Hindsight: Family Road Trip Packing

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how to pack for a road trip, family, travel, kids, kid friendly, what to pack, packing tips, travel, south africa, tazzdiscovers I wish I had taken pictures of us trying to pack everything into the car, the first time we’d hit the road. But we were too busy, you know, packing. Also, if I had to show you all the things we wanted to take with us, it would be rather embarrasing. Talk about trying to pack everything and the kitchen sink.

I learned a lot from those first 9 weeks so, when we packed for our 2 week road trip, it was MUCH easier. Which is why I feel qualified to share our tips with you.

Packing for a family road trip

My first tip would be to pile everything you want to take with you. It helps to see how vast the load is before you even start packing. If you’re going to be away for a while, do this about 1.5 weeks before you plan to leave. Our first mistake was to move things from the various bedrooms into the car as we were packing. I think we unpacked and repacked about 5 times a few hours before we wanted to leave. Which was absolutely crazy!

Once you see how much you want to pack, have a good laugh and then separate the pile into WANT vs NEED. When that is done, halve the pile again. Now you probably have a more realistic visual about how much will actually fit into the car.

I should interject here and say that, while we weren’t towing a trailer around South Africa, we did have a Thule top box. So, if you don’t have this kind of additional space, I would halve the pile again if I were you.

What you need to remember is that you will be spending many hours in your car. Which means, you will want to be comfortable. When we left Cape Town for the first time, we had so much packed in the car that I couldn’t even see the kids in the back seat. Fortunately our first stop was only 200kms away so we didn’t have that far to go, but the trip was uncomfortable for everyone. Which is why we left so much of our stuff in Montagu.

Day 3: Things to do in and around Montagu

Our friends from Chasing the Rainbow have done an awesome post on what to pack, when it comes to your kitchen basics. So, let’s not reinvent the wheel and let me just send you there.

How to Pack the Ultimate Self-catering Survival Kit

When you consider that the post suggests you pack TWO large storage tubs, you might want to position these in your boot, while they’re still empty, so that you can see how much space you have left. And yes, I would highly recommend that you include everything Sarah has suggested.

Very few self catering venues are well kitted out with everything that you need so, pretend you’re going camping and take everything listed. Better to be safe than sorry.

A decent knife, shopping board and pot that can hold at least 5 litres of water will go a long way to ensure that you can cook something, quickly. Soup or pasta was often our dinner of choice on the road. Oh, and throw in your stainless steel coffee mugs too. Loads of places expect you to use teacups for everything.  And is there anything worse than a tiny cup of coffee?

I think I’m going to have to do a separate post dealing with how to pack clothes and toiletries. No one has time to read a post that rambles on and on. So, that’s all for today.

Let me know what packing tips you have in the comments section below and I will try to include them in the next hindsight post, with credit obviously.


About TazzDiscovers 130 Articles
We are a family of four with a passion for our beautiful and diverse South Africa. Because of our passion for Cape Town, we love exploring and taking pictures as we grow and spend time together as a family. Our kids are 13 and 16 respectively and have had access to the most amazing opportunities through our little blog and this is something we are incredibly grateful for. We have seen them grow and mature since we started travelling and has turned them into little connoisseurs of all things wonderful in South Africa. If you would like a family perspective on your business or location, we would love to work with you. Feel free to reach out via email: tazzdiscovers@gmail.com


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