When you are traveling by airplane you have to pack using sturdy luggage pieces such as suitcases and duffel bags that will withstand of the wear and tear that can happen during baggage handling. But when traveling by car I find that I can be much more organized and efficient if I pack for a road trip using a system of bins and shopping bags to hold all of our clothes, toiletries, and other items that we will need for our adventure.
While I drive a rather large-sized vehicle and have room for lots of bins, I also need to take a lot of stuff with us on a road trip for our family of 8! But a bin and bag system will work in any sized car if you find bins to properly fit your space (and they especially work nicely in minivans and SUVs).
Start by measuring the trunk space you have to work with, paying particular attention to the depth of that space, and find bins that will fit your needs. I found these 6-packs of Sterilite bins at Walmart.com (which is where I’ve always found the best pricing on organizing bins). Because I didn’t have enough room to fit four of these bins across the back of my car, I also purchased him some smaller-sized bins to maximize my space and allow me to keep everything neat containerized and organized.
In each bin I can fit two shopping bags worth of clothing or other items that I want to take on this trip. And within one shopping bag I can pack one day of shorts and tees for my entire family. One bag will hold everyone’s PJs, one bag will hold a pair of jeans for each person (in case it gets cold), or all of our rain jackets, a stack of sweatshirts, etc. The idea is to compartmentalize my packing and know exactly where everything is, so I can find it immediately when I need it.
Another tip that I have when it comes to packing toiletries is to not put everything into one large toiletries bag. Separate your items into two categories- items that you’ll need every day, such as shampoo, hair combs, toothbrushes, etc, and items that you’ll need to take with you “just in case” like first aid items and some medications. That way when you arrive at a hotel you only need to take in the bag of items that you know that you’ll need that evening, and the rest of the toiletries can stay in the car until you need it.
Want to See Road Trip Organization in Action?
I created this YouTube video that shares exactly how I plan and organize our family road trip…. check it out:
If you’re planning your own Great American Road Trip the summer you might want to check out these other posts that offer tips and advice for planning road trips:
Please be sure to stop by here on Tuesdays and Fridays to check out our Road Trip Diaries and follow our road trip adventures this summer!