One of the coolest things about having a minivan is how easy it makes road trips. Unlike small sedans where everybody and their stuff are jammed in like sardines, minivans are the roomy modern version of the station wagon with wooden sides — there is ample room for everyone and their belongings,, plus tons of useful features.
In order to make the most of your minivan’s useful features, you want to do some preparation for your upcoming road trip. With that in mind, check out the following three hacks:
Pack the Vehicle with Easy Access in Mind
Sedan and small SUV drivers can usually toss suitcases, strollers and other road trip necessities into the trunk or back end of the vehicle. However, your minivan has so many options when it comes to storage, it’s wise to plan how you pack everything for easiest access. For example, the Chrysler Pacifica features Stow N’ Go seats that fold away under the floor; you can use the Pacifica’s Stow N’ Go tubs to fold away a seat or, if you can’t spare a seat, you can stow items in the empty tubs. Load all of your non-essential items first, including the stuff you won’t need until you get where you are going. This includes the Pack ‘n Play for the hotel, the baby bouncy seat and maybe the larger stroller. Then stash the suitcases, followed up with the items you will need to access at rest stops and restaurants. Keep the items you will need on the road in boxes or bags. This includes snacks, juice boxes, games, tablets and sticker sheets.
Line Your Cup Holders
Minivans are known for their numerous cup holders — all of which will likely be taken up during a long road trip. You can keep your cup holders clean and your small items organized and easy to reach by lining each one with a muffin cup. Paper frills work fine, but to really up the minivan hack ante, spring for silicone cupcake holders. This way, when those allegedly spill-proof sippy cups spring a leak, it will be easy to clean apple juice from the cup holder — simply pull out the cupcake liner and stash a new one in there. If you use one of your cup holders to hold loose change, you can simply lift the silicone liner up to grab enough quarters and dimes to buy snacks from the rest stop vending machines.
Hang Shoe Organizers on the Backs of the Seats
To keep your kids’ “must-have” belongings organized and easily accessible during your road trip, hang cloth shoe organizers over the backs of the front seats. Each pocket can be filled with books, crayons, snacks, games and other items; you can also add in some Kleenex and stash some plastic grocery bags to be used to collect trash in the bottom pockets. Also, if your kids love to have their shoes off during the trip, they can put them into the pockets, saving valuable floor space and letting them easily find their sandals or sneakers when you stop along the way.
Thanks to these hacks, your minivan will be well-prepared and suited to carry your family to whatever destination you have chosen. Bon voyage and safe travels!