Need help packing your car boot ahead of your travels? We show you how to create more room and make the most of hidden spaces in your car, and reveal exactly why you should use the Tetris puzzle game as inspiration.
Booking a holiday, buying all the essentials, attempting to pack a suitcase and making sure the house is in order is usually – well, pretty much all of the time – one big hassle.
Nothing ever goes smoothly, despite meticulous planning on your behalf. But just when you think you're done, you realise one of the most stressful parts is still yet to come, and we're talking about packing the car.
Whether you're going on staycation, a road trip or a camping trip, the last thing you want to find on the morning you leave is that your luggage doesn't actually fit.
To help make your packing a little easier, we've sought some advice from Mat Watson, motoring expert at independent car buying website carwow.
1. Know the size of your boot
Knowing your boot's rough dimensions can help you gauge whether your luggage will actually fit. You also need to consider what items you might want to take to work out if it's even feasible. If you have a young baby, for example, you probably have enough accessories to start your own shop, so you need a boot big enough to fit everything.
Make sure anything you don't need is taken out of the boot and stored somewhere else to free up space for necessary items and marginally reduce your fuel consumption.
If the boot alone just won't do, a roof box (try Halfords 320L Grey Roof Box, £159) may be the key to fitting everything in.
2. Use puzzle game Tetris for inspiration
The way you load luggage into the car can be crucial. The rule is – always make sure larger items of luggage go in first, otherwise you could have wasted space where smaller items could be crammed in. So big suitcases on the bottom and handheld luggage on top – simple!
When packing in the car, make sure your rear windows aren't blocked up with large items and nothing loose could go flying around the cabin and distract you or, worse, cause injury to passengers. Everything needs to be secured with no obstruction to the driver's visibility.
3. Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum...
Don't do packing light – vacuum pack the belongings in your suitcase. Vacuum bags (try SpaceMax Vacuum Storage Space Saver Bags, 6 pack, £15.99, Amazon) will make a huge difference. Simply pop your clothes in one, attach your vacuum and suck out that space-sapping air. What's more, it reduces the space that clothes take up by more than half...so you have an excuse to pack twice as much!
4. Be ruthless
A bit like decluttering, ask yourself while packing – do I genuinely need that item? Are 10 pairs of shoes and the pillow from home really essential? You need to be ruthless so you're left with more room for the things you do need to take.
5. Get creative
Make the most of hidden space. The gaps under the seats, in the footwell and in the glovebox, to name but a few, are all fair game for the ambitious holidaymaker. You'd be stunned at the amount of luggage that even small cars can swallow if you make use of all the available space.
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