How to Pack Your SUV to Get the Most Out of Your Road Trip

Mar 11, 2016 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)

A critical part of planning a road trip is gathering and organizing all of your supplies. SUVs are ideal vehicles for road trips because they are very spacious inside and have incredibly versatile cargo areas. Depending on the SUV you choose, you can even take it on dirt roads or the occasional trail without a problem. Before you hit the road, however, take some time to make sure that your SUV is packed correctly to make your road trip stress-free.

Create a Food Bin

Start off by figuring out what snacks or meal items you want to take with on your road trip. For the best organization, put all the food in a single container so it is easy to figure out where everything is. Be sure to include drinks as well as snacks, and consider whether you want a cooler for the drinks or if drinking them at room temperature is okay. You will ideally want to put the container somewhere everyone can reach, such as on the floor right behind the front center console. If you have a larger SUV or an empty seat, you can also put the snack container there and designate someone as the snack distributor. 

Keep Small Entertainment Handy

When packing your SUV, make sure that everyone has, at least, a few items within easy reach, to keep them entertained. In the case of smaller children, consider packing a toy basket or bag for them. An excellent option for larger groups is to have everyone pick a few entertainment items to keep in the seat pocket in front of them, and keep everything else in a small bin like you do with the snacks.

Plan Your Bags

Think about the structure of your road trip. If you are taking a road trip to a destination where you will be staying for several days or even weeks, then you want to consider packing more than one bag per person. Everyone should have everything they need for a stop at a hotel along the way in a smaller bag, and then a larger bag with the items they will need when they reach the destination. This way, you don’t have to haul large suitcases into the hotel where you will just be spending enough time to get a night’s rest. Of course, consider sharing bags with each other to save space, but make sure that the bags for the road trip portion and the destination portion are separate.

Consider Bag Alternatives

If you have a lot of people cramming inside your SUV, then you can always skip the traditional suitcases and go with another option. Consider, for example, storing everything in plastic containers the perfect size for your cargo area. They have the benefit of stacking easier, though it will be harder to bring your items to your hotel room, creating a trade-off.

Tell us what you think