Packing 101: Ultimate Guide on How to Properly Pack Your Car for a Trip in PH

Updated Jun 20, 2018 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Best ways to get your stuff together and placing it inside your SUV effectively.

1. Leave it to the Master

When I was younger, I didn’t really have the chance to go to out of town trips because I really did not have much time and money to enjoy life by exploring the nearest vacation spots. Surprisingly, since I had a family, opportunities have just kept on coming for us to travel, not only to some pretty spots outside the city but also to the nearby islands, to name some, Palawan and Boracay.

Great travels come with great responsibilities. We moms are always busy, working round the clock from morning till night. We’re not only working in the office, but we also work at home. We plan trips, allot money for the entire trip, and before leaving, make sure that the entire family’s needs are inside the bag. Master Packer, if you’d ask me.

Woman packing clothes

Moms do it best. She can fit a lot of things magically inside a luggage.

Last minute packing is the most exciting part of a journey. It happens before you leave the house and before you go home. You have to ensure that nothing gets left behind or else you have to buy that thing again which is available at home. As much as possible, we want to keep a strict budget so we can maximize it on more enjoyable things.

2. Effects of Improper Packing to Your Car

This is very true. Either you’re using a four-door sedan, or a bigger MPV or SUV, still the weight that comes from the things you pack greatly affects how your car runs. It can slow you down if you have too many things in the back. Consequently, slowing down also means that the engine could be having a hard time adjusting to weight, hence, you lose more gas as you go. Fuel efficiency is not at all practiced when you have loads of stuff in your vehicle. More fuel you waste, more money goes down the drain. Another thing is a tremendous weight could also cause your car tires to blow.

Family goes for a picnic

An overloaded vehicle can definitely cause car troubles that can ruin your holidays

Now that you know how your bags affect your car, let’s work together with and make sure that our next trip would be more efficient.

>>> You may also like to read: Good preparation for a long journey in your car

3. Tips on Proper Packing for a More Efficient Out Of Town Ride

3.1. As Much As Possible Pack Lightly

In the first place, you are not Paris Hilton or Kim Kardashian who needs to change outfit every 15 minutes just to make sure that people won’t see you wearing the same swimsuit every time you go to the pool. You’re not a celebrity so you don’t really need a number of clothes other than those you need for whatever purpose you have in going out of town.


If you can, just pack the number of clothes equivalent to the number of days you're on vacation. You don't need too many dresses

3.2. Maximize your bags

Roll them and not fold them: I know this may not sound coinciding with the topic, but rolling clothes instead of folding them inside the bag will actually help you save some space. More space means more clothes and less luggage. If you use this method, you can pack your luggage with more clothes, enough to fit for a family of three in just one large bag.

Rolled clothes packed inside a briefcase

The perfect packing technique: roll instead of fold

Having just one luggage in the trunk is better than three full bags with uneven weights. It will provide you with more space for other stuff you may need to bring and it will also make the car travel more efficiently as the weight is concentrated on just one large piece rather than all over the place.

3.3. Ensure that all important stuff are handy or easy to reach

Whenever we travel, I always make sure that I have my own bag with me at the front that contains all the stuff that we need while traveling. This bag contains food, water, medicines, extra clothes and sometimes, sickness bags. This is so when any of us feels hungry or thirsty, it’s easy for me to reach for what they need and give it to them rather halt the car to a stop, go to the trunk and dig into the luggage.

food in the car

Easy to reach stuff that family needs while traveling

You can also buy those car organizers where you can put everything you and your family may need during the travel.

>>> Read also: 4 tips for the best summer road trip ever

Ensure the safety of fragile items

If you brought with you some items that are easy to break such as glass, jars, and bottles, make sure that they are packed safely. If possible, cover them with bubble wraps or newspapers, and cover them further within your rolled up clothes just to make sure that they won’t break during the trip. You won’t want your trunk filled with unnecessary liquid just because you didn’t exercise extra caution.

packing things for a trip

Packing fragile items is important, so make sure they are properly cushioned and protected

3.4. Ensure that food and drinks are safely packed

This almost always happens when you bring in saucy food and put them in containers that are not really reliable. If you’re planning to bring some home cooked meal, try your best to choose dry or fried food, but if unavoidable, just make sure to put your soupy and saucy food inside spill-proof containers. Once done, pack the food containers together in a box so it will be easy for you bring them down when you reach your destination.

Food inside containers

Use spill-proof containers if you're bringing in food for the family outing

3.5. Never ever block the rear view mirror

Let’s say you have tagged your friends along to this trip. You packed efficiently to ensure space at the back. However, your friends didn’t. They came with three or four bags each and you know it’ll fill up space in the trunk. Since it’s already there, your solution is to arrange the items in such a way that the weight is distributed evenly and the view from the back is still visible. Don’t let the bags block the driver from seeing through the rear view mirror for your own safety.

luggage prevent rear view

Always keep the rear view open

3.6. If possible, don’t put cargo on the roof

If you could just fit everything inside your car that would be better. Putting things on top of the vehicle will only increase the center of gravity and affect the car’s aerodynamics making it more fuel inefficient.

A car with luggage on its roof rack

Avoid putting stuff on top of your vehicle if you can

3.7. Check your tires and gas up before leaving

Since you have heavy loads inside your vehicle, your tires must be in perfect condition and your gas tank must be full to handle the weight. The last things you hope to elude are a flat tire and empty gas tank since nobody wants to push a heavy loaded vehicle to the nearest gas station.

Checking tire

Ensure your tires have enough pressure and your tank filled up for a smooth journey

>>> Check out more handy driving tips and advice on

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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