When we started planning our road trip we knew we’d be taking the Honda Fit. We do have a large SUV but the Fit is a lease and we have so many miles on it to use (while the SUV has 260K miles on it!). The cost savings on gas alone was well worth the choice to take the smaller car.
It took some planning to ensure we’d fit comfortably in the smaller car, but with a few systems in place it was a cinch. The most annoying thing we ran into was needing to empty the entire trunk of the car just to get the jack out when I broke the car in Idaho!
The Fit has a phenomenal amount of space for such a small car. Here’s how we maximized the space and made it work for us. Also, I didn’t think to take photos of all because I wasn’t really thinking that this would be a useful post, but after spending two weeks in a fairly neatly packed car I thought maybe it would be helpful!
The Front Area
Glove Box: my very small purse, binoculars, notebook and a small first aid kit with things we might need quickly – Motrin, Band-Aids, thermometer, etc.
Passenger Side Door: maps and pamphlets pertaining to where we were at the time of our trip, my book and one water bottle.
Slid Between Passenger Seat & Center Console: a folder with everything we needed for the entire trip. Lodging confirmations, maps, contact info and any other important info that we needed to reference quickly.
Front of Center Console: we each had a water bottle in the cup holders and phone chargers in the extra compartment in front of the cup holders.
Back of Center Console: Pens, hand sanitizer, chargers not in use (FitBit, camera), headphones, tire pressure gauge and other small miscellaneous items. I used a small granola bar box to organize the things here so they weren’t just rolling all over the place.
The Back Seat Area
Pocket on Back of Passenger Seat: car registration and manual. And of course our expired proof of insurance. Whoops.
Behind Driver Seat: we left the rear seat upright and put the two coolers right on the seat. On the floor was the camping stove with a bin of food on it. This was dry food that we would want to access while in the car so it was easy for the passenger to reach.
The Hump Thing between the Rear Floor Space: had a paper bag with napkins, plastic utensils, extra water bottles and other things we might need while eating on the road.
Behind Passenger Seat: we folded the rear seat down and laid our camping chairs, tent and duffle bags of clothing (2 bags for clothes, 1 bag for blankets and sleeping bags). The little space that was accessible on the floor is where our extra books were (we each brought a few).
The Trunk Area
Trunk: we used a three drawer plastic organizer and I swear it was THE most brilliant thing we did (see photo above). This is where we organized all of our camping gear and it was so much more accessible than being in a big plastic bin. I knew exactly what was in each drawer so it was super easy to find what we needed.
Slid Behind the Plastic Organizer: my camera tripod, a picnic blanket and any other small things we could slide back there. In the small space in front of the organizer we stuck our sandals so we had an easy change of shoes.
Next to the organizer: our air mattress & pump, hiking packs and other light weight things that were easy to move so we could access the drawers.
Tip – we turned the organizer to the side so the drawers would open. If it was facing forward they wouldn’t open as the trunk was not deep enough.
Tip – carabineers. They are SO useful. When we were in and out of the car doing different hikes I would quickly just hang the hiking packs on a carabineer from one of the handles or the car seat clips on the ceiling. It was so easy to keep them packed and just grab them and go. And also, I just love carabineers.
That was it! We didn’t bring a whole lot with us – really the necessities and we pared way down on our camping gear since we really needed very little. By the last few days of the trip everything was kind of everywhere but it’s to be expected. The systems in place worked well for us and I’m certain the key was just not bringing a lot of things with us in the first place!