7 Car Organization Tips for the Ultimate Family Road Trip

Nothing compares to the first family road trip of the season. Your little ones are giddy with excitement, chatting amongst themselves about all the fun activities to come. Even the adults are looking forward to the getaway and the chance to sit back, relax, and unplug. You can almost smell the smokiness of BBQ and taste the crisp freshness of a cold cocktail.

But hold that thought. You’ve still got to load and organize the car—which every parent who has ever planned a road trip with kids knows is no simple feat.

There are snacks and tablets, blankets and pool inflatables, diapers and first aid kits… where do you even start?!

Well, we recommend taking a breather, pouring yourself a hot cup of your favorite beverage, and reading today’s blog post. It’s full of expert tips for organizing your car that not only maximize efficiency but also make it easier to enjoy quality time with your family on the road. Sounds fantastic, right? 

Let’s get right to the good stuff!

7 Car Organization Tips for the Ultimate Family Road Trip

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Purse organizers like this one are nifty little compartments meant to be inserted into your handbag, but who says they can’t be used elsewhere? They fit perfectly into most center consoles, making them ideal for stashing away travel essentials. Toss in your sunglasses, lip balm, hand sanitizer, pens, and whatever else you need for the road. No more digging through a sea of chaos to find what you need!

Garbage piles up quickly on the road (especially if you have multiple children), so having an easy-to-reach, sealable garbage bin is key. But why buy one when you can make one out of household recyclables?

Here’s one of my all-time favorite family road trip hacks: Take an empty disposable wipes container, rinse it thoroughly, allow it to dry, and then place a small trash bag inside. 

Helpful hint: I like to use the Costco size container for this! They’re big enough to hold a considerable amount of trash, lasting hours in between swap-outs. 

The best part? These containers snap shut, keeping unwanted odors at bay until you can empty the bin!

The smaller your vehicle is, the more challenging it is to maintain road trip organization. If you kids are complaining about feeling cramped, or there just isn’t enough space for all your essentials, I highly recommend investing in a roof top cargo carrier. They allow you to securely store suitcases, coolers, and other larger items on the roof of your car, freeing up precious trunk space for camping gear, beach toys, and other necessities.

There are many budget-friendly options available and most are super simple to install. Just look for one that says “universal” and be sure to check the maximum weight capacity before loading your belongings.

Looking for simple and affordable car organization tips? This one’s for you! Headrest hooks are amazing for keeping your car clutter-free. Simply attach them to the back of your car’s headrests to create convenient storage spots. Now you can hang your kids’ jackets and umbrellas to ensure they’re within easy reach yet out of the way, preventing backseat messes and keeping everyone prepared.

Large, bulky coolers can be a hassle when traveling as a family. They typically have to be stored in the trunk of your car, which means having to make multiple stops and get out of your vehicle to get your little ones a snack.

For this reason, you can’t go wrong with an electric portable cooler. This unit is great for keeping beverages and other perishable snacks cold. Plus, it provides ultra-convenient access as a cooler or a minifridge, which means no more ill-timed pitstops!

Glove compartments are notorious clutter magnets. You open it to look for napkins and suddenly you’re digging through a hodgepodge of receipts, flashlights, snacks, wipes, chewing gum—what a mess!

This is where one of my favorite car organization tips makes all the difference. All you need are a few medium-size Ziploc bags and a permanent market. Sort your documents, lotions and hand sanitizers, screws and nails, and other items into separate bags. Then label them clearly for easy identification. Voila! No more digging.

Part of planning for a family road trip is assuming things will get messy. Spilled drinks, grass stains, and beach towels full of sand are just a few examples. So, why not plan storage solutions ahead of time?

You won’t want to put dirty linens, blankets, or clothing in the same area as clean items, so packing a laundry hamper is always a smart idea. Collapsible versions like this one take up a minimal amount of space while keeping spills and dirt contained!

There are countless ways to organize your car and streamline your summer road trip experience. The key is to get creative, plan ahead, and invest in versatile solutions that work for your family. You’ve got this!

Packing efficiently is also a big part of the equation. The less chaotic your suitcases and backpacks are, the less clutter spills over into your vehicle. Click here to read my best summer packing tips!

No Time to Organize? Let Us Set You Up for a Stress-Free Summer

Relax and let our professional organizers take care of the details. With our meticulous and compassionate approach, we’ll get your home (or your vehicle) vacation-ready, giving you more time and energy to spend with your loved ones.


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