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Hitting the Road: How to Pack your Car for Road Trips

By Safelite // Jul 8, 2016

Summer is here, and that means it’s officially vacation season. You may be driving to your vacation destination, and that means your pre-trip to-do list includes the dreaded task of packing the car. Luggage, snacks, games and toys to entertain the kids and more – it isn't always a breeze to pack your car for a road trip vacation.

If you don’t pack your car correctly, finding items while traveling or when arriving can be a disaster. And without a proper packing strategy, room to sit can be tight. Packing your car correctly can be the difference between having plenty of room to relax and snooze and sitting upright the entire drive. We’re sharing the only tip you need to be a packing all-star: the first in, last out method.

This means that the first items you put into your car will be the last you take out. So make sure that these items are ones that you might not need until you arrive at your vacation destination. This can include clothes and other luggage that won’t be used/needed until your vacation begins, or if you’re going camping or to the beach, items like a tent, sleeping bag, umbrella or beach chair.

Some of the last items you put in the car should be the ones you’ll want to use while driving: snacks, games, electronics, your purse and anything else you know you need easy access to while on the road.

Before you pack the car, take the time to lay out all the items you’d like to bring. Assess what you think you won’t use on the trip and put that in the car first. Next, put items that you may need, but likely won’t. And finally, put the items you know you want to use while driving in last. Keep these items in an area where you can easily reach them, like on the backseat floor, or the first item on top of the pile in the trunk.

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When it comes to road trips, other general packing tips apply: don’t over pack if possible, and if your trip will be multiple days, pack a small bag of essentials like toiletries and a change of clothes. Then, put your bigger luggage in first and plan not to touch it until you arrive. Use the smaller bag when you stop and stay overnight at hotels along the way.

Do your best to keep your car clean, and in this case, being prepared can go a long way. Don’t pack snacks that are sure to make a mess, like crumbly granola bars or chocolate that can melt in the heat. You can also bring a small bag that can be used as a garbage can. Bring games and activities for the whole family, but be sure to keep them all contained in a small bag of their own. And don’t bring anything with small parts, as they can be easily lost in the car.

Packing up the car before vacation can be stressful, but by following this method, you’ll easily have everything you need at arm’s reach. So relax, stay safe, and remember: you’re going on vacation! Have fun!

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