Side Street Style: How to pack safely for a cross-country road trip

Side Street Style

A family travel and lifestyle blog

11/07/2017

How to pack safely for a cross-country road trip

summer adventures


We are heading on a mini road trip later this month to Luxembourg, taking in a few sights a long the way and also hopefully fitting in some camping. When it comes to travelling longer distances in a car, camper or RV you need to take certain things into account, especially if you have children, having a clear plan of what you do and do not need is key. You don't want to overload your vehicle which can be dangerous but equally you need to know you have all your essentials including provisions if you are delayed or break down. I have started to put a list together of what we are going to need and thought I would share a few tips about how to get ready for a road trip, safely and efficiently.

Just light backpacking or inter-railing, you can apply a lot of the same rules to when you hit the road in your vehicle. This article - packing tips for travelers is a great place to start and can apply to most trips. Even though you will have a little more space you may still want to keep your clothes rolled up for backpacking trips, keep your inventory down to save space, and have a volume you can handle when washing at available facilities. Packing aids that minimize space taken up in suitcases, and dual-purpose garments such as jackets that turn into travel pillows, can be of use as well.


road trip


Pack as Lightly as Possible

If you’re going away for a fortnight or more, this might not sound like a possibility. There are many ways you can pack efficiently to improve your experience and the vehicle’s fuel economy. Such packing efforts come in many forms. Take what you need and just a little more, this can be applied to water, take enough of you and your family and to fill the car but don't weigh your vehicle down with it. Also, consider food. Taking only the groceries you need can reduce the clutter and weight on the vehicle. As you travel, you’re likely to encounter local supermarkets. You can purchase items needed before arriving at campsites that may or may not have everything there.

Putting snacks in plastic containers and bags can reduce the space needed for them as well. In fact, pre-making meals and putting them in bags can save even more room in terms of storage and the amount of pots and pans needed for the trip. You won’t have to store as much or wash as many dishes if your planning on camping. Most kinds of meals can be bagged, even barbecue items.


road trip



Proper Packing vs. Safety

As Geico’s RV safety tips suggest, overloading is one of the major causes of accidents. It can lead to tire blowouts, driving mistakes, and loose items colliding with people while the vehicle is moving. Making sure the  Car, Camper or RV is balanced, and everything is secured, is an important step of every trip.

There are a few reasons to properly pack a vehicle. If it's lopsided, it won’t likely be steady on a slippery road. Poor packing can reduce the amount of available space, so travelers leave behind stuff they need at home. It's also a good idea is to check the vehicle manual, which should identify how much weight each axle can bear. Spread out heavier items along the vehicle’s length or perhaps invest in a well distributed roof box.

Make a Checklist

You need a few different checklists - one for packing and personal must haves as well as a car health checklist and I shared one a while aback, the essential checklist before going on a family road trip that covers the basics you need to look at when it comes to making sure your vehicle is in top shape  before leaving. When it comes to food, clothing and personal possessions  the list of items may seem obvious, but the excitement of preparing for a long trip can leave you forgetful. If your planning on camping or doing a self catering break than items such as crock pots, frying pans, stackable containers for cereals, snacks, and dry foods should be written out. Also include clothing, laptop, chargers, prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, heating pads and ice packs, first aid kits, and individual foods. Knowing what you’ll take, will make it easier to organise everything and pack it safely. 

I find packing in advance, giving your self enough time and being organised are always the first steps to ensure a calmer and less stressful trip. If you have just purchased a camper or RV than check out this article on a few few feel good ideas for your next family vacation Are you going to be heading on a road trip this summer? 



cross-country trip


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10 comments:

  1. The article has really peaks my interest. I'm
    going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats great news. glad you found it interesting

      Laura x

      Delete
  2. I for all time emailed this blog post page to all my friends, as if like to read it then my links will too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. These are great travel tips- we went to Luxembourg ten years ago when I studied abroad and it was gorgeous- enjoy! xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are going to Luxembourg at the end of the this month - driving there and cannot wait

      Laura x

      Delete
  4. Hope you have a fantastic time in Luxembourg, I can't wait for our next family break!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Rachel! Where are you going on your break?

      Laura x

      Delete
  5. The tips are indeed very useful! It has been always very complicative for me to pack my stuff compactly. In my car I just made a wardrope full of clothes in the trunk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you found this post useful

      Laura x

      Delete
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