These gadgets could make or break your next road trip

Tools for the road that can improve the riding and driving experience with every mile. (Dreamtime/TNS)

ATLANTA – Crumbs, smells, discomfort – they can all ruin a great family road trip. For children, sitting in a vehicle for hours can be intimidating. For parents who are unprepared, a road trip can be derailed by gas station stops for last-minute supplies. Make sure your road trip doesn’t cut short the family fun on your vacation by preparing for the big drive.

Here are a number of different items that can enhance the riding and driving experience with every mile.

Voice activation of your space

Music and movies are a must on road trips, but they can be dangerous. Removing your hand – and your attention – from the steering wheel can spell tragedy down the road.

Keep your family safe and your record clean by using Apple’s Car Play or Android Auto systems to voice-activate your vehicle’s entertainment center.

1. Plug your phone into your vehicle’s dashboard.

2. Activate the Car Play or Auto function from your phone.

3. If your vehicle has a voice-to-speech button, press it. Alternatively, say “Hey, Siri” for iPhones or “Ok, Google” for Androids to activate voice activation.

radar detector

To further increase your driving safety, consider purchasing a radar detector. A high quality radar detector is equipped with GPS to help you find your destination in areas with spotty phone service. The detector will also keep you informed of what’s ahead – traffic lights, speed limit changes, traffic – ensuring your road trip is as efficient and safe as it is fun.


For children, long car journeys can be intimidating. It can be difficult to stay in one place for hours without being distracted. Entertain your children by purchasing a tablet and installing a collection of kid-friendly games.

Gel seat cushions

Sitting in one place for hours can become uncomfortable, especially for people who suffer from back pain. Relieve stress from your body and mind from discomfort by providing a quality gel seat cushion that better supports your spine.

Using a gel seat cushion will help ensure that you are not only comfortable for the journey to your vacation spot, but that you are also ready and able to move freely and have fun. when you reach your destination.

car diagnostic scanner

Several miles from home, the last thing you want to worry about is a broken down car. So it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in top condition before the rubber hits the road.

Bringing your vehicle to a local mechanic shop can be expensive and time-consuming, but there is another way. A car diagnostic scanner, which can be purchased online or at many auto parts retailers, will allow you to check your car’s engine, ABS, airbags, and other features in real time. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road before every vacation trip.


With the whole family inside, your vehicle may begin to give off a unique aroma after some time on the road. Consider buying a high-end air freshener to keep it smelling great the whole way.

Regular air fresheners can be helpful in a pinch, but consider using an essential oil diffuser for a more relaxing and long-lasting effect.

Emergency kits

Although your family will hopefully never need one, an emergency kit is essential for any road trip. A good emergency kit will include medical supplies for any bumps or bruises your family might get while on vacation, as well as jumper cables and everything a driver needs in the event of a vehicle breakdown.

car vacuum cleaner

Keeping your car clean can be very helpful on long road trips. Crumbs and plastic wraps from mid-ride snacks will begin to accumulate on the seats and floor, adding to the smell of the car and creating a tasty snack for nearby ants.

A handheld vacuum cleaner can keep crumbs to a minimum during your periodic breaks along the way to your vacation spot.

— Tribune News Service


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