Whether you’re planning a family road trip or a solo adventure, you need to plan everything down to the last detail—and that includes how you’ll pack up the car. You need to prepare for any situation that may arise while on the road, and you need to pack smart.
You don’t want to overstuff your car and leave no room for comfort, but you also don’t want to forget essential items for the sake of room. Here are eight smart tips for packing a car for your summer road trip.
Compress Your Clothes
Rolling up your clothes instead of folding them creates more space in your luggage. If you’re one of those over-packers, this is an essential tip. You don’t want to fight with stuffing five different suitcases into your vehicle when you can limit your luggage to just two cases by rolling up your items.
By rolling your clothes, you leave more room for non-essentials. Try and pack your clothes and shoes with a theme. Separate your day and evening clothes and pack the shoes that will accompany each. Rolling up your clothing also saves them from wrinkles.
Treat your road trip like you would a flight. Bring along a checked bag and a carry-on. Your checked bag is your larger piece of luggage. Store the items you don’t need to have on hand in this bag, and keep the things you need during the drive in your carry-on. Place the smaller bag in a reachable location so that you don’t have to dig through countless bags to reach your desired one.
Have Your Utilities on Deck
Store your toiletry items in separate bagging from your clothes. Accidents can happen, and you don’t want soap or lotion exploding on your clothes. If you must resort to stuffing and pressing down on your luggage throughout the trip, separating the liquids ensures you don’t have to worry about ruining your clothes.
If you have a spacious trunk, purchase some cubbies or backseat organizers. Manufacturers design these organizers to do all the work for you. You don’t need to perform math problems trying to figure out how to make everything fit. See what items fit in these compartments and place them inside. You can even store your child’s entertainment items in these organizers.
Get the Right Vehicle
You want to hit the road with a dependable vehicle—one that you know will get you there with no issues while providing optimal comfort. You can always have your current car checked and serviced before you hit the road, but for road trips, we recommend renting a vehicle instead.
Here at Landbird, we have passenger van rentals in Rhode Island that you can rent to save you the trouble of taking your own car. Our vehicles hold up to 15 passengers and their luggage, leaving you with plenty of room to store any belongings.
With a rented vehicle, you don’t have to worry about getting your car checked before and after your trip, and you don’t need to concern yourself with added miles to the vehicle. The focus of your trip will be stopping for gas and reaching the destination. Getting a vehicle suitable for your luggage makes packing the car that much easier.
Utilize Hidden Compartments
Once you rent the van, familiarize yourself with the vehicle. Make sure you know about what it can do, but more importantly, what it can store. All those small hidden compartments that cars come equipped with can do far more than hold the manual and a few napkins.
Places like the middle console or the glove compartment can store items you need to grab at a moment’s notice. You can place things like your chargers, emergency kits, or any snacks you want in these places.
Consider storing sanitary items close to you, like hand wipes, sanitizer, and paper towels. These items will come in handy for those messy moments in the vehicle. You can’t go on a road trip without snacks, and you want to keep the car as tidy as possible.
Don’t go anywhere without having a first aid kit on deck. You never want to take a long or short road trip without one. Remember, accidents happen when you least expect them. With a first aid kit, sudden injuries won’t catch you off guard.
Don’t store this kit in the back with the rest of your luggage. Keep this in the very front, preferably in the glove compartment, so that you can reach it easily and tend to whatever injury you need.
Bring a Cooler
No one wants a warm drink in the summertime, especially on a road trip. You want to quench your thirst with something cool and refreshing, so bringing along a cooler is a must. Take it up a notch and have two coolers for your food and drinks. With our van rentals, you’ll have enough room to bring along these useful tools.
One bag of ice should be enough to keep all your items cool, but if not, you can always buy another one at a gas station on your way. You can store sandwiches and other food items that need refrigeration. Pack plenty of fruit and non-perishable food items to have a variety throughout the drive.
Keep the Trash Separate
As previously stated, you want to keep your car tidy and clean, so you need to keep the trash you collect on the trip in a separate area. Have a trash bag in the front and the back of the vehicle. Don’t limit yourself to only two trash bags, though.
You want to have a hefty supply because they will fill up, and you don’t want to resort to the vehicle floor as a place to store trash. After the bags fill up, toss them at the nearest dumpster site.
Road trips can get chaotic if you don’t start off organized. Following these eight tips for packing a car on your summer road trip will ensure a successful and less chaotic trip. For more information or guidance on any upcoming summer adventures, visit our website.