Road trips are a fantastic way to travel and see parts of the country you might never see otherwise – all from the comfort of your car. Since you spend a lot of time in your car, certain car accessories can help make your travels smooth. There’s only so much you can do when you’re literally strapped into a car seat, so it’s important to have all the essentials within reach, or at least somewhere in the car (or on it) so you can access them when you pull over.
Whether you’re going on a road trip for fun or out of necessity, there are plenty of road trip accessories to consider making your trip even more enjoyable.
What to consider when buying car accessories for a road trip
Passengers: The accessories you need will vary depending on who you’re traveling with, but in general things like a trash can, phone charger, and first aid kit are useful no matter who’s with you—if anyone. If you’re traveling with kids, having some things to keep them entertained and fed will make the trip much easier for everyone. The more people you have in the car, the less room you’ll have for all the luggage and stuff, so adding a storage space like a cargo box will add some surface area.
What you think you’ll need: In addition to one or more phone chargers to keep everyone occupied for the long haul, you may also find a speed camera detector useful as it can alert you to red light spots and speed cameras . , speed limits and police radar. A rear seat organizer can be useful to keep kids occupied, a snack holder that hangs between the two front seats is a convenient place to store snacks so everyone can reach them, and a travel trash can helps keep your car clean.
Budget: Travel accessories aren’t necessary to get you from A to B – they’re definitely a luxury, but that doesn’t mean you and your passengers don’t deserve something to make your car ride more enjoyable. Most of the accessories that can have a positive impact on your trip are pretty cheap, with tech-y items costing a bit more.
The Best Car Phone Charger
CHGeek Wireless Car Phone Charger
Not only will this Qi wireless car charger keep your phone charged on the go (and wherever you go), it’ll also hold it steady so you can look at a map or use your phone hands-free. in the car again. The device can be mounted on the dashboard or air conditioning vent. When you place your phone on the charger, it automatically clamps the phone to stay in place. Gently touch the side of the charger to open the sides. Once your phone is fully charged, the charger will turn off to protect your phone’s battery. It works with any standard phone case up to 6 millimeters thick and is compatible with many different phones including iPhone 11 Pro Max and Samsung Galaxy S20.
The Best Car Trash Can
Zone Tech Pop Up Vehicle Trash Can
As it turns out, you don’t have to toss your trash into your car’s center console or onto the floor—car trash cans do exist, and they’re small and ready to make your car ride easier. This pull-out litter box takes up minimal space in the front or back seat while providing plenty of space to store waste without having to empty it every day. It has a hanging loop to keep it in place, plus it’s collapsible and waterproof. It can also pull double duty as a place to store toys or other items.
The Best Car Refrigerator
Bodega Portable Car Cooler
Keep your drinks or food cold when you’re on the go with the Bodega 12 Volt Portable Car Cooler. The temperature can be controlled from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 68 degrees Fahrenheit via an iOS/Android smartphone app. In fact, you can even use the cooler’s handy USB port to charge your phone. The refrigerator can cool from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to 32 degrees Fahrenheit in 15 minutes and from 77 degrees Fahrenheit to -4 degrees Fahrenheit in 90 minutes. It comes with a built-in LED light so you can see what you’re reaching for in the dark. The cooler is available in three colors either 20 liters or 27 liters. It’s great for traveling, but it’s also perfect for camping or deck riding.
The Best First-Aid Kit
First Aid Only 298 Piece Emergency Kit
It is always a good idea to have a first aid kit in the car, especially for trips when you are far from home and otherwise would not have immediate access to bandages or other first aid items. This kit comes in a zippered cloth case with clear plastic pockets and contains cloth and plastic bandages, antibiotic ointments, antiseptic wipes, burn cream packets, aspirin, ibuprofen, gauze roll and pads, wound closures, cooling pack and many other emergency supplies . .
The Best Backseat Organizer
H Helteko Back Seat Car Organizer
Keep your backseat organized while giving your kids access to tons of road trip activities with this two-pack of backseat organizers. They hang on the back of the front seat(s) and allow your kids to store games, books, drinks, snacks, toys, tablets and anything else they might want on a long car ride. The organizer is held securely by straps so it always stays in place. It comes in two color options: black or gray.
The Best Travel Potty
Ikea Lilla Children’s Green Potty
When you gotta go, you gotta go—or at least that’s how it goes with toddlers. You don’t always have a toilet available on a road trip, so it’s probably in your best interest to have a travel potty on hand in case someone doesn’t keep it in the car. This small IKEA potty does not take up much space, is easy to use, easy to empty and easy to clean. When you travel, you can wipe it with a disinfectant wipe and then rinse with soap and water when appropriate. It measures 10.75 inches in length, 9.5 inches in width and 7 inches in height, making it best suited for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old.
The Best Snack Holder
Car Jazz Snack Holder
All journeys require snacks, and with the Car Jazz Snack Holder you finally have a convenient place to store them. The mesh holder has two large pockets for food and drinks. It can be hung on both front seats and hung between them, making it accessible to both front and rear seat passengers. The net also acts as a dog barrier, so your dog doesn’t jump into the front seat while driving.
The Best Radar Detector
Escort Max 360 Laser Radar Detector
This radar detector is one of the best on the market. It features long-range front and rear antennas that search for threats in all directions, while built-in filtering minimizes interference. In other words, it is reliable. It connects to the Escort Live driver community so you can stay up to date with what’s going on around you and offers drivers real-time alerts on traffic light and speed camera locations, speed limits, police cameras and more.
The Best Rooftop Cargo Box
SportRack Vista XL Cargo Box
Cargo boxes can be quite pricey, but the SportRack Vista XL is on the lower end of the spectrum while being efficient, robust, and well worth the money. It offers an interior capacity of 18 cubic feet, giving you extra room to load luggage or other gear for your travels. It has a rear opening and comes with a lock and key to secure your items inside the box and secure the box to the stand. The cargo box fits SportRack systems, square bars, round bars and most factory racks – but you should check the fitment guide before buying to be sure.