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Organizing Your Road Trip

Tips and products to ensure a smoother, saner ride

by Brad

This time of year, many people begin gearing up for spring break road trips. But whether you're an excited, rowdy college kid that's looking for adventure or a parent just hoping to drive your kids to the theme park and back without having a complete mental breakdown, one of the most important predictors of how well your experience goes is your organization plan.

To help formulate that plan, here are a few basic pointers and product suggestions...

1. Keep clutter out of the driver's area.

A distracted driver is a bad driver, so make sure you have everything you'll need before you pull out of the driveway. The person driving should have frequently-used items (phone, sunglasses, etc.) close by, while other items should remain clear of this area.

Helpful products include: Grey Driver Cup Organizer (pictured above), MagGrip Car Vent Phone Mount, SmartGrip Pad, Rubbermaid Vent Caddy

2. Stash your trash.

Designate an easily-accessible place where all passengers can dispose of their detritus. (Isn't "detritus" a fun word?) And when you stop for gas, remember to empty out the trash container to prevent it from overflowing.

Helpful products include: TrashStash Car Trash Bag (pictured above), Rubbermaid Pop-Up Trash Can

3. Keep those toys and snacks handy.

Make sure that whatever the passengers bring to entertain themselves (small toys, games, electronic devices, snacks, etc.) are not only within reach, but organized. That way, if Junior wants his tablet to watch the same TV episode for the 46th time, or if your grown buddy Jason wants his teriyaki beef jerky, you (the driver) won't have to hear them complaining about it.

Helpful products include: Express Portable Car Seat Organizer (pictured above), SwingAway Compact Organizer, Rubbermaid Dual USB Console,

4. Don't neglect the trunk space.

Just because something is stashed in the trunk doesn't mean it shouldn't be organized. To keep smaller items from shifting and bouncing around like a pinball, implement some small dividers or storage crates. It's a small touch, but it can make a world of difference.

Helpful products include: Rubbermaid Wide Cargo Bin (pictured above), Folding Trunk Organizer, Collapsible Crate with Handles

5. Prepare for the unexpected.

Thankfully, most road trips do not involve being stranded in the desert, talkative shower curtain ring salesmen, or driving a truckload of nitroglycerine up a treacherous mountain road. However, unexpected and inconvenient things can happen from time-to-time, so make sure your car is stocked with a few emergency essentials (a first aid kit, small tools, flashlight, etc.). They can really come in handy when you find yourself in a pickle, and since they don't take up too much room, why not bring them along?

Helpful products include: Life Hammer Plus (pictured above), Wilderness First Aid Kit, Swiss+Tech Micro Plus EX Hand Tool

For more travel tips, check out our Projects & Inspiration page. You can also browse all of our auto travel products here.