Planning a road trip? Check out these road trip organization hacks! Tips that will help you pack efficiently & keep everything clean and organized during your adventures!
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A road trip is a wonderful way to travel! So many amazing places to see and experience.
Road trips have so many benefits! You will probably save money by road-tripping as opposed to other methods of travel. Road trips allow you to be flexible and go with the flow. They provide a great opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones, AND you will often find hidden gems along the way to your desired destinations.
We will be heading out on a 3,000-mile road trip soon with a 1-year-old. We will definitely be implementing these road trip organization tips to maximize space and make our road trip as seamless as possible!
These road trip organization tips will help you to feel more prepared and organized, keep your car from taking a beating, and should help keep everyone happy and entertained during the trip!
15 Genius Road Trip Organization Hacks
Snacks provide entertainment and make everyone happier during a road trip. You will save money and time by packing drinks and snacks instead of buying them at every stop along the way.
Road Trip Snack Organization:
- You can use these stackable snack containers
- These snack cups for young travelers minimize mess and promote independence
- Keep all of the snacks and drinks you will need for the day in one place and easily accessible
- This back seat snack organizer or something similar could hold your road trip snacks and drinks and sit on the backseat floor or middle seat for easy access
- Keep extra snacks and drinks packed away in the trunk so they are out of the way
- Bring a portable cooler or a portable mini fridge (if you want to avoid refilling the cooler with ice constantly) to keep drinks and snacks fresh and cold
Easy On-the-Go Snacks for Kids
- Freeze-dried fruit
- Applesauce pouches or other food pouches
- Cheese stick
- Granola Bars
- Veggies – carrots, peppers, celery
- Fruit – apple slices, bananas
- Trail Mix
2. Cord Organization
We have soooo many cords and chargers these days! When we travel we have phone cords, watch chargers, computer chargers, sound machine chargers, camera cords, portable fan chargers, and more….and then you have all of the charging blocks that go along with the cords…you get the point.
Use a travel cable organizer like this one to keep all of your cords and charging blocks contained and in one convenient location. You can also use a bigger electronics organizer like this one to keep all of your devices and cords in.
3. Use Little Containers for Small Items
Contain small items like loose change, hair ties, medication, pens, and more with one of these little container ideas:
- travel pill bottles
- small pencil pouches
- travel Q-tip containers
- travel cosmetic jars
- clear cosmetic bags
- Stax interlocking storage
4. Keep the Front of the Car Organized
Make the glove box and center counsel your control center with all of your important items.
Clear out any items from the glove box and counsel that you will not need for the road trip.
We usually have about 75 napkins, our car manual (which can be accessed online), and a bunch of loose change, old receipts, and other junk that just gets in the way. All of these extra items can be removed or contained.
This visor tissue holder would be a great place to store tissues, napkins, or masks.
Here are the essentials you will want to keep handy up front:
- Cell phones and charging cords (make sure cords are contained – see tip above!)
- Wallet with insurance cards, ID, money, credit cards, National Park Pass
- Mini kit with wet wipes, kleenex, hand sanitizer, medication (pain reliever, motion sickness, antiacids, etc.)
- Ziplock bags/Plastic Grocery Bags/Reusable Wet Bag – we like to keep these under the passenger seat, which makes them easy to pull out if we need to contain any unexpected messes (soiled clothes, muddy shoes, etc.)
- Loose change (make sure this is contained – see tip above!)
- Binder or File Folder with important documents (itinerary, lodging info, maps, directions, etc.)
- First Aid Kit – we keep this under the passenger seat
Maximize storage space and prevent things from falling in that awkward gap by using these between seat gap filler organizers.
Most people access navigation from their phones these days, so a phone mount can make that easier.
5. Keep the Kids Entertained & Organized
What to Have in the Backseat:
- Snack Bag
- Small Cooler
- Blankets & Pillows
These seat-back organizers can help keep everyone’s entertainment items accessible and orderly.
These bag hooks are another backseat organization option.
Click here for 18 travel entertainment ideas for toddlers and babies that are perfect for road trips
6. Protect Your Seats and Floor
Seat protectors keep your seats from getting torn up or damaged by child car seats and can also help with spill protection. I like that they even have some additional handy storage!
These floor protectors will keep mud, spilled food and drinks, and more from staining your car floors and can be easily taken out to clean.
7. Trunk Organization
No matter what type of vehicle you have, it is important to take advantage of your trunk space. Make sure to put the items you will need to access more often on top/toward to door of the trunk.
This organizational caddy with a built-in cooler is perfect for keeping your trunk items organized.
Items to Keep in the Trunk:
- Extra food and drinks
- Dirty Laundry – reusable, washable travel laundry bag
- Car Maintenance Items
If your vehicle has stow-and-go or storage underneath the main trunk area, keep items there that you want to have on hand just-in-case, but likely won’t need to access, like emergency items or car maintenance items (snow scraper, oil, manual, jumper cables, duct tape, cold weather gear, blankets, etc.).
This hanging trunk organizer is another good option for storing maintenance or emergency items in the trunk area without taking up too much space.
Speaking of maintenance, make sure to get an oil change if needed, fill up your tires, and make sure everything is in good working order in your vehicle the week before your road trip.
8. Portable Trash Can
Keep the car clean and fresh by keeping trash contained in a portable trash can until you can stop and throw it away.
9. Bring an Emergency Kit
We keep a small first aid kit in our vehicles. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it is always good to be prepared. We keep extra blankets in our car as well for “just in case” purposes.
10. Dryer Sheets to Keep the Car Smelling Fresh
Make sure to bring air fresheners or spray to help keep the car smelling clean and fresh. Dryer sheets can be placed in shoes and in dirty clothes bags to prevent the car from getting stinky. These are a MUST HAVE for us on hiking trips when shoes and clothes stink up the car.
11. Use Packing Cubes
I love packing cubes, ESPECIALLY on road trips. You are often living out of your bag on a road trip as you go from place to place, as opposed to a vacation where you are in one place and can unpack all of your things.
Packing cubes are essential for staying organized and making what you need easy to find within your luggage.
12. Bring a Handheld Vaccum
Tiny, but powerful! Quickly and easily clean up messes with this compact, handy little vacuum.
13. No Fighting Over Charging Ports
Charge multiple devices at once with this 6-port USB car charger.
14. Use a Binder or Filer to Organize Papers
I personally like to bring a binder to keep our itinerary, park maps, directions, lodging info, and other papers organized on our road trips. One of these expandable file folders would work well too.
Bonus: We love this magnetic license plate game for U.S. road trips. It’s a fun activity for the whole family!
You could also print off a map of the U.S. and let the kids color in each state as you spot the corresponding license plate!
That rounds out our list! I hope these road trip organization tips are useful and help you feel more prepared! Get ready to have fun and make priceless memories on your upcoming road trip!