Every parent must face the harsh reality that your car only has so much trunk space, and it’s your job to pack it. Remember when your dad packed and repacked and packed the car once again? Turns out he was doing it all wrong. Whether you’re rolling in a minivan or loading the family into a sedan, there are best practices when it comes to making the most of the space that you have — and keeping everyone comfortable on the ride. Here are five fail-proof tips from Tamela Rich, author of Hit the Road and road trip expert. Rich grew up in Ohio and spent summers as a kid road-tripping with her family out to California. Now, as a world-traveling mother of two, she knows what it takes to pack up the trunk for a family trip. “I’ve been doing this forever,” she says. “And practice makes perfect when it comes to knowing how to pack up a car the right way.”
1. Get your bags in order first.
Whether you want to believe it or not, packing your trunk effectively starts with correctly packing your bags. The fewer bags you have, the fewer bags you have to deal with. “To get more into your trunk, you need to be able to get more in your bags in the first place,” Rich says. “I recommend getting compression bags to store clothes inside your suitcase — my personal favorite are the Sea to Summit compression bags.”
No time to compress? Roll your clothing (that keeps it wrinkle-free and allows you to pack more than folding would), pack shoes along the edges of your suitcase, and pack socks and other small clothing items into your shoes.
2. Give everyone a bag.
Not only should everyone have just one bag to pack, they should all be the same size. “When you give kids one bag you make them decide what’s important and what’s not,” says Rich. “This allows you to have uniformity…