Summer is just around the next bend in the road and as the weather begins to heat up, families across SA will be starting to plan their annual holiday road trips.

If you’re looking forward to a relaxing trip but dreading the mess and cramped seating of an overloaded holiday car, help is at hand. Here is a quick guide to packing your car for a road trip that will ensure a well-organised and enjoyable journey.

Deciding where to go – and what to bring

One of the reasons for overstuffed car boots and back seats is the sheer amount of things that most families choose to pack for a two week holiday. While you definitely don’t want to be short of anything essential, having space to stretch out in the family car on a long road trip is essential. Knowing exactly what you’ll need for your trip is the first step in smart packing.

If you’re heading to the beach for a few weeks of relaxation, you’ll definitely want to have enough swimwear and warm-weather clothing – but keep the jackets and heavy items to a minimum.

If it’s a Christmas holiday, you may want to buy presents for the family while you’re on holiday instead of packing them in the car. Wrapped boxes take up a huge amount of space, and there’s always a chance that your gifts may be damaged.

Space-saving packing hints

Packing the essentials and leaving unnecessary items behind is one way to save space in your vehicle – but you need to pack them the right way to save space. Here are some hints that will free up much-needed space in your car.

  • Roll, don’t fold – folded clothing takes up a lot of space and creases easily. By rolling your clothing, you’ll be able to fit the same number of items in half the space.
  • Fit items together like a puzzle – try to pack solid items in boxes and fit them into your boot without leaving empty space between them.
  • Use all the hidden storage area in your car – places like cubby holes and the space under seats (especially if your kids are sitting in the back and don’t need a lot of leg room).
  • Pack a bag of essentials and keep it within easy reach – it should contain water, snacks, first aid items, and anything that you’ll need to access easily without unpacking all your bags and boxes to find it.
  • Make sure your items don’t block the driver’s view

Sometimes even the best-packed holiday car ends up looking like a delivery van – and this can create a dangerous situation for the driver.

No matter how you pack your vehicle, make sure that the driver can see clearly through all rearview mirrors and the back window. If you have to choose between a safe journey and cramming in one more box, safety should always come first.

Before you leave on your annual road trip, make sure your vehicle has been serviced and that your car insurance policy is up to date. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy every moment of your journey without worrying about the financial potholes along the way!