‘I’m a pro Tetris player and perfected a plan for packing your car at Christmas’

When going on holiday it can be great to take your car and pack it full of all the things you might need – it’s not an option when flying. However, if you’re going camping, on an extended break or taking the kids you may find you need more than you expected and Packing the boot of the car is tricky.

In fact, some folks claim that getting all of your suitcases, bags, boxes and necessities into the car can be like playing a game of Tetris to pack it all in. So, who better to ask about achieving a perfectly packed car than someone who’s a champion of the game itself?

DanV has been playing Tetris competitively since 2020 and won the UK National Tetris Championship last year. He’s teamed up with Honda UK to offer up his tips on how to pack your car just right for any Brits heading off on holiday, or even to family and friends, this Christmas.

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His travel advice includes how to arrange awkwardly shaped items and why you should visualise your approach before you get started. That way you won’t have to leave anything behind even if you have masses of gifts and presents to take with you.

Visualise your boot

Dan explained: "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," the pro said. "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

Dan explained: "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

In a clever move, Dan noted: "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

Dan commented: "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."

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