare yourself for your time on the road, consider the following steps before you head out.


Good packing begins with preparing the space that needs to be packed. For a road trip that means the car, and nothing makes it easier to pack a car than sprucing it up a bit. Emptying the car of clutter, unneeded items, and especially bits of trash that might have found their way in will open up the most space for you to make use of so you’ll know exactly what you have to work with. Plus, our consultant from Warsaw Chrysler of Warsaw, In says keeping food scraps out of your car goes a long way to keeping mice and other rodents out.


Where you’re going, for how long, and how much space your car has will have more than just a bit of bearing on what you pack. Going to the beach? Maybe leave the sweater behind. Staying for a week? More than a change or two of clothes might be for the best. Car storage a bit limited? Perhaps keep it down to the bare essentials as much as possible. Knowing how many clothing, how full a Dopp kit, and how much space you have to squeeze them all into will make it much easier to figure out how and where everything is going to go while alleviating the stress that might result from trying to cram everything in without having thought it out first.

Pack Your Items:

Once the space is clear and the plan is in place it’s time to finally start packing your bags. And “bags” are a good place to start. Unless you’re transporting something that needs a bit more protection, you’ll find it easier to deal with softer luggage than hard sided or even just straight boxes. If you do have something more on the fragile end then try to stick with a smaller box, as that will be easier to manage. If you have access to it, consider vacuum bags for your clothes and other cloth items, though remember that you’ll need to be able re-vacuum for the trip back so keep that in mind based on where you’re going. Additionally, it might be a good idea for everyone to pack a small “carry-on” type of bag. Essentially a small collection of things to keep them entertained on the road. Nothing ruins a road trip quite like a bored passenger that just keeps asking if you’re there yet.

Pack Your Car:

Finally, it’s time to actually pack the car. With it cleaned out and all your bags properly packed it shouldn’t be too hard, though there are still some things that might help to keep in mind. First, pack in order of what you’ll need. The first packed items will be the last unpacked and vice-versa. Don’t clutter, cram, or stack any section too high. Blocking windows can cause extra blind spots that could lead to trouble down the road, while high stacks in general might lead to a rain of luggage down on some unlucky passenger. Also make sure to use the space you have strategically. Many cars are being made with extra storage under floorboards or in the seats, take advantage of that in addition to using roof rails and racks to tie things down if your vehicle is so equipped. Just make sure everything outside the car is secure, falling luggage outside would be even worse than it falling inside. And lastly, leave some space for safety equipment. This will vary based on where you’re traveling to and through, but things like blankets, a jack, or even a shovel if your route will take you somewhere where there’s apt to be mud or snow.

Party On:

And that’s that. With the bags secured and car packed there’s nothing left to do but get on the road and get going. A trip of fun and excitement awaits you, and with a properly packed car your trip will be all the better for it. Just remember how to do it again for the return trip.

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