It’s easy to make a long car ride more comfortable and seriously improve your experience with a few of the best road trip accessories. You don’t need to pimp your ride to upgrade!
In this article, I’m going to share 24 must-have car travel accessories for long drives. Let us know in the comments if there are any we’ve missed that are must-have items.
A few car gadgets and extras can lead to better entertainment and comfort during those long hours behind the wheel. A good selection of the best car accessories for road trips will do just that.
We’ve looked at the advantages and drawbacks of a wide range of products, as well as recommended some of our favorites.
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Best Road Trip Accessories
There are HUNDREDS of car gadgets and accessory options out there. We’ve trawled through and compiled a list of the most useful, so you don’t spend hours shopping.
Included in this best car travel accessories list are:
- Electronics to keep you connected on the go
- Camping accessories for nights out in the open
- Accessories for keeping your car organized
- Smart accessories to maximize comfort
- Useful items that make your journey safer
Whatever you’re looking for, this list of must-have road trip accessories has you covered.
Electronic Road Trip Accessories
1. Portable Battery Pack
We all know how annoying it is when your battery dies – it always seems to happen just as you need your device, right?
Be it your smartphone, your laptop, or your camera, a portable battery pack or power bank will ensure you always have enough juice on the road.
Aim for a high-capacity power bank with multiple USB outlets like the Anker 20000mAh Power Bank, so you can charge multiple electronics for a number of days.
2. Smartphone Car Mount
A smartphone car mount is an essential road trip accessory for those who want to use their phones while driving… and I don’t mean scrolling through Instagram.
A smartphone mount is perfect for hands-free calls, using your phone as a GPS, or simply skipping a song.
Certain models are designed to hold smartphones of all sizes, make it easy to install and remove your phone with one hand, and will even have wireless charging.
The iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless with QI wireless charging comes available as a dash/windshield mount, an Air Vent mount, and even a CD slot mount.
iOttie Easy One Touch Wireless Car Mount
For an even more impressive driving experience, the iOttie Easy One Touch Connect comes with built-in Amazon Alexa functionality.
With voice-controlled Alexa, you can ask for driving directions, play music, make calls, request an audiobook, hear the news, check the weather, control smart home devices and find parking spots, all without taking your hands off the wheel.
This really is one of the coolest car gadgets.
iOttie Easy One Touch Connect Car Mount
3. Dash Cam
Using a dash cam can give you peace of mind when you’re out on a road trip as they provide indisputable video evidence in the unfortunate case of an accident.
They can help protect you against false allegations, undisciplined drivers, and fraud.
What’s more, you can record your entire road trip with little effort (great for editing montages of beautiful roads)
There are many dash cams on the market with varying features, making it tough to choose a particular model.
Here is an awesome budget dash cam which is less than 100 dollars!
Check out our article on the Best Dash Cams out there, to help choose which one is best for you:
You might be thinking that a standalone GPS isn’t quite the road trip necessity it once was, but believe me, sometimes it is the way to go.
Should your journey take you off the beaten path (and out of signal), you might be happy to have a gadget with unwavering navigation. They can also help the social media addicts out there from being distracted by a cell phone.
Some models even offer helpful features such as driver awareness, to help you stay alert and focused.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 has pre-loaded maps galore, voice control, traffic re-routing, and yep… Amazon Alexa. Meaning you can do all that cool stuff we mentioned earlier without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road.
Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa
5. USB Car Adaptor
A USB adaptor means you can charge your electronics through the car as you go. Simply plug it into the lighter port and you’re off.
This is a road trip essential for anyone using their smartphone for GPS, music, etc. – especially if you have an older vehicle with no built-in USB port.
A model with dual USB ports and powerful output like the Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 (39W of power) lets you charge 2 gadgets simultaneously.
Anker PowerDrive Speed 2 Dual USB Car Charger
If you plan on camping during your road trip, be sure to check out our Complete Road Trip Camping Packing List so you don’t leave anything essential behind!
6. Rooftop Tent
A roof-top tent is the ultimate road trip camping accessory.
Not only does it free up space in the trunk, but it’s also far more luxurious and comfortable than a regular tent. It keeps you off the wet ground for a start!
This rooftop tent by Front Runner comfortably sleeps 2+ people. It’s made from Oxford 400D tent fabric that is strong, breathable, mold-resistant, and waterproof making it an awesome option for nights out in the open!
7. Back Seat Air Bed
A car-compatible air bed slots perfectly into the rear seat to make a comfortable double bed whilst on your road trip.
Now you can comfortably sleep in your car!
This HIRALIY inflatable car mattress is compatible with both SUVs and sedans and includes 2 pillows, a repair patch, and an air pump.
HIRALIY Inflatable Car Mattress
In my mind, this is one of the most underrated road trip accessories.
A simple head torch makes it so much easier to do anything at night, whether that’s sorting out an issue with your car or putting up a tent. A rechargeable one is even better, so you don’t need to carry spare batteries.
If you’re camping, ensure it’s in your road trip camping packing list!
Fenix HL60R – Rechargeable LED Headlamp Flashlight
Accessories for Organization/Storage/Cleanliness
9. Roof Cargo Box
A roof cargo box is an ultimate accessory for those with a lot of gear in their road trip packing list. You can effectively double your trunk space by moving larger awkward items to your roof.
The Thule Motion XT comes in 3 sizes and provides a minimum of 453L of extra space. It is easy to fit with a simple click system and has a secure automatic locking system.
Don’t compromise on the essentials you think you can’t fit in the car and get yourself some added cargo space.
10. Back Seat Organizer
If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you know how easy it is to lose things under the mountain of stuff in the car. A backseat organizer is perfect for keeping things neat and well-ordered during your trip, as well as keeping those in the back entertained!
