Packing your car for a road trip can often seem like a bad game of Tetris as you try to fit everything your family needs into the perfect spot. But there are some easy things you can do to make sure everything has its proper place before you hit the road. The key is to divide your vehicle into zones and to pack each zone individually.
DRIVER’S SEAT AREA
To help the driver focus his or her attention on the road, put necessities such as sunglasses and a water bottle within arm’s reach.
FRONT-SEAT PASSENGER AREA
The front-seat passenger often has the key roles of car navigator, butler, and activities director. Make sure maps and the GPS are easily accessible. Consider using the center console for cleaning supplies (napkins, tissues, and wet wipes), charging cords, wallets, house keys, and so on.
If you’re traveling with children, invest in a seatback organizer for each child so that their favorite toys, games, and movies are located directly in front of them. You may want to pack a tote for each child to keep their necessities in one place.
IN THE TRUNK
Pack your luggage and oversized items tightly to make sure they won’t slide around. If your rear luggage area is open to the front cabin, loose objects could become projectiles if you have to slam on the brakes. So, put soft, lightweight items on the top and sharp, hard items on the bottom.
Of course, you’ll also want to pack drinks and snacks for everyone. Place water bottles and cold snacks in a small cooler. Foods that should be kept dry and doesn’t need refrigeration can be packed in a bag or small box. Keep the cooler and snack box centrally located so that they can be easily reached by all (except the driver, of course, who needs to keep hands on the wheel and eyes on the road). To keep the car organized and neat throughout your trip, bring a garbage bag or trash box, too.