Planning a road trip with your best gal pals, favorite dudes, family bunch or maybe your beloved pups? Before all the fun and road trip games can begin, there are some tech necessities you need in tow before hitting the open road.
So, after you’ve packed your comfiest clothes, sneakers, toothbrush and grabbed your mobile phone, consider taking along these items with you for a successful, fun-filled journey.
Note: Prices and inventory are subject to change.
11 Best Road Trip Car Gadgets
1. Magnetic Phone Mount
A convenient spot for your phone is a must. This Coolpow set of two mini-size phone mounts has a powerful magnetic grip for most iPhones and Android devices. It has an adhesive that offers a strong stick to the dashboard.
2. All-in-one Car Charger
This all-in-one car charger lets you charge multiple devices at once so everyone in the car is happy. Plus, it monitors your car’s battery. Amazon customers give this gadget 4.6 stars.
3. Anker Portable Power Bank
The Anker Slim Portable Power Bank recharges in under six hours. It’s compatible with the 2015 12-inch MacBook (USB-C cable required); iPhone XS, XS Max, XR and 12 models; Android smartphones and tablets (including the Nexus 7); and other USB devices. It has over 50,000 Amazon reviews and 4.6 stars.
4. Cobra RAD 480i Laser Radar Detector
I’m not saying you’re going to break the law by speeding, but just in case your foot gets heavier, the Cobra iRAD Connected Laser and Radar Detector might save you a little extra time and money. This handy gadget detects signals from both the rear and the front of your car.
Price: $149.95 on Amazon
5. Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Playing the best tunes in your car is the first thing you need to make sure you can do on your road trip. Trust me, if you don’t have a way to play music, your trip will seem like the longest thing you’ve ever endured in your life. But if you have an older car or yours doesn’t have Bluetooth capability, there’s a fix for that. The Nulaxy Bluetooth FM Transmitter will add a Bluetooth connection to your car so that you can answer phone calls while you’re driving and play music in your car.
Price: $23.99 on Amazon
6. Garmin Dashcam
Capture the sites along the way during your road trip with Garmin’s Dashcam Mini 2. The key-sized camera has voice control and automatically records 1080p video with Garmin Clarity HDR optics during the day and night. Video is automatically uploaded with a Wi-Fi connection to the secure online Vault.
Price: $129.99 at Best Buy
7. Power Inverter for Cars
Before making this list, I had no clue these gadgets even existed. How have I been able to make it this far without it in my life? It charges string lights, laptops, game consoles, tablets, TVs, DVD players, lights and other electronic devices with a plug. Just pop it into your car’s cigarette lighter and charge.
8. Portable Jumper Cables
You can never be too prepared when you’re taking off on the road. And that’s why having a reliable way to jump-start your car should the need arise is important. The compact NOCO Boost Plus Portable Power Bank Charger gives up to 20 jump starts on a single charge. It can also recharge smartphones, tablets and other USB devices.
9. Garmin Drive GPS Navigator
Wherever your road trip is taking you, the Garmin Drive GPS navigator will take the guesswork out of figuring out you’re going. It includes innovative driver alerts with preloaded points of interest from TripAdvisor for inspiration along the way.
10. Roadside Emergency Kit
This multipurpose Emergency Roadside Toolkit literally has everything you need on the offhand chance something doesn’t go according to plan. It comes with supplies for a variety of weather conditions, including a complete toolset, tire repair tools, an 11.8-foot jumper cable and a shovel, to name a few of this kit’s contents.
11. Portable Air Compressor
Fortem’s Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor is one of the most essential items on this list to have and one of the easiest gadgets to use. The compact design holds a 14-foot power cable stored inside, a bright automatic LED flashlight and a preset PSI that shuts off when it’s reached. It’s compatible with vehicles that have a DC-12-volt power outlet.
Price: $25.49 ($31.99) on Amazon
6 Must-Have Road Trip Essentials
1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera
Sure, you would never even think about going on a road trip without your phone, but when you want to capture a fun moment and have the proof in your hands, then take along this Instax Mini 11 camera. This dainty gadget has a one-touch selfie mode, auto flash and close-up mode. And don’t forget to pick up the Fujifilm film.
Price: $76.99 at Target
2. Sony Compact Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Whether you’re hiking, camping or stopping to enjoy the view, a reliable Bluetooth speaker that has amazing sound is a must. This one by Sony has up to 16 hours of playback and is perfect for playing your tunes loud with its EXTRA BASS sound. Plus, it’s waterproof and shockproof just in case someone gets carried away with their break dancing.
3. Portable Coffee Maker
You don’t have to forego life’s little luxuries when you’re on the road. When you need a cup of joe or a shot of espresso, the Wacaco Minipresso Portable Espresso Machine can do both. The manually-operated gadget is compact, lightweight and versatile. Use any kind of coffee bean or roast for coffee from the road.
Price: $54.90 on Amazon
4. Handheld Cordless Car Vacuum
For those of us with that have a slight need to keep everything neat and tidy, there’s nothing that’s more annoying than an unkept car. So if you’re anything like me, VacLife’s Handheld Cordless Vacuum will help save you (and your passengers) from endless nagging over crumbs, trash and everything else landing in the cracks and crevices of your car.
5. Portable Flat Water Bottle
Besides being pretty darn cute and stylish, this water bottle is easy to tuck away with it’s flat structure. The clear transparency helps you keep track of your water intake so you stay hydrated. Amazon customers have commented on its surprising durability.
Price: $24.99 on Amazon
6. Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Pillow
With a whopping 5,700 reviews and 4.5 stars, this travel pillow is a top pick for folks traveling to their destinations. It has cushioned memory foam wrapped in a soft, micro-suede cover that comfortably supports your head and neck as you rest.
Price: $21.25 and up on Amazon
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