What's the Best Way to Pack the Car for a Family Road Trip?

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Packing for a family road trip can be a chaotic experience, to say the least - especially if you have a large family. It's hard not to feel like you're drowning in all the tote bags, electronic devices, and suitcases. If you've got a lot to pack in a small car, overpacking can also cause some dangerous hazards.

You don't want to obscure your vision out the back or sides - but that's easier said than done with a metric ton of luggage.

Bearing that in mind, what is the best way to pack your car without leaving essentials behind?

It's simple; think either vertically or horizontally. With rooftop cargo boxes or hitch carriers, you can double (or triple) the amount of luggage you can carry. That ensures you won't forget vital supplies while having room for fun extras (hunting gear, games, etc.).

You've come to the right place if you want to learn how to pack a car for a family road trip. Stay tuned to discover the most efficient ways to load your vehicle for your next vacation.

Create a Packing List

a woman making Packing List for family road trip

The first step is to create a detailed list of everything you need for the trip. While that may sound unappealing, it's a crucial step to ensure you don't forget anything. The last thing you want is to arrive only to realize that you forgot your skis or favorite coat.

Break the list up into a few categories:

  • Personal items. You don't want to forget your wallet, ID, registration, phone, and auto insurance card.
  • Road trip essentials. What's a road trip without snacks, coolers, and car chargers? You could also include laptops or DVD players for the kids.
  • Vehicle necessities. To stay safe, carry jumper cables, a spare tire, and a roadside emergency kit. That way, should you break down on the side of the road, you'll know what to do.
  • Luggage list. That is one of the most crucial parts of the list. You'll need to remember your clothes, toothbrush, toiletries, medication, contacts, etc.

Make More Space with a Rooftop Cargo Bag

Nobody likes riding for long distances in a cramped vehicle. That's why rooftop cargo bags are so handy for road trips. They effectively add more trunk space to your car by utilizing the roof.

The MeeFar Car Roof Bag is one of the highest-rated cargo bags on Amazon. It contains 20 square feet of storage space, enough for 4 - 6 full-size suitcases with plenty of room to spare. You can also include sleeping bags, tents, and more.

It's waterproof and tearproof - so it can easily withstand the harsh conditions of the road.

The combination lock will prevent anyone from tampering or breaking into your box. That means you can rest easy whenever you leave your vehicle unattended (i.e., stopping at a restaurant off the interstate.)

Enjoy Extra Sturdiness with a Cargo Box

You can also opt for a rooftop cargo box instead of a bag. While they tend to be more expensive than bags, they offer far more protection. Cargo boxes have hardshell cases that lock.

The Thule Force XT is one of the most popular cargo boxes on the market today. It's an ideal choice for avid skiers and snowboarders - as it can fit them both with ease. It carries 3 - 5 pairs of skis and 3 - 4 snowboards. Beyond that, it can also carry luggage as it has 11 cubic feet of packing space. It has a robust security system and 'clicks' when it locks into place.

Added Versatility with a Hitch-Mount Carrier

If you have no way to attach a roof box but have a hitch receiver, a hitch-mount is the way to go. Instead of taking advantage of the roof space - a hitch-mount carrier adds storage to the vehicle's rear.

The Fivklemnz Car Cargo Carrier Bag is an excellent hitch-mount. It has near flawless reviews online, and it boasts an affordable price of $74.99. There's a whopping 20 cubic feet of storage space - more than enough for 6 - 8 suitcases, sleeping bags, and more.

Closing Thoughts

Packing for your road trip doesn't have to involve any stress. With the help of a detailed packing list and some extra space due to a bag or box - you'll be able to pack efficiently. Any of the cargo carriers mentioned above will work wonders for packing for an extended family road trip. All you have to do is pack, lock the box/bag, hit the road, and forget about it.

About the author 


Vieira Babeker

Hi! I'm Vieira. I've always been interested in different Auto Accessories

My passion here at theroofboxes.com is to provide helpful straight forward clear advice and tips for Automotive Accessories.

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