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My family is all about the road trip. We prefer taking our own vehicle to flying. Or even renting a vehicle and driving to flying. But with 3 kids, space can get pretty tight. You should have seen how tight it was in our minivan last year when we went to Portland and planned to head to the Redwoods after. (You can read about our vacation that went down the drain here.) Now we were partially so crowded because we were doing both a hotel vacation, and a hiking vacation. And we had one year old twins so we had to have a stroller and 2 pack and plays, etc. But it was also crowded because kids in general just need a lot of stuff. Now normally though, we have plenty of room for our crew and even an extra passenger. Today I am excited to share with you how we save trunk space on our family vacations.
I like to take a lot of stuff. I have a bit of anxiety and I often go on vacations over prepared. I like to have baby carriers, strollers, pack and plays (because I want decent sleep) and more. I also like to save money on food by having stuff to make sandwiches, road snacks and more. You can imagine I could probably fill up a huge vehicle and not even be able to fit my family in there with all of this stuff. Well, thankfully, I have learned some ways to save space so we can travel in comfort.
5 Ways to Save Trunk Space on Your Family Vacation
- Pack less clothing. It would seem like you have to take a certain amount of clothing on vacation right? 5 days of vacation means 5 outfits (6 for a child). Well, we do not pack that many outfits for our family. Instead we pack outfits for half our vacation and then we utilize the hotel laundromats. We also bring the laundry tabs and some dryer sheets so we don’t overpay for those at our hotel. We do our laundry half way through vacation, and then I often do it at the end as well so I bring home clean clothing. Make unpacking so much easier. Also, adults can easily wear jeans 2 times before washing. Packing less clothing will save trunk space by making it so you can either put everyone in 1-2 suitcases or utilize smaller suitcases.
- Rent items when possible. Most of you know we love Disneyland. One of the reasons I love going there is that I can leave all my baby gear at home besides a couple baby carriers. The Disneyland area, like some other tourist destinations, has companies that will rent out baby gear. From strollers to pack and plays, even high chairs. I personally use and love City Stroller Rentals because they deliver to our hotel and pick up from it as well. Plus the quality and cleanliness of the items is AMAZING! Getting rid of the double stroller and the pack and plays is a major way to save trunk space.
You can try out City Stroller Rentals for your next Southern California vacation by CLICKING HERE. Be sure to use code CRAZYLOVE for a discount of 10% on your 3 day or longer rentals (Good until 12/31/17, Some restrictions may apply).
- Amazon. Okay, we have 2 in diapers, so you can imagine if we are going somewhere for a week, we need a lot of diapers. Instead of packing a bunch of diapers, I either buy some through City Stroller Rentals (yes, they do diapers too!) or I will check with my hotel and if they allow it, I will order some via Amazon to the day we do, or the day after. Then I only have to take enough diapers to get us to our hotel and I don’t have to worry about finding a store right away to buy more. Sometimes I also order other items as well. Also check if the area you will be staying has Amazon Fresh to save money on groceries while still being able to save trunk space for your vacation. Amazon Prime is a great investment anyways, but I especially like it for vacation and deliveries to hotels. If you aren’t a member of Amazon Prime you can try it free for 30 days by CLICKING HERE (affiliate link).
- Roof top cargo carriers. So if you have a huge crew or truly need a lot of items, try using a roof top cargo carrier. This may be a bit more of an upfront investment, but you will get good use out of it for years to come. You will need a roof rack if your car doesn’t not have one. If you have a car that has them optional, check with your local dealer to see what the price would be to get a roof rack installed. If your vehicle doesn’t have that optional, you can find ones made to fit different vehicles through stores like REI. We put one on our Malibu that we had years ago. After that you can get a soft sided cargo bag for pretty cheap. I personally prefer a cargo box, especially one that can be locked. I love the Thule line. While this will cost you an upfront investment of around $500 it will be something you will use time and time again for years to come. You will save a lot of trunk space by packing items up on top.
- Rent a bigger vehicle. If all else fails, consider renting a vehicle that is larger than yours. Before we had the twins we often rented a small SUV or a minivan to take on vacation. Be sure to comparison shop and go through a company that offers unlimited mileage so you don’t have to worry about being charged for extra miles. when you can save trunk space, you can get more by renting. We usually get our vehicles the day before we leave and bring them back the day after we get home.
When you can save trunk space in your vehicle it makes driving a lot more comfortable and less stressful because everyone has plenty of room. It also makes packing and unpacking a lot easier. Do you have any other tips for saving room in your trunk? Share them in the comments below.