Pack a car like a pro

You have to approach boot packing with a positive frame of mind. It’s an important job requiring serious focus. Anything less than determined, and you’ll end up making unnecessary compromises. It also helps to have an actual strategy – ‘she’ll be right’ just isn’t going to cut it.

So we’ve scoured the internet to find the best possible advice for packing a boot for your Hawke’s Bay summer road trip. You can thank us later.

Be ruthless. This starts with eliminating duplication between family members. Also, does everyone need a day pack? Beach towels AND bathroom towels? Can’t you just buy milk at the local dairy once you arrive?

Consider vacuum packing. You can either fit a heap more stuff in your luggage, or alternatively and even better, bring less luggage because your clothes are taking up less than half the space. Note, you will need access to a vacuum at the other end if you want to repeat the feat for the trip home.

Know what you’re dealing with. Eyeball everything before you start. There’s no frustration greater than having to remove a heap of already-packed luggage to fit a previously unseen item. Common culprits to keep an eye out for are shopping bags of food, last-minute decisions by kids to take bulky toys, and sports equipment.

It’s a real life game of Tetris, just with much higher stakes. Now the fun begins. Take your time, make calculated decisions and don’t be afraid to pause the game while you consider your next move. Outside counsel is a matter of preference. Some prefer to stay in the zone of their own boot-packing bubble, while others thrive on the many minds approach.

Get creative. There are all sorts of hidey-holes around the car that can be used for storing items. Clear out the glovebox of service records to create some space for delicate items, use the spaces under car seats, and squish soft things into cavities created by larger irregular shaped items.

Try not to exceed the height of the seat. Safety first, people. If you do need that additional space, consider using a divider net for added safety. Or go big time and look at the merits of a roof box – a list which absolutely includes instant road tripping credibility.

Keep essentials within reach or easily accessible. Things like a first aid kit and snacks should be easily accessible. That should also include sunscreen to combat ‘driver’s arm’ from the Hawke’s Bay sun.

Now you’re set for a road trip to Hawke’s Bay. If you’ve got any more tips, let us know and we’ll update our guide.