**Full Disclosure: Toyota generously loaned us the 2019 Toyota Sienna for review purposes. No additional compensation was received & all opinions are my own.
As a family, we’ve road tripped about once a year. Since the kids are a bit older, it seems to have gotten a little easier but I think that has something to do with the fact that we’ve learned how to pack efficiently for a road trip. This year we took a two-week road trip in the 2019 Toyota Sienna and all that space made it incredibly easy to pack efficiently. That said, packing methodically can be done in any vehicle – large or small, when you consider what things are essential for your trip.
How to Pack Efficiently for a Road Trip –
Think About Efficiency:
- Start with a clean slate – remove everything from your vehicle before you start packing.
- Remember: Last in, first out – load your items in the order they may need to be accessed.
- Think about how you would get to the spare tire or an emergency kit, should you need it.
- Make sure you have an easily accessible trash bag that can be emptied or replaced each day.
- Avoid packing higher than the top of the back seats since it will obscure the driver’s view out the rear window.
- Passengers must be able to wear their seat belts and children must be buckled in their car seats.
- Lay everything out the night before but pack your vehicle the morning of your trip. (This is contrary to everything I’ve read but it’s how my brain works.)
Pack for Comfort:
- Allow each person an activities bag.
- What works for us is allowing each person pack a small bag full of their favorite activities. Maybe magazines, books and/or electronics for adults and road trip games, books, journals and/or electronics for kids. These small bags are packed next to our seats for easy retrieval.
- Pack lap blankets and/or neck pillows, which can be loaded on top of the suitcases or in the activities bags.
- Keep essential items handy. Food, drinks, hand sanitizer, entertainment, etc. should be easily reached by someone other than the driver.
- The things you shouldn’t need during the drive go in the back of your vehicle:
- Pack one suitcase per person (or less, if it’s manageable) and stand them in the trunk, wheels in.
- If you’ll be traveling in different climates, pack jackets in a separate bag and put that in a far corner.
- Extra shoes can also be packed in a separate bag so they don’t take up suitcase space and they can be easily accessed when needed.
A Few Extra Tips:
- Make sure you have a new box of tissues in your vehicle.
- Pack plenty of charging cables in the center console. We like the 6 foot cords so they can reach any person from any charger.
- If you have the space, put each kid in their own row. This helps eliminate bickering in our car!
There are so many different ways to pack a vehicle well for a road trip and I don’t think any of them could be considered wrong but I hope you found at least one helpful tip in this list!
How do you pack efficiently for a road trip?
Printable Road Trip Game: