Once you’ve figured out what to pack in terms of clothes, shoes, toiletries, and everything you’ll put in the trunk/luggage area of your car, the next place to tackle is how to pack the inside of your car…. so that you’ll have what you need to keep the kids entertained, snacks and drinks to keep everyone happy, and a way to keep it all organized throughout the trip. And for me- it’s when the inside of the car gets all messy, dirty and disorganized on a road trip that makes me crazy- so I’ve worked hard to create a system to keep things neat and organized so the kids can find what they are looking for, and have a great time during all those hours that were spending on the road. So here is how to organize the inside of your car when packing for a road trip:
Kids Car Organizers
Kids Car Organizer (affiliate link)
These blue bins are totally awesome- it has lots of compartments inside, so one bin can easily be shared between two siblings. You will need to have an extra seat between the two kids in order to use these bins- and they are secured using the seat belt which means they won’t move around or fall off of the seat. Each bin has two cup holders and it also comes with a lid that can be flipped over and used as a food tray, which is a really nice feature.
Under The Seat Bins
Underneath each child’s seat we use a plastic container to hold additional travel gear such as a nice cozy fuzzy blanket that they can snuggle up with in the car, a pair of sunglasses, a sweatshirt, and it’s where they can also store their shoes (which they love to take off when they get into the car) as well as the extra pair of shoes that they have with them on the trip. This bin keeps all of this clutter off of the floor and makes it just so much neater on the floor of the car.
A Great DVD Holder
I love these over-the-headrest, velcro-strapped DVD player holder. It is easy to shift the location of the DVD player if I want to move it from the driver’s headrest to the passenger’s headrest, and when sitting in the passenger seat, the smooth strap doesn’t bother my head. And the design of the holder also makes it easy for the kids to access the DVD player, switch out movies, etc.
A Place to Put the Garbage
Each row has its own garbage bag- it’s just a plastic shopping bag from the grocery store- and this really helps keep the car neat. I love that the kids don’t keep passing their garbage up to me to throw away for them- they can take care of it themselves! And when we arrive at our destination in the evening, they can pick up any little wrappers or anything that’s on the floor around them, and put it in a garbage bag and then dispose of bag as we walk into the hotel, making the car nice and neat to start the next day.
Backpacks to Carry Items Into the Hotel
Each row also has a backpack that we keep underneath the seat, and when we arrive at hotel for the evening each child can pick up their own electronics, their chargers, their headphones, and anything else that they want to carry into the hotel, and they can put it into the backpack, zip it up, and then one of the kids carries the backpack into the hotel. The next morning when it’s time to check out of the hotel, they are responsible for finding their own electronics, headphones, and chargers, and putting all of it back into the backpack to return the items to the blue bins once we get back into the car.
Want to See Road Trip Organization in Action?
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: