Road Tech Gear
Click here for 2019’s best on the road tech gear to take with you on your next road trip! Road trips, from day trips to months-long adventures, are back — but did they ever really go out of style?
Today’s rising road trip popularity is due in part to modern technology. It’s easier and less expensive than ever before to hit the road, see the sights, and have tons of fun. Your favorite maps app ensures you’ll never get lost, while Yelp reviews can help you find the best eateries along the way.
With even cooler road tech, you can elevate your road trip experience that much more. Wondering what auto gadgets to buy? I’ve put together my favorite travel gear that you should pack alongside your snacks and mix CDs. Keep reading before you hit the road!
1) Multiple-Port Car Charger:
A car charger is definitely one of those “well, duh” items for a modern road trip. You don’t want to be navigating unfamiliar territory with a dead phone, after all.
However, fighting over who gets to charge their phone next can get old. Solve this problem with a multi-port charger that can handle lots of devices at once.
You don’t have to stop at two ports: there are some great four-port car chargers that will keep everyone’s phone topped up. Best of all, these chargers often don’t cost more than $10 or $15.
A dashcam is a great way to stay safe from incidents on the road. Having a record of crashes or other mishaps will make a big difference in an insurance claim, for example. Since a road trip involves so many hours on the road, this is a nice added safety bonus that won’t distract you while you’re driving.
3) LCD Screens:
Offering entertainment to the people in the back seat can help keep the peace on the road, whether your passengers are adults of kids.
You can buy replacement headrests with built-in screens that will play movies, video games, and other entertainment on the road. Suddenly, no one will be fighting over who gets to sit “shotgun” anymore!
4) Phone Mount:
Many states don’t allow handheld phone use. But even if the states you’re driving through permit it, holding your phone while you navigate on the road can get exhausting. Buy a simple mount to keep your phone where you can easily see it and use it hands-free.
5) Aux Cable:
Road trips are all about the music you play. You can use wireless technology most of the time. But for those who aren’t quite up with the times, you’ll want to bring a compatible aux cord so you can get music from the phone to the car stereo.
6) Bluetooth Tracker:
Losing your keys is never fun. But if you lose your keys, phone, or any other important item on a road trip, it can throw you into a panic. Your precious item could be far behind you at the last rest stop. Or you might be stranded outside of a locked car miles away from a locksmith.
A Bluetooth tracker can help you find whatever you lost faster. These devices can be attached wherever you want them most, and linked to your most important items so you’ll know just where they are, even if your phone is on silent.
7) Camera and Printer:
Sure, anyone can take photos on their phone these days. But there’s something old-fashioned and fun about a digital camera. Even better if you can print out the photos as soon as you take them!
There are a number of affordable camera-slash-printers on the market today. They offer a high-tech version of the joy everyone got from Polaroid pictures. With these cameras, you can often edit or crop the photos before you print them out. You’ll be able to see and create keepsake photos in real-time along your trip. You can even leave fun photos with people you meet along the way as a memento.
8) Portable Charger:
Your road trip won’t be entirely spent in the car. If you stop to camp or sightsee, make sure you bring a portable charger that’s battery powered, so you won’t be scrambling to find a diner that will let you charge your phones.
Many battery-powered chargers can charge a phone more than once before running out, and they can often charge your phone super-fast too. While you won’t want to rely on this as your main source of charging, it can be a crucial backup solution.
9) Radar Detector:
Nothing can kill the fun quite as fast as a speeding ticket. Although you want to be safe while you drive, and avoid speeding as much as you can, a radar detector can help take the stress out of watching your speed. Learn more here about choosing the best radar detector.
10) High-Tech Cooler:
Would it really be a road trip without a cooler to chill your drinks and snacks?
Today’s coolers have come a long way from low-tech plastic and styrofoam. Now you can find coolers that plug into your car’s outlet to keep things properly refrigerated at the perfect temp. You can also turn these coolers into warmers with the flick of a switch. With this cool tech, your road trip fare just leveled up.
11) Portable Shower:
If space allows, a portable shower might be just the thing to keep you feeling fresh on your road trip. Since you’ll be traveling in close quarters with other people, the chance to stay clean even when you’re far from running water will be much appreciated!
What Road Tech Will You Pack?
Some road trippers prefer a low-tech, old-fashioned approach. Others want to travel with every cool gadget they can get their hands on. No matter where you fall on this spectrum, there’s some road tech on this list that can help your trip be everything you want.
Not sure where to pick for your final destination? San Diego is a perfect place to road trip to — check out our guide to fun things the city has to offer.