Packing light for a road trip…how to fit 2 weeks into one bag

A two-week road trip sounds like an epic adventure, but there’s limited space in that car. How do you pack for two weeks and fit everything in just one bag? You want to keep your luggage to a minimum as there’s nothing worse that traveling in a cram-packed car on a road trip. It might sound like a daunting task, but packing light for a road trip might be easier than you think.

What do you actually need for that road trip?

Before you start, there are some questions you should ask yourself that will help you in packing light for a road trip:

  • What will the weather be like? Will you have to bring layers and bulky items for cold weather, rain coats for showers. Or, will it be warm and sunny, meaning smaller, lighter clothing.
  • Do you need to unpack and repack en route? Think about how many times you will be stopping and unpacking. Can you live out of your bag, or do you need to unpack each time?
  • Will you have the opportunity to wash and dry your clothes? If you can wash your clothes where you are staying or in a laundry-mate while on the road, it means you don’t have to bring as many clothes with you.
  • Do you need to bring specific items for activities?  For example, are you going hiking and in need of a pair of boots? A swimsuit for the pool? Sorting out certain items you need means you won’t forget the essentials.
  • How long will you be spending in the car? If the journey is long without stops, then may need to bring along snacks and drinks to keep you going. You’ll also need to keep what you need in the car handy so you’re not rummaging around in your bag.

Once you answer some of these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what to pack, and, what to prioritize. Make a list of the essentials for your specific trip, and then you can get to packing.

When you know what you need for your journey, you can start putting it all together. On a road trip you may not have to think about going through airport security or checking your luggage, but you still need to be mindful of what to take depending on the size of your vehicle.

Using packing cubes is a great start to organizing your belongings

The best way to keep your luggage compact and organized is to use packing cubes. They are a great way to keep everything safe and secure and making packing and unpacking much easier. If you want to cram two weeks of luggage into one bag, then using packing cubes is one way to do it.

packing cubes

When you have a few different sized organizers, you can allocate one for each separate grouping of items. For example, one large cube for clean clothing, one for underwear, one for toiletries and another for documents of electronics.

For a road trip, it’s a good idea to save a bag for your car snacks too. If you use a packing cube for this you can keep all of your snacks contained and when you are finished zip it up and put it back neatly in your bag. Perfectly organized don’t you think?

If you are struggling to decide which ones to choose, check out my travel packing cubes review and look at the best options and prices available. Here you can look at the reviews before you buy to ensure you pick up the right ones. If you want some travel tips on going over sees, have a look at Mike’s 10 essentials to pack when going abroad.

If you have any other tips on packing light for a road trip, please leave a comment below.

John Miller

A travel enthusiast, John Miller is an avid adventurer and travel blogger. Find out more on his blog at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter


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