As much fun as road trips are, they can leave you feeling disconnected. If you’re anything like me, you’re used to checking your e-mail every day and reading news stories via your Internet browser, some of which isn’t possible on a road trip unless you bring along a few handy gadgets. Plus, if you find yourself in a remote hotel with no cable television, a few electronic gadgets will help pass the time until you can hit the road again.
1- Laptop Computer
This one has become so common as to be obvious, but it’s easy to forget how much you rely on the Internet (not to mention your saved files) when you’re excitedly anticipating our road trip. Remember to bring along your power cord, wireless mouse, and any other gadgets that you’ll need to use with your laptop on the road.
2- Cell Phone
Whether you use the latest smart phone or a standard one, this is one of the best gadgets just for safety reasons, if not for convenience. You might need your cell phone if you find yourself stranded by the side of the road or if you need to meet up with a friend on the state line. Just don’t forget the charger (a car charger works well).
3- GPS Receiver
Wondering if you’ll make it to the closest gas station? Looking for a particular restaurant in a strange city? GPS receivers make finding your way around a road trip much easier, and can also increase your safety as long as you research your routes before you leave home.
4- Key finder
I bought one of these several years ago and it’s saved me a lot of stress and time. A key finder is one of the best gadgets for your next road trip because you don’t have to worry about searching for your car keys in a disheveled hotel room, or in a dark field when they’ve fallen out of your pocket. If you lose your keys, just click the key finder button and it will make noise and flash lights to help you find your lost keys.
Your cell phone might be equipped with a camera, but a separate camera will make your road trips more memorable. You’ll be able to take more pictures so your memories of the trip will stay fresh. Just don’t forget a spare battery and enough memory cards to last the whole trip.
6- Video Camera
These days, you don’t have to worry about gadgets taking up too much storage space on road trips. You can find mini video cameras that will fit in your pocket or the smallest compartment in your suitcase, and you’ll be able to preserve more than just still pictures.
7- Noise-Canceling Headphones
Road trips aren’t as much fun when you’re travel-mate snores in the sleeping bag next to yours. Noise-canceling headphones provide a good night’s sleep and the option to cut out all distractions regardless of where you are.
8- Media Players
You can’t have a road trip without tunes! I always keep my media player loaded with plenty of songs, and I stock up before road trips so I’m never without soothing music. You can listen no matter where in the world you travel, and you don’t have to rely on fuzzy radio stations or fragile CDs.
If you don’t feel like traveling with your laptop, or if your iPad is equipped with lots of essential apps, don’t leave on a road trip without it. Convenient apps from the Weather Channel, newspapers, and other media outlets will keep you connected regardless of where the interstate takes you.
10- Tire Pressure Gauge
The best gadgets to take on road trips are those that keep you safe as well as entertained. Don’t neglect the good-old classics in favor of shiny new toys. Tire pressure gauges are extremely handy on road trips when you can’t find a service station, and they’ll ensure your wheels maintain sufficient pressure to keep you mobile.