couple packing a car

HOW TO GET MORE IN YOUR CAR WHILE PACKING

Packing your car efficiently is something of an art form. Some people have it and some people don’t. I definitely don’t. I was the kid at school trying to jam a square block into a circle hole. I was the teenager who couldn’t figure out Tetris and as an adult, my car packing is hopelessly inefficient. However, I have improved and am trying to perfect the art form. Here are some things I have learnt.

AVOID USING HARD SUITCASES AND BOXES

The new rule on my camping trips is no hard luggage or boxes (except the eskie, nobody wants warm beer). Anything that can’t be manoeuvred to fit around other things can’t be put in the boot. That means no hard corners or hard outer shells.

USE OVERHEAD CARRIERS

Perhaps the most useful invention since the combustion engine. Packing your belongings on the outside has been a lifesaver for camping trips or moving houses. They keep everything safely locked away and protected from the elements. The hard-shell design makes them ideal for fragile objects or larger items that could obstruct your rear view if you put them in the boot of the car.

USE VACUUM PACKS

I started using vacuum storage packs for my clothes last year and haven’t looked back. They really compress your clothes or bedding and can fit in between suitcases or eskies and other big objects in the boot of your car. If you can’t get hold of vacuum bags, pack your clothes in a black bin bag instead of a suitcase. They can be compressed much more than suitcases or duffel bags and will allow you to get much more in your car.

MAXIMISE THE HIDDEN SPACES

You would be surprised how many hidden storage places a car has for you to make use of. For example, the space under the front seats were ideal for transporting my youngest child’s colouring books for the journey, leaving the middle seat available to put an extra duffle bag. There is also sometimes some space around the spare tire and in the wheel wells in the boot. You don’t want to overload this because it might make it difficult to change the tire in the event of a puncture, but this space can definitely be used as a last resort.

PACK THE CAR BACKWARDS

Pack the things you will need when you arrive at your destination, last. Otherwise setting up camp with the tent firmly lodged behind a mountain of luggage in the boot against the back seats will be a hassle.

SHARE BAGS

The idea that every individual needs their own bag is not essential. If someone has room in their case, condense your packing so you are sharing cases. You might find that you can manage with one less bag than you thought.

PACK WITH DRIVING IN MIND

You still need to pack safely. Obstructing mirrors is not a good idea on a long journey through the Australian countryside. You still need to arrive there in one piece.

 


Do you have any ideas or experience you can add to this article? Share your knowledge through the comments section below.

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Mike G
mgilles@dinga.com.au

Mike loves to travel on the open road, he's really into vehicles of any kind, especially those with 2 wheels.