Looking for the most useful road trip accessories for your next adventure? I’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide.
There are a few items that can make your road trip more enjoyable, though the first and most important accessory you will need is a map of the area in which you’re traveling.
It’s also wise to pack some type of survival gear, such as flares and water purification tablets, in case you get stranded or lost on the side of the road for an extended period of time.
Also, be sure to pack plenty of snacks and drinks for when you start getting hungry or thirsty during your journey!
HOW MUCH DOES A ROAD TRIP COST?
The cost of a road is relative to the place you’re leaving from and the country. If you’re planning to travel around Australia, the costs will be much different than in the U.S.
In the States, the national average price per gallon is $3.30 and tends to be cheaper on the East Coast than on the West Coast.
Also, if you’re planning to visit national parks on the way, make sure to get your annual National Park Pass for $80 and save some cash.
Moreover, if you plan to rent a car rather than use your own, that will certainly increase your budget.
As a general rule of thumb, a road trip will cost you around $150 per day considering gas, food, accommodation, or other personal requirements like buying souvenirs on the way.
HOW CAN I MAKE MY ROAD TRIP INTERESTING?
A road is fun and interesting per se, but there will, of course, be moments of boredom like when you’re stuck in a traffic jam or riding on a highway for hours with no cool stuff around. The positive note is that there are ways to make your road trip interesting at all times.
First and foremost, you’ll want to make a clear itinerary. For instance, if you’re preparing for a road trip around Switzerland or Cuba, make sure to include some local spots to visit right off the highway every 40 miles or so.
Or, if you’re in Mexico and willing to do a road trip from Tulum to Nayarit, for example, make sure to do some research on the coolest attractions on the way.
Apart from that, create a playlist that both you and your friends love in order to sing along together and make the most of your time.
Also, a Kindle is one of the best things to bring on a road trip as you’ll be able to read some interesting books along the way.
THE MOST USEFUL ROAD TRIP ACCESSORIES
What’s not to love about a road trip? You can see the sights, get off the grid and you don’t have to worry about getting lost. Still, there are some things that should be planned out before you hit the open road.
Here are the 17 most useful and important road trip accessories that you should bring with you.
SMARTPHONE CAR MOUNT
A Smartphone Car Mount will help to keep your hands free and avoid any accidents while you’re on the road. The mount can be easily installed in seconds and with no tools required.
With a 360-degree rotation for portrait or landscape views, it’s much safer and more comfortable than having it in your hands while driving or asking a friend.
I personally recommend the iOttie Easy One Touch – built with heavy-duty materials that won’t scratch your phone, designed to fit most vehicles, and with an adjustable bottom that will make it more comfortable to reach.
What are you waiting for? If you want to make your next road trip even better, then get your hands on a smartphone car mount, one of the best road trip gadgets, right now!
A GPS is just as obvious as it is underestimated and can make your long road trips much easier. There are many benefits to having a GPS on a road trip, and not just by saving you from getting lost!
First of all, if your smartphone battery dies, then you’ll have a good option and won’t need to worry if you have no time to stop to charge it. Also, if you want to stop for gas or food, you don’t have to worry about looking up an address because it will tell you exactly where it is.
You can plan out your whole road trip ahead of time with directions on the screen so that when you arrive at your destination, nothing feels overwhelming or complicated. It’s also useful if there’s traffic in the area as you’ll know which route is quickest and which ones might take longer than expected.
Of course, installing Google Maps on your phone is a free and valid alternative. But, in case you don’t have access to the internet, if you have no network or no more battery, you’ll have no other choice than to charge it, which isn’t always possible on a road trip.
The Garmin Drive 52 and Traffic is your best bet. It has millions of points of interest, TripAdvisor ratings, real-time traffic maps, and is small enough to be used in any vehicle. The price is very affordable too, which is certainly something to consider.
A rooftop tent is an excellent option for anyone who likes to camp and doesn’t want to be bothered with any of the traditional camping equipment.
The key benefits compared to a normal tent are the ease to set up and the lightweight. Also, you won’t need to find a precise spot since the tent is placed on your car’s roof.
In addition, this is simply the greatest accessory to sleep in your car comfortably.
With all the rooftop tents available on the market, I’d personally choose the Smittybilt Rooftop Tent by far. It’s compact, easy to set up, all the tools come with the package, it’s made of high-quality and durable materials and it rests securely on top of your car.
A rooftop tent is one of the best car accessories for road trip you can get.
A power bank is a must-have for your next road trip. It’s essentially a portable battery that can charge your laptop, phone, or other devices as you travel from one place to another. They’re lightweight and come in all different shapes and sizes so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Do you want to have the freedom to use your electronics without having to worry about running out of battery? Then it’s time you invested in a power bank!
