Taking a road trip is one of the most fun things you can do with friends and family, but do you have everything you need? Beyond a full tank of gas, you’ll want to have a charger to keep everyone’s gadgets powered, a mount to keep your phone at eye level (great for GPS navigation) and a cooler to keep those iced coffees icy.
You’ll also want to keep everyone entertained in the back seat, which is why it’s great to bring a hotspot, a Bluetooth receiver for streaming tunes and a portable gaming console. And if you run into car trouble? We’ve got you covered there, too.
Based on our testing and research, these are the best road trip gadgets to take along on your next adventure.
You don’t have to fight over who gets to charge their gadgets first on your next trip. Unlike many car chargers that have only one or two ports, the Vogek charger has four of them, allowing you to juice multiple devices at once. The Vogek doesn’t support Qualcomm Quick Charge technology, but if you’re in the market for a simple car charger and you like the idea of paying just $10 to get one, this is a winner.
Tyrone Car Headrest Mount
It’s OK to be lazy. This headrest mount and holder is an outstanding option when your kids (or you) are in the backseat and don’t feel like holding a smartphone, tablet or Nintendo Switch during the long ride. It’s especially great for leaning back to watch a show or movie.
The affordable Tyrone Car headrest mount attaches to the bars that support your front-seat headrests. The mount itself can be configured to increase or decrease in size to accommodate devices with screen sizes ranging from 4 inches to 10.1 inches. You can also adjust the headrest mount’s angle to ensure the best viewing experience.
One of the biggest problems with traveling is keeping track of all the important stuff you’ve brought along with you. And that’s why the Tile Mate is such an important gadget.
The Tile Mate, which costs $20 for a single unit, is a Bluetooth-connected tracker that you can connect to your keys, your smartphone, or just about anything else. Once it’s connected and working with the Tile app, you’ll be able to see in real time whatever you’re looking for. The Tile Mate offers a year-long battery life, so even if you lose something for a few days, the device’s tracking function will keep working.
iOttie Easy One Touch 4
Whether you’re using GPS navigation and you don’t want to be distracted or you just want to be able to quickly change music tracks on the go, the iOttie Easy One Touch 4 puts your phone at eye level and within easy reach. It’s so handy that it’s our top pick among car phone holders.
The accessory attaches to your car and acts as a phone holder that’s compatible with iPhones and Android devices. Simply place your phone in the cradle and close the arms on the side around your handset to keep it snug. Then when you drive, you can quickly glance at the screen without ever needing to hold your phone in one hand.
Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver 2-in-1
If you’re tired of fiddling with the car radio dial during road trips, the Mpow Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver 2-in-1 is for you. The device, which tested best among bluetooth car adapters, plugs into your car’s auxiliary port and allows you to take hands-free calls and listen to music wirelessly via Bluetooth.
The Mpow receiver also has buttons on it, so you can turn your music on and off and answer a call with ease. Not only will the Mpow make your ride more convenient, but it should also allow for a safer ride.
Anker PowerCore 20100
Between phones, tablets, hotspots and other gadgets you take on your road trip, it’s easy to run out of outlets in a hurry. Or maybe you’re going camping or to the beach. That’s where the Anker PowerCore 20100 comes in.
This portable 20100-mAh battery has two full-size USB ports and a USB-C port that let you simply plug in your devices to deliver power. In our testing, the PowerCore charged a Galaxy S8 nearly three times before running out of juice, and it got the phone to 21 percent in just 15 minutes. The high capacity and fast charge time makes this accessory a no-brainer
Keep everyone’s drinks chilled on the road with the Wagan Cooler, which has enough capacity to store 27 cans or up to four 2-liter bottles. The cooler gets as chilly as 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but it can also keep food warm with the flick of a switch, heating up to 140 degrees. The device plugs into your car’s 12-volt outlet, and has a 7.5-foot cord.