Best Gear Essentials for Long Road Trips
Road trips require a lot of time in the car as you move from place to place. Bringing along some road trip accessories that can keep you and other travelers safe and comfortable in the car is an excellent way to make sure everyone has a good time.
This list covers a wide range of car accessories and gear made for road trip adventurers to determine some of the best options to take with you on your journey.
Best Gear Essentials for Long Road Trips
The following are some of the best road trip accessories that lend a hand to safety, entertainment, and convenience on your next trip.
A first aid kit is an absolute necessity whenever you hit the road, especially on a long trip in your vehicle. This kit makes it easy for you to grab what you need with its full stock of 125 pieces of first aid essentials, like gloves, bandages, gauze pads, and alcohol wipes.
What makes this particular kit so great for your trip is that its compact case is just the right size to tuck away under a seat to avoid clutter inside. Still, everything packs neatly in the pockets of the case to keep it organized.
Long gone are the days of clunky GPS monitors sitting on your dash. Many modern vehicles come with GPS systems, but if your car doesn’t have one, you probably use your smartphone for mapping your route.
This handy cell phone holder adjusts to virtually any phone size to keep it up on your dash and out of your cupholders, center console, or hands. You can install it wherever you can see it best on your dashboard to make it easily visible without distracting you while you drive. A quick-release button makes it simple to remove your phone when you need to.
A backseat organizer is a necessity when you have passengers in the backseat – especially children. This organizer set comes with two so that you’ll have plenty of pockets to keep everything tidy in the rear of your car, from snacks to tissues to sunglasses.
These organizers even took into consideration tablets that your backseat passengers might use on a long trip. There’s a place to hold a tablet and slits for headphones and charging cables to keep them tucked away.
A vehicle breakdown is something no one ever wants to happen on a road trip, but there’s no telling when it might happen. Jumper cables should always be in a vehicle, even if you’re just making a quick trip to the store, but having a set on hand for a longer trip is a must.
This set is super compact, so it won’t take up any space tucked away in your trunk. Still, it has plenty of power to jump your vehicle and get you back on the move as soon as possible. There are even charging ports for your electronics, just in case they also need a boost on the trip.
Keep extras from cluttering the vehicle during travel with this cargo box that stores items on the roof away from the trunk or your car floors. This universal box is designed to fit most roof rack systems and doesn’t require any special tools or hardware to secure it.
Another excellent feature is that this storage box is UV-resistant, meaning that it won’t get damaged or warped from staying in the sun’s rays while you’re on the road. Still, it’s incredibly durable in the face of weather, flying rocks, and other issues that come your way on your adventure.
Does your vehicle have enough charging areas for everyone to keep their devices topped up on battery power? Even the newest cars often don’t come with more than a couple of USB ports or power outlets, which may not be enough on a road trip with a packed vehicle.
This charger plugs into a DC adapter to allow four devices to charge simultaneously with their USB cables. The LED light lets you know that your device is connected and charging. It’s compatible with many common devices, including iPhone and Android smartphones and tablets.
Making a stop at a rest area or portable restroom is often inevitable on road trips. These wipes can be a handy addition to your first aid stash when you need to go but may not have bath tissue readily available or just want to feel extra clean.
Not only do these wipes provide a convenient solution for restroom breaks, but you can also use them to refresh yourself after sitting in the car for hours or camping in the wilderness. Their large size makes them almost like portable, wet washcloths for a quick overall cleanse.
This insulated car console organizer doubles as a cooler and a regular organizer, depending on what you need it for. If you like to pack lunches to take with you on the road, you can use it as a cooler to keep drinks, sandwiches, condiments, and snacks cold until you’re ready to eat. You can even use it to keep food warm.
When you’re not using the organizer to store food, you can use it as a regular organizer to hold toys, pantry snacks, first aid items, and other goodies. It fits conveniently on a seat or in the back of your car, but when you’re not using it, you can fold it flat to keep it out of the way.
This mattress could become one of your new favorite camping hacks. Not into the tent life every night you camp? You could, instead, use this mattress. It fits conveniently in the rear of most SUVs with their back seats folded down for a little extra comfort and privacy. It’s also a good alternative to spending money on a hotel for a night of rest before you reach your destination.
This bed comes with an air pump to inflate it thoroughly in just a few minutes. Three separate air sections ensure that the mattress maintains its shape throughout the night.
