Road Trip Packing Tips
Road trips are fun. Packing the car isn't.
The longer and more involved the trip, the more likely it is you'll run into packing challenges both in the driveway and on the road. Here are a few of our favorite tips for successful in-vehicle inventory management.
Put heavier items on the bottom of the cargo area and toward the front, and avoid loading SUVs beyond the height of the rear seat backs. Keeping heavier items up closer to the center of the vehicle can help preserve handling integrity in emergency avoidance situations, while imposing a height limit on your stack of stuff will help maintain rearward vision and prevent objects from becoming projectiles in a collision. If you wouldn’t want somebody throwing it at your head, don’t keep it unsecured and at head level in your car.
Consider large trash bags for smaller loose items and soft items like blankets and pillows. It’ll be easier to transport these items to and from the car, and their flexibility makes them more space efficient than a large box, for instance.
There’s often plenty of action in the time between packing the car and fully unpacking it at your destination, and planning ahead can save plenty of headache. Obviously you’ll want to keep plenty of food and drink within reach, along with napkins, a trash bag and medicine, perhaps. And any modern family road trip is sure to benefit from a full complement of electronics and related accessories, like power cords and headphones. But if your journey will include a side trip that will take you away from the car, remember to pack any valuables within easy reach so that you can take them with you on your detour. Alternately, pack those valuables deep within your stack. If you plan to arrive at noon and check-in isn’t until 4pm, keep the swimsuits and sunscreen easily accessible so you don’t have to unpack and re-pack the whole car in the middle of the hotel parking lot.
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