With any road trip, you need a few things to make it a success. A sense of adventure, good snacks, company, and a destination. But don’t forget that it all starts with the car. You will be spending most of the trip in it, so make sure it has the right features.
Having the essential car accessories for a road trip can make the trip from normal to epic. Without them, it could lead to some of The Biggest Mistakes You Make on Vacation. Here are the must-haves for a long road trip.
This post was sponsored by cars.com. As always, my opinions are my own.
The Best Road Trip Accessories
Most people don’t consider the ruggedness when buying a car. But you should always ask yourself these questions first. What type of trip are you planning on taking? Will be traveling in areas that get snow?
Will you be transporting bikes, boats, or trailers? If you are sticking to the cities, a standard-size vehicle will do. But if you are looking to go on gravel roads, camping or in icy terrain, you’ll want a crossover or SUV.
Get a vehicle that comfortably fits your entire family. My husband and I rented a little KIA in Las Vegas and found it perfect for our trip. But I would never have put two kids in the back seat.
Part of a good road trip is making sure everyone is comfortable. If your back seat passengers are not happy, you are going to hear about it!
3. Back-Up Cameras
In my opinion, backup cameras should be standard on all cars, but for some reason, they aren’t yet. After having one, I wouldn’t live without it. A full-size rear view dash camera will give you a better field of view of your surroundings.
They will also give you a warning indicator if it senses something on your path. This comes in handy especially when you are navigating in areas that you are not comfortable with.
4. Bluetooth Connectivity
In some states it is illegal to be on a hand-held phone while driving. That is where the Bluetooth capabilities come in. It allows you to make hands-free calls while you can still focus on the road and the surroundings.
Bluetooth will also allow you to pull up your phone’s phonebook and audio playlists. So no more shuffling through CDs or looking for a new station. Check with your phone company to make sure it is compatible with your car.
5. Gas Mileage
One thing you’ll never be able to control is the price of gas. That is why I recommend getting a car with great highway mileage. You have so many different options to choose from, between electric, hybrid, and E85.
Look for cars that get over 30 mpg and you won’t be stressing out over finding a gas station on the road.
Never get lost again with a good navigation system. I used to think the phone capabilities were just fine. But after getting a vehicle with built-in navigation, it’s so much easier and less distracting.
The turn-by-turn information is right on the dashboard and I never worry about my phone falling off my lap or getting distracted looking down.
7. Charge Ports
You can never have enough charge ports. In the front or in the back, everyone wants to connect their devices. And today, it goes beyond the standard cigarette lighter adapters. Most cars have USB ports.
But the really nice cars have standard power outlets too. This is perfect for when you are camping, tailgating or just don’t have a USB option to power up your devices.
8. Adaptive Cruise Control
Cruise control has been around for a while but never like this. You set the speed but with Adaptive Cruise Control, the car will automatically slow down when it senses another car in your path.
No more hovering over the break. This reduces fatigue on the driver!
9. Blind Spot Assist
Blind Spot Assist will notify you if the car’s radar senses a vehicle in your blind spot. Some cars go a step further and will activate the breaks if it detects a vehicle in your blind spot.
A video may also display showing a live view of what’s beside you. It will even notify you if you are starting to veer over to the shoulder. This is great on a long road trip when you may be getting tired or if you get distracted by your surroundings.
10. Climate Control
My husband and I can never agree on a temperature for the car. He likes it to be colder while I like to be toasty warm. That’s why I love having the dual climate zone selected. We each pick our own comfort level and the car matches the desired temp.
Today cars are consistently coming out with new features to help you get to your destination in comfort. These road trip accessories will make all the difference in the world. Do you have a favorite feature you use all the time on the road? I’d love to hear about it.
If you’re looking for help choosing your very own road trip ready vehicle, head over to cars.com which is an awesome resource and full of info on all sorts of models.