Summer is a great time for trips. Well, any time is great for a trip – whether it’s Spring Break, Christmas vacation or heading to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving. With kids off from school, this is a perfect time to plan an excursion for the family. If you are planning to head out with the family, here are some travel tips – specifically, how to pack for a car trip. A few ideas for easier travel, and all about packing the trunk (or back seat) before you venture off. These travel tips will help use your car’s space as efficiently as possible, keeping everything in easy reach where it should be.
• Store water bottles and snacks under rear passenger seats. Use all the available space in the car! Slide books, magnetic games, etc. into seat pockets so they are handy for the trip.
• Don’t place essentials on the bottom of the pile. Things like a flashlight, emergency road kit, phone chargers, medicine, wet wipes, etc. need to be placed in the passenger area or on top of other items so they can be retrieved easily when they are needed. For tips on packing an emergency kit for your vehicle, check out this link: How To Create a Vehicle Emergency Kit
• Keep everyone comfortable. Let the kids keep a pair of flip flops near their seat to wear at rest stops. Have a couple pillows as well for little sleepy heads to rest on. Maybe bring along an inflatable beach ball or football to play with when you get out to stretch your legs.
• Ditch the hard-sided suitcases. Pack into tote bags, which are easier to stash in the back and will fit into any available area. And if you don’t fill them completely, you aren’t wasting space! Color-code the bags, too; perhaps a different color for every member of the family. When we go camping we have different colored bags/totes for different areas of the campsite; purple for the tent, red for the campfire area, blue for the kitchen items, etc. You might choose to do something similar with your items.
• Buy as you go. Buy things like food and diapers along the way as needed, instead of packing them. Anything consumable or disposable can be purchased during your travels.
• When it comes time to load the trunk, put the largest and heaviest items on the bottom. Think “stable base.” Put lighter items on top; blankets and pillows are great for filling in holes around other items. If you are worried about things shifting around while you drive, use a cargo net or bungee cords to keep it all contained.
EXTRA TIP: If you are looking for a deal on “spur of the minute” trips, check out the app Hotel Tonight. It’s a free app that works with hotels to get you hotel rooms for up to 50% off. Using it to book just a few trips could save you hundreds! Now you have no excuse when it comes to an impromptu trip with your family.
So now you know how to find great deals on hotels, and you know how to pack the car when you are getting ready to leave for those trips. Here’s to summer (or whatever time of year you travel), and those great memory-making excursions!