10. Kids Travel Tray
If you’re traveling with kids, having activities on deck can make the trip a little more easy-going for everyone. This travel tray is the perfect size to fit over your child’s lap in the car while keeping a drink, books, and activities conveniently within their reach.
This activity center attaches with a strap around a car seat or booster seat to hold it in place. The tray, made with pockets and zippered pouches, has spots for everything to stay organized instead of scattered in the back of the car.
Not only does this collapsible trash can store all your waste in the car from your trip, but it’s compact and lightweight enough to also remove from the vehicle to use when you’re camping.
It’s not just a regular trash can that sits on the floor, either – although it could. Instead, you can use its included strap and buckle to attach it to the back of a seat, a door handle, or anywhere else that’s convenient for you while you’re on the road.
Camping tents don’t need to be large and cumbersome to put together. This tent lets you make a makeshift place to sleep right in the back of your SUV by attaching to its tailgate. Use it as a tent or a shady awning when you stop to rest. The mesh screen keeps you bug-free and safe from the weather.
Showering while traveling shouldn’t be something you need to worry about, and this handheld, portable shower ensures that you won’t. You can tuck this unit away in a backpack, charge it with a 5V power adapter, and use it whenever you’re in the mood to get refreshed.
All you need to operate this is a bucket and some water. The pump moves water through the hose and out the showerhead to give you a gentle, cleansing shower wherever you stop on your trip.
Whether you have work to do while you travel or need to stop for a bite to eat, this steering wheel desk can probably come in handy. Use it to store your laptop to check emails, as a makeshift dining table, or as a writing desk to jot down some notes.
This lightweight desk hooks around standard steering wheel sizes. When you’re done using it, store it under or behind a seat.
Have you found the perfect spot for a picnic lunch or a scenic place to snap some photos along your route? This compact pocket blanket will make for an excellent place to sit for an unplanned stop. It fits in a small, hand-sized bag with a clip that latches to your purse or backpack, but it unfolds into a blanket that can comfortably fit two adults.
This is also a handy addition to your first aid kit. The tear-resistant blanket can keep you warm if you need to make an emergency stop for a while.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whether it’s your first road trip or you’re a seasoned adventurist, you may have some questions to help guide your next road trip. Here are the answers to a few common questions and answers about car trips.
How can I make my car more comfortable on a road trip?
Many must-have road trip accessories can help you and your traveling partners stay comfortable on an extended road trip. From neck pillows to seat cushions, there are plenty of products on the market that target people like you who spend many hours in their vehicles to travel.
You can find car air purifiers that keep the air inside your vehicle fit for breathing. You might also choose to purchase a back seat organizer or console organizer to keep odds and ends tucked away instead of cluttering around your feet. A portable fan or heater can allow everyone a little bit of control over their personal temperature.
Do long trips hurt cars?
Long trips don’t necessarily hurt your vehicle any more than driving a few miles around town does. But putting lots of miles on your car frequently can make it depreciate faster and requires more frequent maintenance tasks, like purchasing new tires and changing the oil.
There are also some financial points to consider. Leased vehicles aren’t the best for road trippers because you can easily use more miles than allotted by your lease, causing you to pay per mile you go over. Your car insurance might also increase as your company catches on to how many miles you put on your vehicle.
You’ll need to decide if the wear and tear on your vehicle and financial implications are worth another long road trip. However, if you’re diligent about keeping up with maintenance tasks and taking care of your car, it’s likely to return the favor to you on your adventures.
What tools do I need for a road trip?
Tools are some of the most important car accessories that you’ll need for a road trip because they can come in handy during a breakdown or another emergency. It’s a good idea to keep road trip essentials, like jumper cables, a flashlight, a multi-tool, and tire change equipment, in your car at all times in addition to road trips.
A tire air compressor, a pocket knife, a set of screwdrivers and sockets, tire plugs, and a battery terminal cleaner can also be convenient to tuck away in the trunk in case you need them.
This post covers many safety-focused, convenient, and fun road trip essentials you should consider bringing with you in the car, but there are virtually endless gadgets that might cater to your needs. Don’t forget, though, that most car trips come with limited space, so try not to add car accessories that aren’t necessities to your road trip packing list.
Ready for Your Next Road Trip?
With this handy list of must-have road trip accessories, you’ll be ready for adventure. No matter where your next road trip takes you, you’ll feel prepared and even pampered on the way and once you arrive at your destination.