Whether you’re setting off on a long road trip or just using your car for the daily commute, in-car traveling gadgets can make your vehicle safer and more comfortable. From road safety technology of a dash cam to the comfort and convenience of a car kettle, here are 8 in-car traveling gadgets drivers can’t be without.
In today’s mobile technology era, the first and most important traveling gadget is the one we take with us everywhere: our smartphone. Most people find leaving the house without their phone unthinkable, let alone setting off on a road trip. What’s more, smartphones have come to replace a lot of formerly essential travel essentials, like road maps or GPS technology.
Such an important tool needs to be both accessible and out of the way, so that it’s useful but doesn’t distract you from driving. Enter the second most essential traveling gadget: the phone mount. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from, from vice grip mounts to magnetic options, from mounts that attach to your windshield to those on your air vents. Whatever you choose: if you need your phone for navigating, don’t start your road trip without a phone mount.
Feeling safe in your car and on the road are essential parts of any positive traveling experience. While you can always account for your own behavior while driving, you always have to be prepared for risky or dangerous driving from others. If you do end up in an accident, an in-car dash cam can help you tell your side of the story.
A dash cam is a small camera that you install on the dashboard of your vehicle to record your view as you drive. Dash cam footage is often an essential deciding factor when litigating a road accident with law enforcement or insurance companies. Modern dash cam technology is easy to set up and can sync directly with your smartphone, giving you the peace of mind that, in case of an accident, you have evidence to back up your word.
Cars break down, it’s a fact of life. One of the leading causes of breakdowns is dead car batteries, something that is often fixed with a jump start from another friendly driver. But what if your battery dies and there’s no friendly driver around to help?
Jump starters are quickly becoming an indispensable gadget for any driver. More compact and easy to use than traditional jumper cables, a portable jump starter holds enough charge to restart your vehicle, in a package that fits in your glove compartment. Jump starters like the NOCO Boost Plus even come with a USB out port, allowing them to double up as a portable charger for your devices.
Speaking of classic breakdown issues, any off-road driver will have plenty of stories of getting stuck in difficult terrain. Driving into thick snow, mud or deep sand can easily bring an abrupt end to your rural road trip. This is another road challenge that relies on other vehicles for help. But for those situations where there isn’t anyone to help, it pays to have a back-up solution.
Luckily, escape tracks are made just for those moments. These foldable plastic mats can be fitted underneath your tire to give you much-needed traction in difficult conditions. Also known as traction tracks or recovery tracks, having a few in the boot of your car for rural trips is a great way to be prepared for the unthinkable.
Losing your car keys is a fact of life for almost every driver. For many of us, it’s a daily frustration: no one wants to be scrambling down the back of the sofa when they’re already late for work. The problem is, as our technology gets smarter, we’re more used to being able to keep track of it. Misplaced your phone? Just give it a call. If only you could call your keys!
Item locators provide a much-needed solution to this problem. These are small Bluetooth-enabled fobs that you can attach to keys, wallets, anything important that you have a habit of losing. The locator syncs to a smartphone app and gives you an accurate location of your missing items.
Safe driving and fast driving have a difficult relationship. While some drivers will hold on to the fact that a fast driver is a safer one, the reality of speed limits and cameras mean that speeding is still an offense. Whatever side of the debate you fall on, it’s hard to argue that a more educated driver is a safer one. For that reason, any gadget that provides you with more information about the roads you are on is a safe bet.
Radar detectors do more than alert drivers to speed cameras or police radars. A quality radar detector can give you a heads up about any potential threats in the vicinity of your vehicle, or anything reported on your route. Radar detectors can also connect to smartphone apps to provide up to the minute data on temporary speed limits, road works and other potential hazards.
While this may not seem like the most hi-tech gadget, good posture and comfortable seating are essential aspects of long car journeys. For those who have difficulty sitting for long periods of time, ergonomic supportive cushions are an essential part of any driving holiday. Look at how your car’s seat affects the way you sit and consider how a car cushion could improve your driving experience. Plus a car seat cushion could improve your driving experience.
Ever been a long way from home and fancied a cuppa? Car kettles are less about making a safer journey than making your trip more comfortable. But, for those long car rides or campervan trips, car kettles are a handy way to make a brew on the go. Just plug it into the 12-volt port, fill with water and boil. Just remember: don’t drink and drive!