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Car packing tips

(12 Posts)
popperdoodles Tue 02-Aug-16 17:25:45

Off on holiday this weekend and looking for new car packing tips. Camping for 5 days and don't want to scrimp on comforts but pillows etc take so much room! Just seen the thread on vacuum bags but any other tips? The boys are not little anymore so car is even more of a squash, they need leg room. Thanks

CiderGlider Tue 02-Aug-16 21:24:37

If you can get yourself a roofbox then that will give you a ton of extra space. We have a bell tent and split it into two bags making it much easier to put in car.

AnnieOnnieMouse Tue 02-Aug-16 22:27:35

Definitely a roofbox - I can fill a car up with camping stuff with only myself going!
Buy a roll of black plastic bags, they are so useful for segregating stuff. Pack stuff in reverse order of needing to get out - first things out, some toys for the kids, then tent, then equipment, last thing the bedding - that way the bedding stays clean in the car. YY to vacuum bags.
Awful thing to say, but if you have one who doesn't travel well, be careful he can't throw up on anything you can't wash easily.
Don't take much food with you, but write a detailed list and go shopping when you get there, presuming there is a supermarket nearby.

Blu Wed 03-Aug-16 08:57:27

How bulky are your sleeping bags? Unroll them and lay along the back seat to sit on?
Pack kids clothes in soft bags and they can out elbows on them in the back seat, ditto pillows. Mine often has a pillow on his lap which he uses as a kind of table. (I have a proper pillow, DC has the polystyrene bead filled travel pillows you buy in service stations).
Things can still be packed in foot wells behind stretched legs.
Lift the floor of your boot and see what can be fitted in around the spare wheel or repair kit. Slot small things under seats.
Be ruthless!
See what can be downsized.
If you use on of the big two-way pumps for air beds swap it for the little motor pumps that run off a car battery.
Even so, we are one item away from needing a roof box!

Mum4Fergus Thu 04-Aug-16 18:22:10

I pack as much as possible in bin bags...back seat of car splits so I put one section down (only travel with one DS)...leave food etc til you get there.Likely we'll have DP son going with us next few trips so likely invest in a roof box or trailer. ...

NewMoonCup Thu 04-Aug-16 18:27:11

We switched from SIMs to airbeads as they packed smaller and more comfy. We take out the middle seat in the car and put bags in that bit with all the pillows on top so two kids lean on it. YY to roof box we got one that's long n thin so two bikes still fit on the roof next to it. Fill foot well compartments and we pack stuff around spare tire grin

NewMoonCup Thu 04-Aug-16 18:27:36


RhinestoneCowgirl Thu 04-Aug-16 18:30:15

We have a roof box, but then we have a Toyota Yaris, which is pretty small!

Fourarmsv2 Fri 05-Aug-16 07:34:34

I wouldn't put sleeping bags under children - I read something about them making the person more likely to slide forward in the event of an accident. sad

But my kids certainly used to get surrounded by pillows etc. Maybe worse in terms of airbags?

Inflatable roof bars and a roof bag? We took 4 people for a week in a two door Punto that way!

Fourarmsv2 Fri 05-Aug-16 07:36:23

Don't take two pillows per person. Take one and a camping pillow that will come with a stuff sack. My DC just get two of these.

Microfibre towels? Much smaller pack size and dry quickly.

popperdoodles Fri 05-Aug-16 07:48:40

Thanks for the suggestions. We have a Picasso but 3 older children 16, 13 &9 so no spare seats but just youngest in a booster so no car seats to worry about. The last few trips they have been increasingly uncomfortable in the back as they are just too big to have things packed around them. They end up hot and irritable.
Going to vacuum pack all pillows, blankets etc to see if they will then fit in the boot. Might still be able to get away with the coolbox in youngest footwell if he doesn't have to put up with pillows.

Fourarmsv2 Fri 05-Aug-16 08:17:43

If you vacuum pack on way there consider how you'll get them home. Stuff always expands (is packed less well!) on the return journey.

Do you take sleeping bags or duvets?

What type of blankets? We pack a fleece per person.

I'd really struggle with three kids and just boot space. Do you have a roof box? What type of tent is it?

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