December 5, 2022


Self reliance and independence

How to Pack a Car on the Road

5 min read

Prepping, Homes & Automobiles: How to Pack a Car on a Road

The thrill of hitting the open road with loved ones aboard, in anticipation of a fun-filled journey with vivid sights, great foods, bonding over campfires, sightseeing or hiking never gets old. Knowing how to pack a car can make or break a trip.

Road trips offer travelers the control and flexibility that they desire unlike booking a flight or using the bus. Consequently, road trips account for at least 60 percent of families travel in America.

However, so many things can go wrong and turn your trip into a nightmare; from flat tires, mechanical breakdown, drastic weather changes to injury or illness, the list could go on and on. Therefore, it is essential that you plan for every possible scenario and leave nothing to fate or luck. This article explains the most crucial items that you need for your road trip to be a success.

Choose an Ideal Car for the Trip

Since you will spend the majority of your time in the car, it is vital that you choose your ride objectively. The perfect vehicle is one that can accommodate all participants, their luggage and be robust enough to maneuver the rigged upcountry terrain or any other depending on your destination.

You must also consider the comfort of those on-board and practicality of your vehicle choice. For instance, each person ought to have a seat and seatbelt for the trip; and to avoid stopping to refuel every few kilometers, you should opt for a fuel efficient vehicle with a sizeable tank.

Safety, Comfort and Entertainment Aspects

The vehicle should be able to cater to the comfort, safety and entertainment needs of those on-board. It ought to have comfy and supportive seats and large windows so the passengers can enjoy the view from the outside. Antilock braking systems, airbags, and seatbelts will be vital for safety. A pleasant and user-friendly entertainment system should create the ultimate experience.

Pre-Trip Inspection and Fine-Tuning

Many rental automobiles come pre-checked and road-ready. However, if you plan on using one of your vans or borrowing one from a friend, then you should schedule a pre-trip inspection. This is to ensure that all its functions are fine-tuned and performing maximally.

Brakes, lights, tires, wipers, hoses, fluid levels, car battery, air filters, radiators, glove box, and belts comprise some of the features you ought to check. Also, do not forget to have the following items readily available on the trip;

  • Insurance certificate copy and crucial contacts
  • Driving license and registration
  • Spare tire(s)
  • Car manual
  • Roadside emergency kit; rain poncho, window breakers, tire pressure gauge, battery booster cables, light sticks, warning triangle and reflective vest among other things.

Self-Care Packing List

Now that your car is ready to hit the road, it is time to figure out what you will need while on this trip. Do not skimp on yourselves; ensure that you pack everything you need to feel comfortable, hygienic and a bit spoiled. These items include food, personal items, and other convenience essentials.

How to Pack a Car with Clothing and Personal Effect Items

While snacks, beautiful sights and entertainment are vital, they will do you no good if your passengers’ comfort is compromised. This is especially if you are road tripping with family and young children. Therefore, you will have to pack adequate and appropriate essentials such as clothing and other personal utilities.

When packing clothing for a road trip, you have to consider your destination, weather, and possible activities. Are you headed to a national park for a hike or beach for some sun basking or swimming? It is essential that you pack clothes that suit the environment and activities.

The ideal clothes to pack for such a trip are those that you feel proper wearing, are versatile and can be worn a couple of times. This way, you can pack less and yet not limit yourself in terms of utility. Also, you can pack clothes of a particular color palette to make mixing and matching easier. Apart from the clothing, other crucial items that you ought to carry include;

  • Chewing gum or mints
  • A medical kit with painkillers and other essential supplies
  • Hand lotion
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Sunglasses
  • UV shades
  • Eye musk
  • Hat
  • Prescriptions
  • Hair ties and hairbrush
  • Laundry bag
  • Extra pillows
  • Blanket
  • Raincoat
  • Toothbrush and paste

Security on the Road

Depending on where you live you might be able to carry a firearm on your person. However, you might not be able to carry for self-defense in some states. You can keep your gun locked up or disassembled.

You might even consider carrying an AR Lower that is fully assembled. SOmething you can assemble with the upper in a hurry to make a difference in self-defense. You can get a great 80 percent lower for cheap and assign that as your road trip protection.

Must-Have Foods and Snacks

Driving while hungry is not a fun thing to do. However, you cannot search for a restaurant or supermarket every time a loved one requires some food; it is neither fun nor practical. Avoid such frustrations by having a foolproof food strategy.

A good strategy depends on your trip schedule and budget. For instance, if the trip won’t be so long, then you can carry a few snacks and eat at your destination. For longer trips that involve camping, you can bring a larger ice cooler that you will refill with ice and food as you travel. Or you can opt for a powered iceless cooler and skip the hassle of having to find ice now and then. And a portable grill will serve you best if you wish to prepare your meals.

Whichever option you opt for, you will still have to properly pack a knife, a corkscrew, can opener, zippered plastic baggies, storage containers, toothpicks, and a thermos. Also, instead of packing unhealthy junk foods, you can consider healthy foods such as;

  • Sliced bread and jam among other things.
  • Jarred vegetables
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits
  • Easy to mix tea bags and drink packets
  • Canned tuna
  • Sliced Meat
  • Nuts
  • Granola bars
  • Cereals
  • Cheese sticks
  • Dried fruits
  • Energy/ protein bars



Road trips can be so much fun and exciting and yet quite delicate affairs; you can be having the time of your life in one moment and a total nightmare the next. However, if you plan correctly and pack all the right things, you have the power to turn any circumstance into a pleasant and memorable experience for everyone on-board.

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