A big road trip has always been a big deal for motorists, and it's never been more of a mission than it is in modern times. As times change, so do the essentials we need to pack for that mammoth journey. Out with the massive road atlas, in with the tiny sat nav or app on your mobile! Let's have a look at some of the essential gadgets and gizmos that you'll need for the big journey.
Tyre Pressure Gauge
Some of us are lucky enough to have an automatic tyre pressure monitoring system fitted to the car which keeps an ear out for sudden changes in pressure, but for those who don't a tyre pressure gauge is essential. As part of the checks you should be making before you set off on a long journey (tyres, washer fluid, lights and similar), tyre pressures should be one of the first things to check. Do it before you go, while the tyres are still cold, to make sure you get an accurate reading. But keep it in the car just in case there's a problem while on the road. Thame Cars offer a FREE vehicle health check.
This checks the essential components of a vehicle. Many of our customers choose to have this before a road trip. Read more about our Vehicle Health Check here!
Mobile Phone Holder
Your mobile phone can be a lifeline while out on the road, to use for your favourite music, hands free phone calls or to use as a sat nav. Whether you've got a sat nav app installed (we recommend Waze), or you just use Google maps, it could prove very useful in the event of an unexpected traffic jam or diversion.
So why not add a mobile phone holder to keep it in view if you need it? Mobile phone holders can be fitted to the air vents or by suction mount to the windscreen. Having a mobile phone holder also removes the temptation to hold your phone in your hand. While it's useful to see your phone screen for your sat nav, don't be tempted to use it for messages or social media while on the move!
This mobile phone holder is currently one of Amazons top choices!
If you're using your mobile phone as a sat nav then it could sap the energy from your phone battery surprisingly quickly, so keep a charger in the car. Of course, you might find your passengers want to charge all their gadgets too, so why not get a power adapter that lets you charge or run several electrical devices in one go? These will usually plug into your car's cigarette lighter socket and connect via a multi USB input to make them easy to use.
We've all been on those long, boring journeys where there's nothing exciting on the radio. Or you're serenaded with the constant "I'm bored!" or "Are we there yet?" from the kids in the back seat. So, with a bit of preparation, you can keep yourself and the family happy as you count down the miles. Download some podcasts, audio books or new music albums to your mobile phone and play them on the journey. Or perhaps you could even get a portable DVD player and a selection of DVDs to play for the kids in the back, to keep them occupied.
If you're setting off for a long trip during the summer, then there's no point chucking your bottle of cold drink or a fresh sandwich on the passenger seat, because they won't stay cold or fresh for long. Pack your food into a cool bag ahead of the trip, and pop in an ice pack to keep everything nice and cool for the moment you need some refreshments. Equally, if you're going to drive during winter, a thermos flask of coffee, tea or soup might keep you warm when you need it most.
Breakdown Kit Checklist
Before a long road trip, it is essential to pack a few items to help you stay as safe and well prepared as possible in the event of an emergency. High visibility jackets are vital, as if you need to leave your vehicle in the dark, these will help you be seen by other motorists. Jump start cables will help get the battery going if it runs flat. Food and drink are the last essential items you should pack. The prospect of being abandoned at the roadside without any food or drink is a very gloomy one.
Here’s an example of an AA Breakdown Kit, rated as one of Amazons Choices.
We would always recommend having breakdown cover - which you can find out more about here.
These are just a few ideas of things you can do to make those long journeys more enjoyable, or at the very least a bit more bearable! There are plenty of gadgets on the market to help keep you connected and entertained while on the move.