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How to pack a car for a holiday - Liverpool Airport

So, you’ve booked a holiday and you’re raring to go. You’ve purchased your plane tickets, renewed your passports and booked airport parking. There is only one thing left to do - pack your car. This activity can be a stressful one, especially if you realise half way through the process you have simply packed too much and are finding it impossible to close the boot of your car!

To help you to avoid overloading and to reduce pre-holiday stress before you head to the airport, we’ve put together this simple guide that explains the best ways to pack your car ahead of a holiday abroad, as well as providing our top tips for packing for two common excursions - beach holidays and skiing breaks.  

How to pack for holidays abroad

When it comes to loading a car before heading to the airport for a holiday abroad, the boot of your vehicle is the obvious place to start. Whether you’re packing light with small items of hand luggage or your holiday requires large pieces of check-in luggage, sports equipment and/or prams and other essentials for the kids, the first thing you need to do is remove any loose items currently taking up space in your vehicle. Next, start filling your boot ensuring large, heavy suitcases are loaded first, forming a solid base at the bottom of your boot. When these bulky items are safely loaded, you can fill in the gaps using softer objects such as rucksacks.

If your car is a hatchback with an integrated boot area, it is important to ensure that you don’t load items higher than the window line, as this will obscure your view as your drive. Additionally, all items should be packed firmly in place, with nothing left to move freely around your boot as you drive. If you own a smaller vehicle and boot room is at a premium, don’t forget to make use of any extra space in the interior of your car. Passenger footwells can be used to load small items such as handbags and rucksacks, while glove boxes are ideal for important holiday documentation such as boarding passes, car park booking confirmations and passports. However, it is vital that luggage in the interior of your car doesn’t interfere with your ability to drive safely. For this reason, before setting off, ensure that all luggage is kept well clear of any pedals, as well as the steering wheel, gear stick and handbrake.

How to pack for a beach holiday

One of the most popular types of overseas breaks, relaxing beach holidays are enjoyed by 41 per cent of the UK’s population each year. While packing for a beach holiday tends to be much more straightforward than preparing for a specialist sporting excursion, there is still plenty you need to think about - especially when it comes to packing the car before heading to the airport. Below we provide our top two tips for packing the car for a beach holiday.

  • Pack light and use soft bags

Unlike sporting holidays, safaris and formal business trips, you can usually get away with packing a bit lighter when heading on a relaxing beach-based holiday. Don’t waste suitcase space on clothes you don’t need - only pack two or three swimsuits, for example, and the right amount of ‘going out’ clothes for the number of days you are away. With this in mind, using soft duffle-style bags rather than hard suitcases may be a good idea. They are easier to carry and much simpler to load into a car.

  • Rent items where possible

While it can be tempting to pack boogie boards, surfboards and beach toys, as well as relaxation favourites such as parasols and beach chairs, these items can take up a lot of space in the car and will likely cost you extra to check onto your flight. With this in mind,  seeing which items you can rent at your destination can be a sensible idea. If you are determined to take your own beach items, ensure they are securely loaded on top of suitcases in your car so they don't get damaged during travel.

How to pack for a ski vacation or specialist excursion

If you are going on a skiing holiday, or another type of specialist excursion where sports equipment is required, the presence of any long items such as skis, snowboards or golf clubs may require you to fold down the back seats of your vehicle to allow for these items to be loaded lengthways. However, if all seats are required for passengers, this is clearly not an option and additional transport to the airport to account for all luggage may be needed. If this is the case, you could ask a family member or friend to drop one of your party off at the airport, along with any larger items of luggage, using a dropping off/picking up zone. Here at LJLA, for example, we offer two convenient drop off options, ideal for getting a large party and all items of luggage to the terminal on time.