Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, holidays, staycations and even weekends away have been off the cards for some time. But with the government’s latest announcement indicating that self-contained holiday accommodation could open soon, we can finally look forward to a long-overdue getaway!
Whether you’re planning a family camping trip in the woods or heading out to the coast for a week with your partner, packing the car just right will ensure your journey gets off to a smooth start. From Tetris techniques to storage tips, here are a few key things to keep in mind when you start to pack.
Plan The Basics
This is an especially useful tip if you’re going somewhere that requires a lot of kit – like camping gear or bodyboards. Think of your car like a blueprint, and work out where you’re going to fit the biggest and least flexible items you’re taking with you first. Once you’ve got the tent, cool box and folding chairs in, you can fit the rest around it; it’s also worth checking that the heaviest objects are properly secured, so they can’t slide about and cause damage when you set off.
Use Soft Luggage
While protective hard-shell suitcases are the obvious choice for travelling by plane, as they’ll keep your belongings safe while they’re in the hold, try and avoid packing this kind of luggage for a road trip. Opting for soft holdalls, backpacks or duffle bags instead gives you a lot more room for manoeuvre. Bags like this can be squashed into the available space, fitted into footwells and won’t make a lot of noise if they move around slightly during the journey.
Invest In Additional Storage
No matter how clever your packing is, in some cases there simply isn’t enough room for everything you need, and this is where additional storage comes in handy! Don’t faff about taking the front wheel off your bike – Euro Car parts has a selection of affordable roof and rear mounted cycle carriers in stock, so you can take bikes for the whole family without using up precious boot space.
Keep The Essentials Within Reach
We’ve all done it – perfectly packed the car boot and stood back to look at it with pride, before realising we’ve left our phone charger right at the bottom. Before you pack, round up the things you’re likely to need sooner rather than later, like driving snacks and your hand sanitiser – you might even consider picking up a car first aid kit, and making sure it’s not buried under your bags in case of an emergency.
Driving with a full car can feel surprisingly different, especially if you’re at full capacity with passengers, as well as luggage. Too much weight in your car can compromise your tyre pressure, stress your suspension and make the engine work harder than it needs to, so when you’re packing up, have a look at the manual to find out the maximum recommended load.
Once you set off, you might notice that you need a little more acceleration to pull away, or to get up an incline. You’ll also use more fuel – so make sure you’ve got a full tank – and be wary that your braking distance could increase too, especially in wet weather.
Wherever you’re headed this spring, we hope you enjoy a change of scene and some quality time with loved ones. With these packing tips, you’ll be organised and on the road in no time. Before you go, why not take a look at our blog on The Best In-Car Entertainment for Long Drives?