The Anker PowerCore+ is a tiny, portable lithium battery with 3 USB connections. It charges quickly and can get your MacBook fully charged in 2 hours. On top of that, you’ll get the equivalent of 6.2 charges for an iPhone, 5.5 charges for a Samsung phone, and 1.2 charges for a MacBook Pro.
Needless to say, a portable charger is one of the most useful road trip accessories to carry.
REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE
It’s always important to stay hydrated while you’re on the road but it isn’t always easy, especially with no gas stations around or when you’re in the middle of nowhere. This is where a reusable water bottle comes in and saves the day.
With 500,000 plastic bottles produced every minute in the world, you’ll also save the environment and that’s a great cause.
But with so many bottled water companies out there, it can be tough to know which one is the best for you. The best one you can get is the Brita Plastic Water Filter Bottle. With 26 ounces of water and its filter, it is simply the best option to consider as a road trip accessory.
ROOF CARGO BOX
One of the biggest concerns when going on a road trip is storage, especially if the vehicle isn’t big or when traveling in 4 or more people. The only way to make these trips possible is by packing light and taking advantage of every single inch of your vehicle’s space.
However, there are many different ways to make sure you have enough room for all your items, even when they’re bulky or heavy, by investing in a roof cargo box. Spend less time trying to figure out how you’re going to fit everything inside, and more time enjoying your trip with this useful road trip accessory.
The MeeFar Car Roof Bag XBEEK is one of the best roof cargo boxes you can invest in. It comes in 2 sizes – 15 and 20 cubic feet and can simply be mounted using two basic techniques and includes a secure automatic lock system that is simple to use.
Don’t give up everything you don’t need for the sake of more cargo space in your vehicle. The MeeFar box is simply one of the best road trip accessories that you’ll quickly fall in love with.
USB CAR ADAPTOR
A USB car adaptor is one of the most important road trip accessories to take on a long journey. Charging your device on the go can be a hassle.
Sure, while other accessories such as a power bank make it easier, you just can’t compare it with a USB adaptor. With a USB car adaptor, you can plug in just as easily as if you were home!
This is an essential product for any driver that uses his smartphone for music and navigation. A model with two USB ports and powerful output like the Anker Car Charger lets you charge 2 gadgets concurrently.
Also, with over 40,000 reviews on Amazon, it goes without saying that the Anker Car Charger is the one that will back you up at all times on the road.
It’s affordable, compatible with most devices, and ultra-compact. All things considered, it’s one of the most useful road trip gadgets you should get.
There are several benefits to bringing a car vacuum on your road trip. To start with, it’s normal to get some breadcrumbs or general dirt in your car when traveling. Of course, this can get you in a bad mood for the day and that’s something you just don’t want.
This is where your brand new car vacuum comes in handy. It keeps your car clean, it removes the dirt from seats, floor, and other places that are hard to reach.
The VARSK 4-in-1 Car Vacuum Cleaner can be powered by a vehicle lighter outlet and it removes both dry and wet waste.
It includes extra needle points for difficult situations and it will also assist you in removing moist and stinky objects from your car.
Lastly, it can also inflate your wheels and brush your air filters and all these features make it some of the most useful road trip gear for less than $100.
REUSABLE COFFEE CUP
Coffee is one of the most beloved beverages around the world and for good reason. It’s an excellent way to start your day off with some fresh energy, but it can also be a day saver when you’re on the go – especially if you’re tired of driving for long hours.
But what happens when you have no gas stations around or local stores? That’s where reusable coffee cups come in handy. With so many options available these days, it will never be more convenient than this to take your favorite beverage on the road with you.
A reusable coffee cup like the BPA-free bioGo Cup is your safest choice. It will keep your coffee as well as drinks hot for hours which is ideal on a road trip.
In addition, it has an appealing design with multiple colors available. Needless to say, you won’t be sleepy anymore on the road with such a great item.
BACK SEAT ORGANIZER
One of the secrets of a peaceful trip is organization. A back seat organizer can come in handy when you’re on the road for a long period of time. These organizers are designed to keep your car neat and tidy, which will make it easier to find things when you need them.
Plus, if your kids have a meltdown – you’ll be able to put all their little toys in one place so they stop throwing them all over the place.
The Tsumbay Car Backseat Organizer with Tablet Holder comes with 3 large compartments including one tablet holder to watch cartoons, movies, or read a book on a Kindle. The backseat racks are designed so the organizer is perfectly set up and organized while out driving your car.
It’s simply one of the best road trip accessories to keep your car tidy, organized, and to ensure a better journey.
