Top 6 Best Gadgets for a Road Trip

Taking a road trip provides unforgettable memories and allows you to see sites and places never thought possible. They bring people together to explore, bond and, of course, take amazing pictures. However, it’s important to stay safe, especially when traveling long distances. We’ve gathered some gadgets that will keep you safe, entertained and connected while in the car:

Best Road Trip Gadgets 2015

Photo: simone pittaluga

Safety Kit

Safety is perhaps the most important aspect of a road trip. To keep you and your car in good shape, an emergency roadside assistance kit is essential. Include items such as jumper cables, a first-aid kit, LED flare lights, a flashlight, a small took kit and pocket knife, but also check that your car has a tire jack and spare tire. Make sure the spare tire has plenty of air as well. Many retailers sell all-in-one safety kits, and prices average $30 to $40.

Mobile Wireless Internet

Not having an Internet connection can seem frustrating and a little scary. To keep connected, purchase a portable Wi-Fi router. This device provides Internet hot spots wherever you are, and many connect to multiple devices. They prove especially handy when in remote destinations in states such as Colorado, Idaho, Tennessee and Utah. Many cellphone and tech companies offer these products, and prices range from under $100 to $800, depending on features and needs.

Bluetooth and Satellite Phone

Driving laws differ from state to state, and driving while using your cellphone is a hazard to everyone on the road. In fact, in some states, such as California, it is illegal to talk and text while driving. A bluetooth headset keeps your hands free in case you have to take a call, and some states do allow them. However, to stay safe and avoid a ticket, it’s best to stay off the phone.

A satellite phone – or satphone – is good to have if traveling to places with spotty cell service. These phones connect to orbiting satellites instead of cell towers, giving you voice, messaging and some Internet access. Satphones provide extra communication and safety, ensuring you stay connected at all times. They range in price, but if you road-trip often, they serve as a good investment. Lowest price models sell for around $60, while average higher-ends sell for $1,500.

Best Road Trip Gadgets 2015

Photo: The Greater Southwestern Exploration Co.

Water Purifier

When road-tripping, camping or hiking, a portable water purifier is a must. The SteriPEN – priced about $50 – is designed to fit into commercial water bottles and allows users to safely drink from a tap or stream. LifeStraw also fits inside water bottles and allows you to drink straight from a stream or lake. Both gadgets use ultra violet light (UV light) to purify the water and remove bacteria and other contaminates.

Power Inverter

This gadget provides travelers with power outlets needed for most household appliances and equipment. A power inverter uses your car battery to power electrics such as lights and device chargers. Just plug it into the lighter socket or connect it directly to the battery to access electricity when needed. These range in price depending on wattage, but the average price for 500W costs under $50.

Portable Entertainment

Kids can become antsy during long trips, so bring the tablet or portable DVD player. A tablet headrest mount costs less than $20, and kids will enjoy playing apps, reading or streaming shows. For under $200, dual-screen portable DVD players will allow riders to watch their favorite movie or show without relying on an Internet connection. Siblings also appreciate this gadget because, as many parents know, they seldom agree on what to watch.

Looking for road-trip ideas? Read our picks for the best places for a fall road trip!