Before setting out on our cottage rental vacation you should make sure the vehicle is ready for the trip. Check air pressure and fluid levels and top up as needed. You don’t want to have car problems on your trip. Properly packing our vehicles will greatly reduce your chances of having issues while travelling. There are variables involved when considering how you are going to pack all of your goods for your vacation. Number of family members, type of vehicle, trailers and the amount of “stuff” required for the vacation will determine how the vehicles need to be packed, plan ahead, and don’t leave everything until the last minute, or you will probably be forgetting something important.
Most families have 2 kids and a minivan. Removing the rear seats or lowering them into the floor should be enough room to pack all your needs for your camping trip. Start by putting your cooler in first and heavier totes or flat luggage in second. This will put the majority of your weight where it should be, on the rear axles of your car. As you pack your gear on top of the coolers and totes, be sure to secure it so that it will not move during transport, or slide over top of the rear seats. Try to pack the load so that when you have completely loaded the van the load will be level. This will help reduce the movement while travelling and prevent a slide of gear out the back door as it opens when you have reached your destination. Make sure that the weight of your gear is evenly distributed on both sides of the vehicle. Too much weight on one side of the vehicle causes excess wear on tires, brakes and could cause a tip over. And remember, the more time at the front end, will afford you less headaches on the road to cottage country and your cottage rental.
Not all families have two kids, some have more. The more members of the family there are, the greater the difficulty in packing the car. Even if you own an SUV or a Van, there isn’t enough room for all the family and gear. There are a couple options for those in that situation. A small trailer is an option for those who have the capability of towing. There may be an extra cost to rent, but the extra cost saves on over packing a vehicle and putting a safety risk on the family in the event of an accident. If you are using a trailer, be sure to pack the heavier gear towards the front (nose) of the trailer. This will reduce the chances of more fragile gear from being crushed against the front of the trailer from braking. Another option is to consider packing fewer groceries and doing it midweek during your cottage rental from a local grocer up north.
Finally, the route and time of departure are key things to consider before heading out. Travelling during peak hours, will only add time and stress to the cottage rental experience. If you are travelling during peak hours, try to find a route that may take a little longer, but will take away the redundancy of stop and go traffic. Also, make sure that the kids have several things to keep them occupied during travel. “Are we there yet?” is a question we don’t want to answer fifty times in a two hour trip. DVD players, games, iPods for music, and coloring books are great ways to keep the kids from boredom. Try travelling at the crack of dawn so they may end up sleeping part of the way.
Taking the time to pack your vehicle properly will only add to the cottage rental experience in a safe and positive way. We deal with enough stress throughout the year and we do not want any on our cottage rental week. The safe drive is the best way to arrive.Author: SweetMarie
February 21, 2012