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packing the car.( a small car!)

9 replies

Puffin · 06/08/2001 20:34

We are off on a self catering holiday soon and I would be grateful for any tips on packing, travelling light and space saving ideas. We drive a Fiesta and have two children,(4yr old on a booster, and baby in a seat) is this mission impossible? Please help.( high chair and cot are provided )

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Dixie · 07/08/2001 09:57

Don't take anything you can buy when you get there! LEAVE NAPPIES (only take enough for the journey in your change bag) BABY JAR FOODS,TOILET ROLL, WASHING UP LIQUID & TOLIETRIES, CLOTHS ETC literally anything you can buy when you get there as it won't take up room in the car. We were lucky that at the local sainsburys we found near our holiday place they sold a travel size baby essentials (shampoo, baby bath, flannel, nappy cream etc) all in small bottles about 2 inches high, just enough for the week! We kept the bottles for next time so we can just transfer some out of the bigger bottles kept at home.

CAREFUL PACKING is also important, saw program on TV only last week about things packed sky high in a hatch back causing untold injury if you really have alot of stuff maybe an idea to hire a roof rack, even if you only use it for suitcase it will give you more room in the boot.

Another idea, a friend of mine the place she went to hired push chairs & buggys etc as well as cots so she didn't have her pram taking up room either. Check whether your holiday destination does such a thing.

Anyway I know they're not mind blowing ideas but hope they help.....Good luck

Bells1 · 07/08/2001 14:30

Only thing I would add is not to bother bringing any toys. We have found that the novelty of the new accommodation is enough to keep our son entertained while inevitably you end up buying one or two playthings along the way anyway.

Hmonty · 07/08/2001 15:10

Try packing in squashy bags rather than hard suitcases. Then you can sqwidge them into corners rather than being restricted by the shape of the suitcase. When I was a kid we always went on self catering holidays in the UK and used to pack everything in bin liners! Caused havock the first time we went abroad as we had no suitcases.

Use the foot wells as storage space. Not sure about a fiesta but we always put our (double) buggy between the back and front seats.

If you have to take bedding/towels, use them to line the seats before sitting in the car. Very comfie and cosy!

Remember that if you have a roof rack you can always tie the kids to it and use the rear seats for clothing.....

Kmg · 07/08/2001 17:46

Good Luck Puffin - we are facing the same thing this week (small Fiat), so I have been thinking about you all day. But the ideas below are all I've come up with too.

How young is the baby? If your pushchair is a bulky one, and you're not confident of hiring a buggy when you get there, beg, borrow, or steal a compact folding one from a friend for the holiday.

I just keep telling myself that we fitted everything in two years ago, when we had a double buggy and lots of tiny baby paraphernalia, as well as everything else.

Chairmum · 08/08/2001 01:49

We used to travel from the North of Scotland to Kent (700+ miles) with two children in an MGBGT sports car, so it is possible!

Consider if you even need a buggy. Maybe a baby sling or carrier would be sufficient. Or if your buggy is big but you can't hire a smaller one, see if a friend has a small one you could borrow. We once had a tiny buggy that weighed about 5lbs and it went all over the world with various friends of ours!!

I agree with not taking toys, or only a minimum. Crayons and paper, though, are good pastimes and can be bought cheaply at your destination. Definitely only take as much as you need for the journey in the way of supplies, though if you're getting to your holiday home late at night check first that a local shop will be open when you arrive.

Try packing stuff into pillowcases. They're a bit more durable and can be squashed any old how into the boot. A soft roll bag is useful to keep clothes from getting too crushed, but also fits into weird shaped places. We used to find that it was better to put a roll bag between the front and rear seats and use the boot for more awkward shaped items.

Hope you have a lovely time!

Sml · 08/08/2001 11:50

You can get quite a lot under the front seats of a Fiesta! Also, if you've got a tray thing above the boot to make a back window sill (don't know what it's called), take it out so that you can pile the boot higher.
I've never tried one of those small cordless car vacuum cleaners, but suspect it might be worth the extra space it takes up, as my children can transform the neatest car into a crumb filled rubbish dump on any car journey. Some sort of seat cover is definitely a must, and we have a ban on any in-car drinks except pure water for obvious reasons! (we've been through non-spill cups etc)
We've taken a Fiesta all round western Europe & north Africa with 2 toddlers, so it's definitely feasible. It is a bit small to put the push chair between the seats though. Personally, I'd leave the push chair behind and take a baby sling instead, expecially if your husband/partner's there to help all week.

Tigermoth · 08/08/2001 12:21

Puffin, loads(!) of useful advice here already. I'll just add my bit to it.

Each week I used to to pack every inch of a Honda Civic with huge amounts of clothing and bric-a-brac, plus stall rails attached to the roof, for a market stall I ran. Leading on from this, here are some general tips:

Small and/or squishy bags are a must.

Pack the biggest and most awkward items first. Pack small items around them.

Keep shoes loose - they can tuck in anywhere. Pair them up on arrival.

Think hard about the number of jumpers, fleeces and coats you need - and keep them loose again. Lay them on top of the packed luggage in the boot, just before you slam down the door.

For safety's sake, sit in the driving seat every now and again as you load up, just to check that the the driver can still see out of the rear view mirror.

When it comes to loading the passenger compartment, squash in more by keeping all doors closed, apart from the one you're using to load in luggage.

When you get to the last few small items, get everyone seated first, then tuck the things around them on the seats and in the footwell.

Never, ever pack ánything in the driver's footwell. There is always the danger of items getting caught in, or jamming the pedels while you are driving.

Most importantly: Pack your bag of journey essentials last, and within easy reach!!

Janh · 08/08/2001 14:19

puffin, i would say definitely try to get hold of a roof rack or roof box if you possibly can, just to relieve the congestion in the main part of the car...although you can get a lot of stuff on the floor etc it does make the journey much less comfortable and you can waste a lot of time rummaging for things.

Puffin · 08/08/2001 18:28

Thank you to all for top tips on packing. I have noted them and especially like the squashy bag idea and loose shoes, never would have thought or packing stuff under the seats, which come to think of it are rather a useful size. I always pack shoes altogether creating a massive awkward shaped bag! Hopefully all will go smoothly and there will be room for my massive Summer wardrobe including leopard print bikini and matching sarong ! Ha ha ha,in Suffolk maybe not. Anyway happy holiday to anyone going off this weekend.

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