Road trips can be a complete blast or an absolute nightmare. It all depends on how well you prepare and what you bring along to make the trip easier.
For instance, purchasing a universal suction cup phone holder prior to the trip can make a big difference in helping you to navigate a new area, versus having your phone sit in precarious places and possibly fall on the floor of the vehicle.
However, phone holders are just the tip of the iceberg as there is a whole world of road trip gadgets and gear that can make your time on the road much more comfortable, convenient and fun.
If you are looking for some accessories that will help to better your next road trip, here are eight must-have items.
1. A Dash Cam
No matter if you are taking off for a road trip or not, getting a quality dash cam is a good idea for a variety of reasons.
Dash cams can help you to provide evidence in the instance of a car accident or even dissuade would-be burglars from breaking into your car. If it doesn’t stop them outright, it will potentially catch them on video.
When traveling across the country to areas with which you are unfamiliar, a dash cam is essential to possess.
2. A Reusable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is vital to your health and to your driving abilities.
As surprising as it may seem, driving dehydrated can be as dangerous as drunk driving. As was recently reported on the matter:
“A study shows that when drivers were hydrated, they only made 47 minor driving mistakes. But when they were dehydrated, 101 mistakes were made, which is doubled. Such a number is similar to that under the influence of alcohol.”
Therefore, drinking enough water while on the road is mandatory. However, to avoid filling your car floor to ceiling with empty plastic water bottles, it is wise to bring along a reusable water bottle that you can periodically refill.
3. Wet Wipes
Depending on how far you are driving, if you plan on stopping and similar factors, catching a shower might not be on your itinerary. Therefore, bringing along some wet wipes is a great way to stay (relatively) clean.
4. A Multitool
Instead of having to stop off at every other gas station and truck stop to get a bottle opener, a pair of tweezers, a knife, and another random tool, pack a multitool for your trip.
By having something like a Leatherman in your car, you’ll have pretty much any tool you can possibly need in one convenient little package.
5. A Car Vacuum
If you are planning on driving a few states over with a couple of other people, your car is bound to get a little messy as dirt will get tracked in, crumbs will fall on the floor and straw wrappers will (probably) get crumpled up and dropped between the seats.
Therefore, packing a portable car vacuum can help to keep your car neat and tidy.
6. A Reusable Coffee Cup
Let’s face it — you’re going to get coffee every day on your road trip. Possibly even multiple times a day.
Now that this reality has been accepted, consider purchasing a reusable coffee cup so that you can avoid accumulating a Starbucks’ worth of cups in your car.
Fortunately, there are a variety of reusable coffee cups on the market. Take your pick!
7. A Phone Charger
When going on a road trip, you will certainly be using your phone a lot as it will likely serve as your navigation tool, restaurant recommender and source of any other information you need.
Therefore, packing a car charger that will allow you to charge multiple devices at once is a good idea. Since there is no real standardization of charging ports on devices, you will want one that covers USB and Type-C ports.
If you don’t like having your phone slide around as you charge it, you can also consider picking up an Apple MagSafe car mount that securely attaches to your phone using a powerful magnet.
8. A Roadside Emergency Kit
While no one wants it to happen, cars do break down on road trips. This means that packing a good roadside emergency kit is wise.
A good emergency car kit will contain essential items like jumper cables, a collapsible snow shovel, emergency blankets, a flashlight or two (plus batteries), a tow rope and similar items.
In addition to a roadside emergency kit, it is a good idea for you to keep a first aid kit in your car as well. After all, if you are tasked with jumping your car’s battery or changing a tire, there is a fair chance of getting cut or scraped.
Bringing the Right Gear on Your Road Trip
The items you bring can make the difference between a wonderful road trip and one that will haunt your memories.
Be sure to bring the accessories outlined above on your next road trip to ensure that everything goes smoothly.