These Gadgets Make Road Trips Easier

Road trips are still just as popular as ever despite high gas prices. Gone are the days of printing maps and MapQuest directions on multiple sheets of paper. Check out some of the items below, like a dashcam, voice-activated infotainment system upgrades, and a portable jump-starter to make your next road trip easier.

A dashcam is a good idea for a road trip, for memories, and for security

Your next road trip might need a dashcam
A dashcam mounted on a car windshield | Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

According to this list by AARP, a dashcam is a good investment before heading off on a road trip. A dashcam (or a dashboard camera) records the road around you in case of any accidents. In some cases, a hit-and-run driver might take off, but the dashcam can capture the vehicle or license plate if that happens. Additionally, the video from a dashcam might record an accident that can be used for insurance.

Additionally, a dashcam can simply record your road trip for memories. You can watch it back after you return home for fun. Having a dashcam adds another layer of security while on the road.

Garmin Dash Cam Mini: $129

Voice-activated infotainment systems make road trips easier

RELATED: These Are Some of the Best Driving Roads in America

While many new cars have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, not all cars might have this set up. For the most part, phones will connect with cars pretty seamlessly but not all the time. Make sure you set up the voice-activated features before heading off on your road trip. There will likely be a Voice/Speech button on the steering wheel to get it set up.

You can say “Hey, Siri” to initiate the voice activation in some cases. You can ask Siri to read your texts or start navigation to a destination. You can also ask it to play your favorite song on a streaming service without taking your eyes off the road.

Amazon has an Echo Auto device you can plug into your car for $19.99

A vehicle-specific emergency kit can be a good buy

While it is a good idea to have bandaids and other first aid items on hand, a vehicle-related emergency kit is also a good buy. A battery booster or jump starter can help jump-start a dead car battery anywhere you might be. A multi-function jump starter will also be able to charge things via USB power like a phone or another small device.

DeWALT 1400 Peak Amp Portable Car Jump Starter with Digital Compressor: $159

Preparing ahead of time can save you a lot of time in the future if you run into trouble on the road. It is good to check your AAA subscription (if you have one) before you head out. Check your tires and make sure all four are in good shape. It is also good to check your windshield wipers and get an oil change if you are getting close.

RELATED: Consumer Reports on How to Decode Tire Size and Other Data