A round of Tetris for the experts – the boot
From beginners to professionals, there’s something for everyone in “luggage Tetris”. First, place the particularly heavy luggage with the largest surface on the boot floor, directly behind the rear seat backrest so that it can’t move or fall over in to the free space. An anti-slip mat suitable for your model will help. Then put light luggage on top of the large cases and cover it with a blanket and secure it all with a strap. It is best to lash them crosswise, otherwise loose objects can turn into dangerous projectiles. You should use a luggage compartment divider net, especially if the luggage exceeds the height of the rear seat.
The next level – the interior
Well, well, well! The boot is full, but a few bags remain? There is still some space inside: heavy luggage can be safely stored in the space between the front and rear seats. However, this does impede the riding comfort of the passengers. Store small and light objects that you do not necessarily need while driving behind the front seat or in vacuum bags. These bags reduce their volume by up to 75 percent and fit neatly into the storage space under the seats.
Game over? Not yet! The roof box.
There’s still not enough space in your car? No problem – just put a roof box on top. The following applies: a safety net or tensioning straps against slipping parts and a stable front reinforcement are marks of good roof boxes.
Observe a few basic rules so that your driving pleasure isn’t spoiled: evenly spread the volume (volume up to 520 litres) and the permissible roof load of your vehicle. Put the heaviest objects in the middle area and pad the objects with blankets. Blankets as padding in the front area can absorb the kinetic energy when braking heavily. Last but not least: luggage should be secured in the box. All done!
Bonus level – the bike rack
For the sporty holidaymaker: if you want to be on the go on your holiday and want your bike with you, you have several options for transporting it safely. Read more here about whether a roof or rear rack would work better for you.
A big advantage of the roof rack: not only do you have a clear view while driving, but access to the boot also remains free. Important when mounting the roof rack: align it centrally on the vehicle so that the load can act on the vehicle column. Make sure not to exceed the maximum roof load.
The roof rack works best with lighter-weight bicycles. In any event hough, teamwork is the key to a relaxed start to your holiday, especially for heavy bicycles. Let someone help you mount your bike to protect your paintwork – and your mood.
A stable rear carrier ensures the safe transport of a maximum of three bicycles – even heavier ones, like e-bikes or pedelecs. Thanks to the integrated folding function, many rear carrier systems even provide comfortable access to the luggage compartment. In some cases, the rear rack and roof box can be easily combined without obstructing the view. Here, too, the maximum load of both the carrier and the trailer coupling must not be exceeded. The bicycles should not project more than 40 centimetres beyond the tailgate. However, the maximum permissible width varies from country to country. In some countries, the bicycle rack must also be specially signposted. You should therefore find out ahead of time which regulations apply for your journey.
No matter what bicycle-rack manufacturer you choose: small attachments such as air pumps, batteries and bicycle locks belong in the vehicle interior. Adjust your driving, because the changed centre of gravity and the changed aerodynamics have an effect on the cornering and braking behaviour. Drive as defensively as possible and pay attention to low-hanging branches, underpasses, tunnels and bridges. You should also observe the speed limits specified for loads. Otherwise, you could be fined.
Under pressure – the tyre pressure
It’s not only athletes or video-game players that have to achieve top performance when under pressure. So does your car, and your tyres. Be sure to adjust the tyre pressure to the increased weight. The optimum bar values can be found in the operating instructions. Sometimes they also can be found on a sticker in the fuel filler flap of your car. Keep to the specified value. A little bit more doesn’t make a critical difference and ensures efficient fuel consumption.
The travel checklist
Ten important things every car should have on holiday:
? Car atlas: just in case the Navi makes a wrong turn and your smartphone battery is empty.
? Toll stickers: in case you cross borders again.
? Window cleaner: for the perfect view.
? Documents for an accident report: so you have everything down in black and white.
? First Aid kit: hopefully you won’t need it but having it won’t hurt. Pay attention to the expiry date!
? High visibility vest: also spotted last year at Fashion week!
? Warning triangle: just in case.
? Tow rope: so no one gets left behind.
? Jack: to take off, sometimes you first need a lift up.
? Torch: for night owls.
Generally, the following always holds true: different countries, different rules. Be informed about the traffic regulations in your destination country before you travel. This way you can avoid unpleasant surprises and arrive relaxed and safely at your holiday destination.