Packing for the festive season can feel like a daunting task, especially if you’re planning to drive long distances with children, presents, food, decorations – and anything else you can cram into your car.
In fact, it’s almost like playing a game of Tetris… That’s why competitive Tetris player DanV, winner of the UK National Tetris Championship 2022, has worked with Honda to share his top five tips for packing your car ahead of your Christmas travel.
Here are Dan’s expert insights for grabbing top scores as you add various ‘blocks’ to your boot space, and master ‘trunk Tetris’:
Visualise Your Board – aka your boot or backseat – and Make a Plan
“The biggest tip I can offer is to always, always have a plan. With a blank canvas you can do almost anything – but this also means that things can go horribly wrong, and so you need to be able to start off strong.
“Make sure you have a good idea of which items should go in the boot and which items should go into the backseat. If you visualise these as two separate spaces and take it one block at a time, you can’t go too far wrong.”
Start With Your Heaviest Items
“On an empty board, the O piece can be the perfect piece to start out with. When packing your car, the heavier items are going to be your O pieces. This could be larger gifts, or items that typically come in a ‘box’ shape.
“Heavy items can provide a good foundation for you to start stacking other items on top of them. You can line these against the walls of your boot to maximise space and minimise any gaps or holes. When you play Tetris, creating holes in your board can lead to some tricky situations!”
Disassemble If You Can – and Be Wary of Your ‘T Pieces’
“In the near 40 years of Tetris’ existence, there has been a fierce debate over which piece is the ‘worst possible piece’. For me, the T piece is one of the trickiest – and when packing your car this winter, Christmas decorations and children’s toys are likely going to be your T pieces.
“Luckily, these items can typically be broken down into smaller parts and packaged in a much-easier to-deal-with box. It’s almost like you’re turning a T piece into an I piece, and suddenly you’ve gone from having the worst piece to the best piece.”
Be Tactical with Smaller Items
“Smaller items, such as centrepieces or stockings, can either go into the backseat with your passengers, or be squeezed into any gaps that bigger items may have left behind. This will help you to use up as much of your space as possible.”
Leave Delicate Items Until Last
“You may be travelling with some more delicate items that you definitely wouldn’t want to be damaged. If you’re travelling with passengers, have them give you a helping hand by holding on to them for you.
“You can also use flexible, softer items to line your car and cushion your valuables. Like an S piece, they can fit into gaps that otherwise would remain empty and will reduce the likelihood of damage when you’re on the road.”
Rebecca Adamson, Head of Automobile at Honda UK, comments: “If you’re packing a car like the new Honda CR-V, you don’t need to worry about compromising the comfort of your passengers. Its larger proportions mean that people in the backseat have more legroom without impacting boot capacity. There’s also plenty of space in the boot for all the families’ belongings as the CR-V hybrid offers 587-litres of boot space, and the CR-V plug-in hybrid provides an additional 72-litres thanks to its adjustable two-level cargo floor.
“Packing trickily shaped items also becomes a bit easier. The latest CR-V has one of the largest rear load spaces in the class and the backseats can slide forward by 190mm – so if you don’t have anyone in the backseat, you’ll be able to load longer items into your boot without worrying about blocking your windows. The tailgate can be operated hands-free and has automated walk-away close, making life that bit easier when packing and unpacking. You should always pack your car with health and safety in mind.
“We hope that everyone visiting family and friends over the festive period has a safe and enjoyable journey.”