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Five Essentials to Take on Your Next Road-Trip
Essential Road Trip Accessories
Let's face it, long road trips can be tedious, but if you take the right gear, the hours spent traveling will fly-by as fast as the scenery. So here are five essential things you need to bring along with you on your next road trip beyond the obvious.
Portable Espresso Makers
While a hot or cold beverage is high on our list, the ability to keep it warm or cold and accessible can be a challenge with a car full of luggage and people. Cold beverages that sweat will cause sticky puddles which become dust and dirt magnets later on, so an insulated travel mug for cold drinks is excellent. Many insulated mugs are dual purpose and will also hold heat on those bitterly cold days.
While insulated mugs are nothing new, Coffee lovers rejoice, because we’ve reserved Portable Espresso Makers for the top spot. These devices are about the size of an electronic salt or pepper mill and come in a variety of configurations. Some are battery operated, requiring only a single push of a button to give you your next fix. Others are manual hand operated plungers which can also be used to make tea. A decent one will cost you $30 and above.
Although you will need to have already preheated the water in most cases, these devices mean you can enjoy freshly brewed coffee or tea whenever and wherever you please.
If you are a fan of the pod coffee machines, many Portable Espresso Makers will conveniently allow you to use your favorite pods inside. Some of them will let you use your favorite coffee grind too.
Because your Cell phone is now another appendage to your body, keeping it charged can be the cause of World War 3 when you have a vehicle full of people and only one or two 12-volt outlets.
While a multiport USB Cigarette car charger may allow around four devices to charge simultaneously, the energy demands may exceed the capacity of the device rendering it next to useless. Enter the Power Inverter.
This device plugs into your 12-volt Cigarette lighter plug and inverts the electricity to provide sufficient watts for all of your devices. With these, more money means more energy, but they start from less than $20 on Amazon.
An added advantage of these devices is that they often incorporate a standard outlet for powering larger devices, such as a small laptop. Thermal fans are usually built-in to ensure they do not overheat.
When purchasing one of these devices try to calculate how many devices you will have connected at any given time. You need to make sure that the converter is capable of generating sufficient watts to power the combined total watts of the devices connected. Experts recommend buying one that is capable of three times your energy needs for the reason that many larger devices require triple their standard wattage when starting up. Don't worry this won't damage your smaller devices as the converter will control the flow of energy to the devices connected.
Honestly, this could become quite the list, but we will limit ourselves to a few that are more practical.
Standalone GPS units are becoming yesterdays technology since most newer vehicles are equipped with navigational systems of their own, or can run the same applications as our mobile devices. However, most of these are still dependent on a network data connection. An offline maps application like maps.me can be a lifesaver. It can navigate and direct you to places of interest just like other mapping applications.
If crossing into another country, you will almost need a money converter, time converter and perhaps even a measurement converter.
As long as you have WiFi keeping in touch with friends and family is no longer much of an issue. However, an application that shares your location with family back home can be a great safety feature for when traveling to a distant and strange new place.
Backup your photos! Many cloud services like Dropbox, Onedrive, and even Google Photos have automatic photo/video upload services built into their apps. Sadly I have heard of many a traveler losing their phone along with all of the photos taken with it, please don’t let that be you, turn on the automatic back up feature for your peace of mind.
Another app worth mentioning is a sound generator, either for white noise or relaxing natural sounds, like the rain or ocean waves breaking up on the beach. Travelling for extended periods can become tiresome when you are in a confined, noisy environment. Relaxing sounds with a good pair of headsets like Bose QC25s will have you believing you're in Ibiza faster than you can pronounce it. Ibisa? Ibetha? Izbetha?
Toilet Paper and Hand Sanitiser.
Yes, we are probably all laughing at this one, but honestly, when you are in the middle of nowhere and desperate to make a deposit in natures bathroom you will appreciate these items more than anything else!
These are absolute essentials for many travelers. Ironically, traveling typically involves sitting and doing very little, yet upon arriving at our destination, we are usually exhausted and let's be honest even bad-tempered.
A good eye cover and comfortable pillow will do wonders for your complexion and mood upon arriving. Check out this unique inflatable travel pillow, its one of the most unique products I have seen in a long time and works well, the price is quite reasonable too.
If you are a frequent traveler on planes, this last item is most definitely worth a look. Having flown the Sydney to Los Angeles route multiple times, (14 hours plus), take it from me, a great travel pillow is worth the effort of fitting into your carry-on luggage.
That said I know there are many other unique products and ideas out there. Let me know what you think of our list and feel free to add to it with your comments!