However, making sure your road trip is fun and smooth takes a lot of forethought, from having your car inspected down to equipping your car with all the right accessories. That’s why we’ve created this list of our favorite road trip accessories and reviewed them for quality, long-term value, and price point.
First up, we have an essential accessory that should be in every car during a road trip: a jump starter box. There’s no worse vacation-killer than a dead car battery when no one is around to give you a jump. Investing in a jump box can prevent you from getting stranded by a dead battery, keeping you safer and reducing time delayed by this common incident.
The Clore Automotive Jump-N-Carry is a reasonably priced jump starter box (~$131.59) that our guys in the shop use to jump the cars they’re working on. This essential accessory item recommendation is coming from our own experience of trial-and-error, and by far this is the best option we’ve found so far.
Before purchase, make sure that your car’s battery is 12-volts, as this model won’t work with a 6 volt car battery.
If you have a slow leak or your tire’s air pressure depletes while you’re on the road, having an electric tire pump can be your best friend until you can get to a mechanic. Driving on a flat tire can reduce fuel efficiency and wear your tires unevenly, so having a portable tire inflator at the ready is always a good idea.
The Chant Power Cordless Tire Pump goes for about $60 and can pay for itself in time saved and ease-of-use.
Gotta keep the group entertained! Having a headrest mount that hangs behind the driver or passenger seats is a convenient way to make watching movies or streaming episodes more enjoyable. No one wants to be craning their neck down or holding their arm up for hours in the car, which gives this simple investment item an immediate value on your next road trip, and the next!
The TFY Universal Car Headrest Mount is an adaptable, silicon-based holder that can accommodate both phones or tablets, affordably priced at $25.
Road Trip Tip: Pre-downloading your entertainment content prevents streaming lag and doesn’t burn up data in roaming areas. If there will be multiple people on your road trip, try asking them all to download their favorite content too, so you’ll have a variety of entertaining content for everyone.
Electronics like phones, tablets, and computers are often necessary for navigation or for checking in at home or work. However, most older cars don’t have multiple charging port types available like newer cars do, so a portable power inverter is necessary for long road trips.
The BESTEK Power Inverter can plug right into your car’s auxiliary power outlet and has multiple plug-in options for your electronics, for only around $36.
Sometimes the empty tissue box trick won’t cut it as your car’s garbage can during a long road trip. Having a trash can with a lid and made of leak-resistant material can prevent gross smells or liquids from spilling out into your car, so if you’ll be having any meals in your vehicle it’s definitely worth your investment.
The HOTOR Car Trash Can is very adaptable, even being useful for other organization purposes after your road trip is over. Goes for less than $14 on Amazon.
We’ve all done it - dropped your phone or something else important (or food, let’s be honest) in the cracks around your seat. But say goodbye to that irritation, because we’re about to introduce you to our absolute favorite life-hack product!
The Drop Stop is a simple car accessory that keeps phones, money, food, and anything else you can think of from being lost to the “Carmuda Triangle” around your driver and passenger seats. Value of $25 on Amazon.
No one enjoys a road trip with an untreated injury, so bringing along a high-quality first aid kit is an essential car accessory.
The General Medi 2-in-1 First Aid Kit comes with 258 pieces, from saline washes to tweezers. This kit includes a larger 215-piece kit and a small, portable 43-piece mini-kit, which is perfect for road trips out into nature. Less than $30 on Amazon.
Your passengers will probably be taking a snooze in the car at some point, so keep travel-sized pillows and any other sleeping accessories within reach. Sunglasses and window shades can also prevent eye strain when the sun is particularly harsh or angled toward you, so don’t forget to pack those for everyone on the trip.
Even if you’re not someone who usually has an air freshener in their car, you might want to consider it for a road trip with more than one person. You’ll probably be passing farm animals, and for sure someone will be passing gas in your car, so the fresh scent of pine (or whatever scent you like best) is sure to be appreciated many times over.
The #1 underrated in-car essential is the tissue box. From runny noses to random wiping needs, someone's bound to need a tissue at some point. You won't notice it being gone when you don't need it, but you sure will miss it when you do.
Have you had your car looked over top-to-bottom? Extended periods of driving can potentially damage cars that are not road trip ready. Our Summer Road Trip Car Inspection Checklist is a helpful guide in assessing your vehicle before it takes you on your next adventure.