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Great Escapes for Discerning Drivers

How to Pack for a Road Trip

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How NOT to pack a car

How to Pack for a Road Trip

This isn’t a list of what to pack, but more about how to pack for a successful road trip. Having organised road trips for nearly two decades, across three continents and over 30 countries, we have clocked a few miles and learnt how to make our lives easier.

Fitted Luggage

Morgan Aero fitted luggageWe usually travel in a classic car, which means we usually have limited space to carry everything. Therefore using luggage that optimises the packing space available is a real bonus. A really worthwhile investment is fitted luggage, tailored to your car, as it means that you can pack in your room and not in the car park. This avoids so many pitfalls – rain, arguments, other people watching you try to squeeze everything in! Classic Travelling Luggage has fitted luggage for over 180 different cars and counting… If your car isn’t already listed it can be measured and fitted luggage created for you.

Packing Folders & Cubes

Eagle Creek Packing CubesFinding these simple packing folders and cubes revolutionised my life on the road. All my things are neatly packed in each folder or cube (either by entire outfit or by item, eg all T-shirts) and I can unpack my entire case without having to unfold or mess anything up. I can also easily keep my dirty clothes separate from clean ones.

Small Day Pack

Pack a small day pack (rucksack or small bag) to keep easily accessible (eg passenger footwell or immediately behind the seats) with readily available items such as water, money, sunglasses, suncream, camera, maps, phone etc.

Keep jackets easily accessible

Tuck jackets or warm layers behind the seats or on top of your luggage, even if the weather is great, as you never know when you might need an extra layer, without having to unpack.

Car Storage 

If you’re going on a long road trip, it may be worth adding some storage areas or accessories to your car.

  • Storage nets are great in the footwells, or behind the seats – useful for maps, leaflets or water bottles
  • Velcro strips can be a really useful way of securing items in the car. I have spare bulb kits attached in this manner under the dashboard on two cars.
  • Look for extra storage under the bonnet. A lockable cash box here is a great way to keep documents. There may be room to strap metal oil cans (not plastic – it melts!).
  • Carabiners, S-clips and bungee cords are useful to secure items to stop them from rolling around in the car.
  • Don’t forget that hi-vis jackets must be kept in the cabin of the car and not the boot/trunk.
  • Under-seat storage is a good option on some cars, especially for items such as warning triangles, fire extinguishers re bulb kits, etc.
  • Don’t forget to pack out the spare wheel or wheel well, if you have one.
  • Check your cigarette lighter is working, or install one and also have a USB adaptor – useful for charging items.

Spares and Tools

Take a basic tool kit and a few spares – a tool roll is a great way to carry a selection of items you might need in a case of a ‘failure to proceed’. Click here to see our list of recommended spares to take for older vehicles.

Packing Lists

Keep a list of what to pack – so nothing is forgotten

So, now you’re ready to hit the road – book your next driving holiday now!


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May be subject to change.