The Lusso Gear Car Back Seat Organizer has 12 Compartments including an iPad Holder to keep your items organized and accessible.
Lusso Gear Car Back Seat Organizer
11. Car Vacuum
Keeping things clean while you’re on the road is not easy! You might have your furry friend with you, muddy gear comes in and out and you’ve probably had at least a few snacks in there! A portable car vacuum is a nice easy way to keep the inside of your vehicle spic and span.
The Tsumbay 5000PA Car Vacuum Cleaner can be plugged into your car lighter outlet and can pick up both wet and dry debris. It comes with additional nozzles for those hard-to-reach areas.
Tsumbay 5000PA Car Vacuum Cleaner
12. Air Purifier
With all the activities you do, eating in the car and muddy clothes, your car might not smell so fresh.
Keep the car smelling squeaky clean as you go and remove any in-car pollution with an air purifier.
The Airthereal Air Purifier eliminates up to 99% of harmful bacteria and has an integrated sensor that shows air quality.
13. Waterproof Rear Seat Cover for Pets
Your furry friend might be road tripping with you, but your car doesn’t have to suffer! A pet-proof rear seat cover will protect the interior of your car whilst ensuring your pet is comfortable.
Amazon Basics Waterproof Car Hammock Rear Seat Cover For Pets
Comfort Road Trip Accessories
14. Cooler Box
A cooler is an excellent road trip companion; it gives you the freedom to take foods that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to store. It is certainly one road trip accessory that will make your journey more comfortable.
The Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 keeps ice for up to 5 days.
Coleman 100 Quart Xtreme 5 Wheeled Cooler
Now you’re ready to fill your cooler, don’t forget your road trip food list!
15. Travel Pillow
A travel pillow is a great road trip accessory for passengers.
This Thermarest Compressible Pillow is ideal for anyone seeking comfort on the go. It offers all the support of home bedding in a small, convenient, and lightweight package.
Thermarest Compressible Pillow
16. Reusable Coffee Cup/Flask
Coffee is a road-tripper’s best friend, right? Although there are other ways to stay awake while driving, I certainly like to drink a lot of coffee when I travel. As such, a coffee flask is one of my favorite road trip accessories.
Did you know:
16 billion disposable coffee cups are used globally each year!
Be eco-friendly and take your own reusable coffee flask.
I personally love my 16oz Hydroflask Coffee Cup but there are loads of other great options out there.
And while we’re on this…
17. Reusable Water Bottle
Drinking enough water is important to stay healthy when traveling. Not only does it prevent dehydration, but it helps fight fatigue which can be a mood killer on long journeys.
The problem is, over 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were bought around the world in 2016! That’s a staggering one million plastic bottles every minute. If you don’t want to contribute to these statistics, a reusable water bottle is one of the most important road trip accessories.
There are plenty of options to choose from these days. Mashable recommends their 10 favorite bottles, and the list is pretty good.
If you’re interested in the impact you have when you go away, check out our top tips for eco-friendly travel!
18. Foldaway Picnic Blanket
A foldaway picnic blanket is the absolute road trip accessory for groups looking for epic picnics along the way.
There comes a point where everyone needs to get out of the car and stretch their legs, after all, and what better way than a picnic with a view.
The 4 person Nemo Victory Blanket is the ideal companion for everything from beach afternoons to roadside picnics and is super comfortable with a flannel top and waterproof bottom. What’s more, it’s easy to fold away and store, with integrated elastic straps.
19. Window Sun Protector
If you plan to road trip in a hot area, a sun protector for your windows is a helpful accessory. You might be spending a lot of time in the car, meaning you might want to keep the sun off you and out of your eyes.
Safety Road Trip Accessories
20. First Aid Kit
An essential in any road trip packing list.
Whether it’s a quick weekend camping or an epic journey through another country, a first aid kit is an absolute must. As a minimum this should contain band-aids, sterilizing wipes, bandages, scissors, pain killers and medication. I’d recommend buying one that is pre-packaged up like the one below so you know you have everything you need.
21. European Driving Kit
If you’re planning a road trip in Europe, there are certain guidelines you must follow and items you need to take. For example, when driving in France, you must carry a breathalyzer. The AA Euro Travel Kit has everything you need in one convenient pack.
Some of the contents include:
- Headlamp Beam Converters
- Hazard Warning Triangle
- Reflective Emergency Jacket
- European Driver’s Handbook
AA Euro Travel Kit
22. Ice Scraper
An ice scraper is a hugely important accessory for road trips in colder temperatures and should definitely feature in your Winter Road Trip Packing List. In winter conditions, your windows will freeze up overnight. An ice scraper will help you effectively remove this.
23. Jumper Cables
Jump leads are important safety road trip accessories. If your battery dies while you’re on the road, you’re going to need a boost to get going again!
Amazonbasics Jumper Cable for Car Battery – 4 Gauge, 20 Foot
Before your trip, ensure you can handle any eventuality. Our article on preparing your car for a road trip will help you through getting your car ready!
Even better than simply Jumper Cables…
24. Portable Auto Battery Booster
If you’re traveling a long way or anywhere remote, I strongly recommend you take a battery pack as well as jumper cables. Otherwise, you rely on someone else being around to help you!
The GOOLOO Car Jump Starter has enough power to jump-start most vehicles (Up to 7.0L Gas or 5.5L Diesel Engine) on the road.
Keep it charged and ready in case of an emergency!
GOOLOO Car Jump Starter
So there you have it. 24 of the best road trip accessories you need right now. But now it’s your turn.
Which road trip accessory is your favorite?
Or do you have something else you like to take on road trips with you?
Either way, leave a comment below and let us know!
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