Holiday Travel Packing Tips

Over the river and through the woods. . . to holiday parties you go! If you’re planning to travel this holiday season, it’s important to be mindful of the strain you put on your car during long trips. Every additional 100 lbs. in your vehicle can reduce your gas mileage by 2%, which adds up on a long trip! Here are some packing tips that will save your car during holiday travel.

Only pack the important stuff

For long holiday trips, most people tend to pack everything but the kitchen sink. When packing suitcases, really focus on what you need to get through the trip; an additional 5 outfits, 3 coats and 6 pairs of shoes may not all be necessary. If you’re going be gone more than a few days, consider doing a load of laundry and repeating a few outfits.

Use soft luggage

If you know you’ll have a lot to pack, consider using soft-sided suitcases or duffle bags since these are easier to condense than hard-sided suitcases. If your travel consists of being on the road for many days, packing a small overnight bag may be a good idea so you don’t have to unpack and repack the whole car. Just make sure these bags are the last thing packed so that they’re easy to reach!


Pack the heaviest pieces of luggage forward and in the middle of your trunk to keep the center of gravity low. Next, evenly distribute the rest of your items so the weight is spread equally over each wheel.

Secure loose items

Those coats, bags, and small items that get thrown in at the end should be secured in case of a sudden stop – you won’t want these items flying through the car and accidentally smacking you in the head when it’s your turn to drive.

DO NOT pack to the ceiling

Visibility is extremely important. Make sure the driver can see out the back windshield. Obstructing the rearview is extremely dangerous. Ideally, all luggage should stay below the window line to avoid any blind spots.

Roof Storage

If you’re out of room and have more essentials to pack, consider a roof storage unit that attaches securely to your roof.

Have your emergency kit nearby

Check out our previous blog to see what essentials should be easily accessible, just in case an emergency happens when you least expect it.

Before hitting the road, be sure to bring your vehicle into Performance Auto to get your car serviced so it’s road trip ready!

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