How to Pack Your Car For Long Road Trips

It seems like winter’s only just ended, but many families are already planning their next big summer vacation. Flying is a great choice if you’re short on time, but then you’ll miss out on one of the best American traditions: the road trip. Ever since the days of the famous Route 66, families have been packing their cars to the brim and taking out on the open road for the adventure of a lifetime. So what are the essentials that you’ll need to take with you? Read our quick guide to find out what you should pack from home, and what you can wait on getting until you arrive at your destination.

1. Pack the essentials first

Before you start figuring out what clothes or snacks to take with you, make sure that all of your must-have items are set out and ready to go. These can include: medications, your GPS, phones and chargers, as well as any specialty equipment you may need like scuba gear or surfboards. Also remember the Boyscout motto and always be prepared by bringing along a first aid kit and basic tools for car repairs like a full-sized spare tire, air pump, and a jack.

2. Maximize the space in your car

Don’t forget to take full advantage of the glove compartment and the small storage box that is located between the passenger and driver’s seats. Organizers that you hang off the back of a seat rest are available at most stores and can be a great way to keep your small, loose items tidy. Also try to use soft and compressible duffle bags instead of hard-shelled suitcases. Not only can they be compressed to fit in irregularly shaped spaces, but they can also be folded and packed out of the way as you use up your items and throw things out.

3. Create new space

Many vehicles come with the rails of a roof rack already installed. If not, this is a one time expense that can greatly expand the storage space of your car. You can also use these for bike racks or to transport bulky sporting equipment. Another alternative is a hitch mount at the back bumper.

4. Road trips can get messy

Your family is going to be practically living out of the car for the next few days, so it’s bound to get a little dirty and you’ll need to stay proactive to keep everything tidy. Tuck a pack of wetwipes into the pocket of the seat back and have a selection of plastic bags and ziplock bags handy for when you need them. If you’re heading to the beach, spread a jumbo beach towel over the seats to protect them from sand or wet swimsuits.

5. Ready? Set. Go!

Now that you’ve got your car packed, you need to decide what hotel or resort to stay in during your vacation. One very popular year-round destination is the Gulf of Mexico. Fort Myers in Florida has some of the best beaches in the country and offers an unparalleled vacation experience for families and singles alike. The award-winning Wyndham Garden Fort Myers Beach resort is located on spectacular Estero Island. They offer special deals throughout the year and feature a wide variety of rooms and suites as well as an on-site restaurant and pool.