Cute little boy packing luggage standing in boot

Packing your car for a road trip can sometimes be trial and error. Since having my sons I have done a number of long-distance trips with both of them. My longest drive was from Scotland to the South of France (Ardeche) in 2015 when Little K was only a baby. However, I have done many shorter drives over the years and have found some great road trip hacks that have come in handy when travelling with kids. With that in mind, I have compiled a list of car packing tips that I have learnt from my experience of packing the car.

Further Reading – H0w To Survive A Road Trip With Kids

Tips For Packing Your Car For A Road Trip

Bags for family holiday

How to Pack The Car – Inside Space

  • I have found having a cooler bag/box full of snacks and juice that is easily accessible by the passenger and kids in the rear a real must-have. This will save you stopping to get food out of the boot or stopping at service stations along your chosen route.
  • Having a small rubbish bin or plastic bag that you can keep all empty bottles/wrappers in so you don’t have to tidy the car out all the time is also very handy.
  • Have your changing bag and a medical kit in easy reach for any accidents and nappy changes.
  • Make sure the front passenger has paper towels and plastic bags for my spills or for accidents.

Packing Car


Further Reading – Pros and Cons To A Road Trip With Kids

Packing Your Car – The Boot

  • From my experience, I have found that packing a bag for each stop that you are doing is easier than taking a suitcase in. So if you are travelling by ferry and then stopping in a hotel somewhere along the way you should have a bag packed for the whole family, so that you can just grab the bag and go inside. You don’t want to be taking in a suitcase full of a week’s clothes when all you need is PJs and a change of clothes and your toiletries.
  • Make sure you are packing heavy stuff at the bottom as you don’t want any fragile items breaking. You could pack fragile items away in a box with some extra padding in case they get bashed about a bit during the drive.
  • Remember to pack a collapsible laundry basket. You can then fill it with your dirty clothes and when you get to the laundry facility you can then carry the basket instead of carrying a bin bag etc. You can also keep your hotel room/caravan etc clean by having all the dirty clothes in one place. Much easier!
  • If you run out of space in the boot then why not consider a top box or trailer. This would add extra space for you to put bulky items etc.

Trunki blue

Packing The Car – For the Kids

  • Let them pack a bag; be it a tote bag, trunki or small children’s suitcase with their favourite toys/blanket/pillow for inside the car to keep them entertained. It will also make them feel grown up that they have helped pack the car in some way.
  • Always have spare clothes inside the car for the kids (and yourself) in case of any accidents or if anyone is sick. Keep a plastic bag along with the spare clothes so any dirty clothes can then go directly in the plastic bag.

Further Reading – What To Pack In Your Kids Hand Luggage

Tips Sent In By Other Bloggers/Parents

  • Sent in by Rosie @Eco-Gites of Lenault – In case of travel sickness. Have a lidded plastic container to hand as it is much easier for a young child to be sick into a box rather than a bag and easier to deal with when you are able to stop.

You can also check out Foray Motor Group for tips for packing a car for a road trip with great tips from some fellow bloggers.

There you have it, some of my top tips for packing your car for a road trip. Have you got any top tips that have helped you on a road trip with kids? Please let me know in the comments below.

How To Pack Your Car For A Family Road Trip | Packing Your Car For A Road Trip With Kids

First Published – July 2015

About Author

I have always had an interest in travel and now I have My two boys I want them to see more than just the UK. I hope to give advice and tips to other parents who are anxious about travelling with their children.

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    1. Oh no, the things we do as parents to help the kids! There is always something we forget, even with going over the lists and checking something.

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