A cooler box is the perfect travel accessory for a road trip. This will help keep your food and drinks fresh and icy cool for as long as you might need them to.
You can stop worrying about your perishable items spoiling and you won’t have to spend money on stopping at convenience stores either! This mobile fridge will make all of your road trip dreams come true.
The Coleman Rolling Cooler has capable of holding up to 95 cans and keeps ice for up to 5 days. The Coleman Cooler is a fantastic traveling companion.
You have the option to eat whatever you please because you’re not restricted to one location or simply keep your drinks cold for the days to come. I can’t recommend getting a cooler box enough and it’s certainly one of the best accessories for a road trip.
A travel pillow can make all the difference when you’re on the road for hours and hours. These pillows are designed to be comfortable, supportive, and compact-making them perfect for any traveler who wants to sleep soundly at night. If you want the best sleep of your life, then these pillows will help!
The Thermarest Compressible Pillow is great for people who want to feel the same comfort that they do at home. It’s a small, portable pillow that offers all of the support of a bedroom pillow without taking up too much room or weight.
For travelers looking for comfort on the road, it’s an excellent travel buddy.
BACK SEAT AIR BED
A back seat air bed can be useful for travelers on the road that want to take a rest or save money on a hotel. A back seat air bed will provide you with all of the support your body needs while you travel.
The SAYGOGO Inflatable Car Air Mattress is your best travel companion and is overall one of the best road trip accessories you should get for trips longer than a few days.
It has a leak-proof design, it’s adaptable to the back seat or to the half-trunk, and comes with the car air pump as well as 2 pillows.
MIRROR DASH CAM
The WOLFBOX 12″ Mirror Dash Cam Backup Camera is another one of the must-have road trip accessories but also for daily use.
This mirror dash cam will keep you safe on the road with high-quality recording and touch screen features that make it easy to focus on the road ahead.
The touchscreen allows you to change settings without taking your hands off of the wheel. Plus, this model has a built-in microphone that can be used to broadcast messages or music from your phone.
The WOLFBOX has a unique double SONY camera system – front and rear – to keep you as safe as possible. For a safer parking lot experience, it can be equipped with a G sensor and a parking monitor.
We liked the capability of recording in 1296P Full HD quality, as well as the 12-inch display. Naturally, while this is one of the best items to bring on a road trip, it is also extremely useful on a daily basis when commuting to the office or driving around town.
FOVAL CAR POWER INVERTER
Another great product to invest in is a power inverter that can be used for powering up devices like laptops and cellphones while you’re on the go.
This means you won’t have to worry about running out of battery or waiting until you reach your destination before being able to charge up. You’ll be able to enjoy your time in the car without interruption and you’ll feel so much more relaxed.
Of course, a portable charger and a USB car adaptor are great solutions, but a car power inverter is simply one of the road trip accessories you must have on your trip.
The Foval Car Power Inverter, which is 300 watts and with 2 USB ports and 2 AC outlets, is only 5.1 inches tall and just as big as a credit card. The FCC authentication built-in on this charger will protect the equipment from overheating, overloading power surges, and short-circuiting.
So go ahead and get your hands on one of these now, it’s some serious road trip gear under $30.
ALL-PURPOSE FIRST AID KIT
The Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit can come in handy during a road trip. This first aid kit is designed to help you stay safe on the go, so they have everything they need to respond to emergencies.
It includes a variety of useful items – from gauze, bandages, and scissors for wounds, to adhesive tape for sprains and burns.
The kit also contains remedies for pain relief as well as sterilized alcohol wipes that can be used as an antiseptic or eye cleaner. Plus, this first aid kit comes with a shoulder strap that makes it easy to carry around!
The Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Compact First Aid Kit has a total of 140 pieces and it comes with medications that will be useful in all situations.
2-IN-1 STEERING WHEEL TRAY
The XERGUR Auto Steering Wheel Tray is a clever solution for those who are looking for a way to stay productive while on the go.
As you can see, this desk is designed to attach to the steering wheel of your vehicle or the back of the headrest. The sleek design also includes support to place your tablet or laptop.
Of course, it’s a great accessory to eat while watching some videos on YouTube or calling your loved ones. All things considered, it’s one of the unique car accessories for road trip you can’t leave home without!
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
MORE PRODUCT GUIDES
If you are planning a road trip or an international adventure, be sure to check out these other product guides that will make your life easier abroad:
- 9 Best Canon Travel Lenses
- Best Camera Gear For Travel
- 9 Must-Have Camera Accessories For Photographers
- Best Affordable Camera For Landscape Photography
So there you have it – a complete guide on the 17 most useful things to purchase when looking for what to bring on a road trip.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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