Your Trusted Auto Repair Shop for 40+ Years
Shop Talk Logo

Best Way To Pack Your Car for a Road Trip

packing for a car road tripThere are numerous road trip essentials to make sure you have with you before you embark on a big trip. You do not want to end up hundreds of miles away from your house only to discover you forgot to pack something critical. Make a road trip packing list to ensure you have everything you will require. However, you also want to make sure you pack everything efficiently, so important items are readily accessible, and you are not hindering people’s comfort.

Emergency Items

The first thing you want to put in your car is emergency items you may need on your adventure. Make sure to pack a first aid kit, tire pressure gauge, extra motor oil, and jumper cables. You can keep certain items in the glove box, and the rest can go underneath the seats or in the trunk. With this formation, important items are easily accessible but are out of the way most of the time. Hopefully, you will not need any of these, especially if you are going out of state, but you want them just in case.


You definitely want to have plenty of snacks on-hand for a long trip. You can keep a decent amount of food in the back seat between any passengers. That way the people not in charge of driving or giving directions can dole out treats while on the road. It is also recommended to bring a trash bag along and hang it on the back of the front passenger seat. That way you can toss any wrappers inside and easily clean up the vehicle at the end of the trip.

Another tip is to make sure you pack healthy snacks. When on the road, you will probably be eating fast food, so you want to make sure you still get all essential nutrients while traveling.

Entertainment Options

While the driver will be focused on the road, any passengers will need to be entertained on such a long trip. You should bring DVD players, books and magazines to help pass the time. You can typically keep these items beside passengers on the trip. For people in the back seats, it may be advantageous to store items in the pouches that often come on the back side of the front seats.


For overnight trips, you want to make sure you pack enough clothes and supplies in suitcases and duffel bags. The best place for these will be the trunk. If your vehicle is not equipped with a trunk that is not separated, you need to make sure you do not pack bags in such a way that they block the rear window. It is not illegal to have the back window blocked, but it is extremely dangerous. You do not want to risk another vehicle getting in your blind spot. This is especially true when you are on roadways you are unfamiliar with.

An Overnight Bag

You always want to prepare for worst-case scenarios. In the event your car ends up breaking down on the side of the road, or you need to leave your car behind momentarily, you want a small bag to take with you with key items. An overnight bag should include a change of clothes and essential toiletries. If you have an infant in tow, be sure to include a bag filled with diapers, wipes, and baby food as well.

Various Items

There are a number of miscellaneous items you need available but may not know where to put them. Some of these essentials include:

    • Phone charger
    • Tissues
    • Wet wipes
    • Flashlight
    • Napkins
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Pain relievers

All of these items can go in the main console between the driver’s seat and front passenger seat. In the event you do not presently have a car charger, you should seriously consider investing in one before a big trip. It is important to have your phone charged in the case of an emergency as you may need to call for help.

Knowing what to pack for a road trip and where to put it will save you a lot of hassle and stress before you leave home. Another thing you should do before embarking on a road trip is taking your vehicle to the experienced technicians at Sun Auto Service. Our technicians will ensure everything from the engine to the air conditioning is in fine working order before you take off. Schedule an appointment today.