Over the coming weeks, thousands of students across the country will be heading to university, either as freshers or returning students.
For the parents of students, this often involves loading the car with huge amounts of luggage and personal belongings, which can pose a packing challenge.
To help motorists solve their storage problems, Euro Car Parts has revealed its five top tips to take the stress out of travelling to university.
Consider internal storage options
The key to packing effectively is to make use of all available space, so it can be a good idea to invest in storage solutions for the interior of your car to create more space.
Back-of-seat organisers are a great option for keeping essentials close to hand. Similarly, visor organisers are handy for storing parking tickets or small change for easy access.
Storage bags and boot organisers can help keep important items in a convenient place, allowing you to store anything from emergency breakdown tools to coats in an accessible location.
Packing the car for a trip can often feel like a game of Tetris, as you struggle to fit all of your luggage in the car.
The key is to think outside of the box. Soft suitcases are a better option than hard cases, as they offer a bit more flexibility when arranging the luggage. Also remember that cars often have lots of nooks and crannies that will fit items like shoes, coats or smaller bags.
Make sure that you do not obstruct your visibility by overpacking the boot, as it’s a legal requirement to be able to drive with unobstructed vision.
Make use of external storage solutions
If you have a smaller car, or if your child has a lot of belongings that they want to take with them, then you might want to consider adding external storage to your vehicle, such as a roof rack.
A roof box or basket is perfect for storing those extra items of luggage that don’t fit in the boot. Roof storage can be a good investment for further travel to and from university, as well as for family holidays.
Make use of interior space
There’s more space in your car than just the boot and you can make use of the backseats or footwells to maximise your internal storage.
Depending on how many people are travelling, you may want to fold down one or more of the back seats. This will significantly increase the amount of space available for luggage.
You can also get creative and store small items or bags in the footwells or the middle seat if there is enough space.
However, it’s important to avoid storing any items in places that may be a restriction or a distraction to the driver, such as long items occupying the gap between the driver’s and passenger seat, as this could be dangerous for both yourself and other road users.
Plan ahead and be organised
It’s important to plan ahead before packing. For example, is your car big enough for the family, or is it best to limit how many people travel so you can maximise storage space instead?
Consider whether you will need anything you’ve packed during your journey, because if so, it makes sense to pack it in an easy-to-reach location, such as internal storage space, rather than the boot, to avoid you having to unpack the car in a motorway service station for that one item.
Also, make sure you’re not restricting access to your emergency equipment. It’s best to have these items in an accessible location so they can be accessed quickly if needed.
Chris Barella, Digital Services Director at Euro Car Parts, said: “Packing for university can be an emotional and challenging time for families, so it makes sense to forward plan to avoid any unnecessary stress on the day of travel.
“Thankfully, being sensible and strategic with your packing and investing in storage solutions ahead of the journey can help make the experience far easier for all involved.”
For more information on storage solutions, visit: https://www.eurocarparts.com/blog/7-ways-to-maximise-your-in-car-storage