How To Pack Your Car for a Long Road Trip Aug 14, 2017 by Jet (Driver Weekly)

A critical part of planning a road trip is gathering and organizing all of your supplies. You can maximize your interior space and reduce stress by packing the car right. If you're driving a sedan or smaller vehicle, you can save money on fuel but will need to pack carefully. If you're using an SUV, you'll pay more for gas but you'll have mroe interior space and versatile cargo storage. Depending on the SUV you choose, you can even hit up dirt roads or trails without a problem. No matter your vehicle, you need to pack smart to enjoy a long drive.

How To Pack The Trunk

Think about your trip and plan ahead. 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 you can leave in the car with the items they will need when they reach the destination. This way, you don’t have to haul large suitcases into the hotel or motel 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. This will save time and energy. 

Don't Forget the Snacks

Nothing makes a road trip better than decent snacks for the driver and the passengers, especially if you have kids. If you don't want to cover the interior in crumbs and scraps, you can always pull in at a rest stop or park for an impromptu picnic. To save space and avoid a mess, 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. 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. 

Entertainment Options

When packing your SUV, make sure that everyone has a few items within reach to keep them entertained. In the case of smaller children, consider packing a toy basket or bag for themdon't rely on them to bring their favorite toys. The last thing you need is an upset child demanding that you turn around. 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.


If you're cramming a ton of people into your car or SUV, then you can always skip the traditional suitcases and go with another option. Consider storing everything in plastic containers that fit your trunk. You can often buy a set of containers that you can stack. They have the benefit of stacking easier, though it will be harder to bring your items to your hotel room, creating a trade-off. If you have a roof rack, think about what you store safely on the roof. that way you can save space inside the vehicle.

Don't try and shove everything into the trunk at the last minute. Reduce stress, have fun, and drive safe.


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