Packing Solutions to Save Precious Space in Your Car
There’s no denying that road-tripping to your destination allows you to bring everything you might need for your trip. But even the most spacious SUV can feel like a sardine can when it’s poorly packed. Use these seven tips to save space and keep your family organized the next time you hit the road.
When it’s time to load the car, keep in mind the order items will be taken out, and place for easiest access the items that will be needed first. Let the kids help — just tell them it’s life-sized Minecraft.
Folding clothes neatly or carefully laying hanging clothes in a suitcase, wastes precious space. The smart solution? Fold clothes as you normally would, and follow by rolling them tightly to save space and help prevent wrinkling.
Compress, Compress, Compress
Space saving packing products abound, but you don’t have to buy special cubes or pouches — a gallon-size Ziploc bag works just as well. Fill with rolled clothes, horizontally and vertically if space allows, then let the kids help by carefully rolling on the bag to push out air.
Share and Share Alike
Don’t pack an individual suitcase for everyone if you’re taking a short trip. Instead, label those baggies for easy organization and share the luggage space.
If your final destination will require a night or two in hotels along the route, pack a single “overnight bag” for the family. Fewer bags going in means less likelihood of something being forgotten. Include pajamas, clothes for the next day and essential toiletries. Place this bag at the rear of your trunk for easy access.
Fall and winter travel means boots. When packing fashion boots be sure to use that space wisely — place thin layering pieces in a baggie, then roll to compress and place inside the boot. Do the same with socks — no baggie required.
While you don’t want to put ski or snow boots into your luggage, you can still use the space inside the boot. Tuck in mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves, but be sure to use a baggie or plastic bag if those items are wet.
Bulky sports equipment can be difficult to contain. Use a large plastic bin with a lid to hold and protect it. Separate clean and dirty, or wet and dry, with a Ziploc bag.
Smelly items? Add a dryer sheet to keep items — and your car — smelling fresh.
Rectangular totes, such as the Thirty-one Large or Deluxe Utility Tote, are also perfect for road trips. Their structured metal frame keeps the bag open, making it easy to grab what you need without displacing everything else.
Tap the Seatback for Extra Space
Electronics, earphones, water bottles, Lego figures — everything your kids bring takes up space. Instead of packing a “go bag,” through which they have to dig to find the item of the moment, have your kids pack a seatback organizer to keep their amusements within easy sight and reach.
Be sure to let them know this is all the space they get — it will force them to really think about what they need during the trip.
It’s easy to grab large bags of snacks for your trip. But do you really need to bring three pounds of trail mix or a bag of popcorn the size of a small human? Re-package your road trip snacks in smaller containers, and slide them under the seats to keep them out of the way and safe from trampling feet.