One of the best things about summer is packing the family into the car and going on a road trip. Whether you’re headed to the beach, a lake house, or off to see your relatives, you need to make sure you have everything you need. Just as importantly, you need to make sure you’ve organised your car for summer travel.
Take the time to pack and organise your car for a road trip to maximize comfort, convenience, and efficiency. This is vital for smooth and stress-free travel.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we can help. Follow along for our top tips on how to pack for a road trip.
The most important aspect of packing your car is learning some basic organisational skills. The way you organise your car before a road trip can significantly affect your experience.
First, you need to load your items in order based on how they will be needed on the road. For example, you’ll want to make sure your passengers have quick and easy access to:
- Food and snacks
- Entertainment items
Similarly, you need to make sure you have convenient access to things like:
- Music devices
- Emergency equipment
- Navigation equipment
Plan ahead when thinking about what to pack for a long road trip and how to organise your car.
Saving on space
Some people run into space issues when trying to pack everything they need for summer travel. However, this is a relatively simple issue to resolve.
First, prioritize your items and don’t overpack. Pack what you need based on the duration of the trip and what you’ll be doing. Only add extra items if you have room to spare.
Secondly, use space-saving packing techniques. This includes:
- Using vacuum storage boxes for things like towels, pillows, etc.
- Rolling clothes rather than folding them
- Storing smaller items inside shoes
- Using space underneath car seats for extra storage
- Adding an overhead storage container on top of the car
Finding enough room in your vehicle may require thinking outside the box for storage options.
Even if you know where you’re going and are familiar with your destination, it’s always a good idea to pack navigation equipment. This can include anything from an atlas to a satellite navigation device.
However, if you own a smartphone, it can also provide navigation instruction. They can be quite useful on the road to finding important services such as hospitals, roadside assistance, and restaurants.
Snacks and drinks
When deciding what to pack for a road trip, don’t forget food and beverages. Whether you’re driving two hours or 20, you need to bring snacks and drinks. This is especially important if you have children on board who are less patient when it comes to being hungry.
Packing your own food instead of relying on restaurants or filling stations can save you a lot of money while on the road. However, it may be a good idea to bring a small cooler to keep drinks and other perishables cold. Even if your car has a decent air conditioner, food items can get too warm by sitting in the sun.
Protection from the sun
Speaking of the sun, it’s best to keep the sunscreen accessible when organising your car for a road trip. Whether you have the windows rolled down or sealed shut, you can still get a sunburn while sitting in the car.
For passengers, they may want to bring window shades or other items to block out the sun during the drive. There’s not much they can do to change positions in the car, but they can keep the sun from coming in. As the driver, you shouldn’t inhibit your visibility by blocking out windows, but you can (and should) wear sunglasses.
It’s easy for people to get bored on long drives during summer travel. While most adults will be content listening to music or getting lost in their thoughts, children will demand more entertainment.
We recommend allowing your children to pack their favourite mobile-friendly board games, colouring books, art supplies, toys, etc. If they have electronic devices such as a tablet, phone, or iPod, they’ll likely have enough to keep them entertained for a while. Just remember to bring your travel adaptors to charge electronic devices.
If you’re a driver who is prone to boredom on long trips, it may be worthwhile to invest in some audiobooks.
When figuring out what to pack for a long road trip, don’t forget about personal hygiene items. Long car rides often make us feel dirty, greasy, and smelly. We recommend keeping your personal hygiene items in an easily accessible place.
This can include:
- Cool clothes from your summer wardrobe
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Combs and brushes
- Face wipes
Bring whatever you need to feel fresh and clean, even after hours on the road.
Be prepared for emergencies
You may still be wondering “How do I organise my car for a long road trip to be prepared for emergencies?” This is an important question to ask, as you never know what’s going to happen on the road.
In most cases, if there is an emergency you’ll have cell phone service. Call the necessary emergency responders or roadside assistance services based on your situation. However, it’s also important to pack necessary emergency gear, such as:
- Extra water – in case you’re stranded in the heat
- A basic tool kit
- A flashlight and extra batteries – in case you experience trouble at night
- A first aid kit – to cover small injuries
- Road flares – to keep your car and family safe while on the side of the road
- Jumper cables – in case your battery fails
- Tire changing tools and spare tire – to replace a flat tire
Looking for more tips on summer travel or organisation?
We know how stressful it can be gearing up for a long road trip. Even though summer travel is full of excitement and adventure, a poorly packed vehicle can lead to bad moods and long days on the road. If you’re looking for more tips on organisation or travel, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go.
And if you’re looking for home storage solutions, stop by our shop!