15 Important Car Accessories To Bring On Every Road Trip
Thanks for reading! This article is sponsored by Europcar. All products featured were hand-picked and thoughtfully chosen by our editorial team, and any items listed below were in-stock with accurate pricing at the time of publication.
Driving on the highway, taking in the scenery, stopping at the nearest fast food joint, and singing along to songs with your family or friends — road trips are incredibly memorable experiences! But many things can put a damper on your journey: a flat tire, an uncomfortable ride, a dead battery… you get the idea. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead!
It’s a must to check your car’s condition and evaluate whether it’ll be a comfortable chariot for you and your family. In addition to the fuel tank, you’ll want to pay close attention to the tires, engine and brake oils, navigation, chargers, and lights. You will also need extra accessories for any eventualities on the road, so pack a first aid kit, tire gauges, jump starters, and extra mats and shields.
Planning makes a trip perfect, so we’re here to take you through the process step by step. We have curated this list of discounted road trip essentials that’ll make the ride smoother and stress-free. Watch out: lots of savings ahead!
It may be a good idea to visit a mechanic before you take your car for a long spin. Top off all your oils, get the engine, brakes, and tires checked, and see how the battery is doing. Once that’s sorted, shop for all supplies that you may need on the road.
1. Car Rentals
The Deets: Prices vary at Europcar
Don’t want to take your own car on your next road trip? Car rentals are the way to go if you need a vehicle that can push the limits of long miles while providing comfort and accessibility. At Europcar, you can book your car rental by choosing your pickup and return dates, time, and location. Your vehicle options include a city car that’s fuel-efficient and eco-friendly, an electric car, a prestige or luxury car, and vans and trucks. Manage your rental through the mobile app and check in online so you can hit the road faster!
The Deets: $199.77 $179.94 at Amazon
Batteries die, but you don’t have to be stuck by the roadside waiting for assistance. That’s why a portable jump starter is important to have in the car! This one doubles as a power bank, so you can also charge your electronic devices. Plus, it has an integrated flashlight. Its spark-proof design ensures you won’t accidentally damage anything, and it can safely power up a gasoline engine up to eight liters or a diesel engine up to six liters. On a single charge, it can jump start up to 40 times!
The Deets: $19.50 at Amazon
You’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared for any kind of emergency during your road trip. This 299-piece first aid kit is easy to carry and store away, and can be used for minor pains and injuries, including cuts, burns, headaches, or muscle aches. It’s also all organized neatly in clear plastic, so you can see where everything is. Make sure you check expiration dates and add whatever you specifically need!
The Deets: $14.97 at Amazon
One of the most ignored and underrated pieces of car maintenance advice is to regularly check tire pressure. It makes your car more efficient and improves the life of tires. So, a pressure gauge is a must! There are tons of digital pressure gauges in the market too, but with this analog one, you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries.
Consider investing in an inflator. Read this guide on how to check air pressure and inflate tires on your own!
The Deets: $269.99 $239.99 at Amazon
Even if you have Google Maps on your phone, The New York Times urges you to always be prepared with a GPS navigator in your car. A GPS is more reliable on longer routes when your cell phone network connection gets iffy. It also offers better instructions and you can connect your GPS devices to your phone and get live traffic warnings.
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 features a 6.95-inch multi-touch screen and offers voice-enabled instructions. You can connect your smartphone and your alerts will be directed to the screen. Try its higher model, Garmin DriveSmart 65 with Amazon Alexa, if you want a bigger screen.
The Deets: $4.40 at Walmart
Heavy-duty grease ensures that a car’s suspension systems, joints and latches, and wheel hubs operate smoothly without friction. It also protects these elements from rusting as well as reduces noise. Before your road trip, make sure you lubricate the necessary parts; this multi-purpose grease will make it a fuss-free process. Valvoline is a revered name in automotive, and this grease is water-resistant and works even in extreme pressure and temperatures.
The Deets: Price varies at Walmart
When you’re driving at night, you need a nice, long beam of light to illuminate the highway! If your car came with halogen bulbs, you may want to upgrade to LEDs which are brighter and last longer. LASFIT is a U.S.-based company that promises a 45-day refund and a one-year replacement warranty. And you’ll definitely want to change the bulbs if one of them has given out or if they have started to fade before your upcoming road trip!
The Deets: $9.99 $9.49 at Gander RV & Outdoors
You’ll realize the might of a small tool, such as this flashlight, when it’s pitch-dark and you need to see the inside of your hood or take a walk in the dark. Keep this in your car for emergencies. It’s water- and impact-resistant, comes with a three-year warranty, and runs for three hours on high mode and 200 hours on low mode.
The Deets: Price varies at Walmart
Before you hop in the car and drive off, confirm and reconfirm that your car tires can take the journey. Their condition is important for a successful, nondisruptive road trip! If you haven’t been measuring air pressure and maintaining them properly, it’s time to start. Ask a mechanic’s advice and don’t forget the spare; keep it in the boot — set and ready to go — along with the tools to change a flat when necessary.
In case you need to get new ones, Walmart has great discounts on all kinds of tires and wheel accessories, and is also offering a guide to help you choose the right ones. You can also schedule an installation at your local Auto Care Center at checkout.
Great For Comfort
Don’t want to wing it on your road trip? Check out these products that will ensure the ride is comfortable for you and all other travelers, including the kids!
The Deets: $10.99 at Walmart
Even for short distances, kids need to be entertained in the car. If you’re thinking about a road trip, consider a backseat organizer that can store their toys, tablet, bottles, and other knick-knacks. This one has a snap-on flap for a tablet (up to 10.1 inches), four mesh pockets, and a large pocket. You can easily secure it on the driver or passenger seat and keep things organized and within reach.
The Deets: $32.99 $27.99 at Walmart
For those experiencing back pain or discomfort while sitting for extended hours in the car, a seat cushion can offer great relief. This orthopedic seat cushion helps you maintain your posture and relieves pressure from the tailbone. It’s also non-skid, so you won’t have to reposition yourself every few minutes. It comes with a machine-washable cover and a carrying case. It’s comfortable and functional, and retains its shape after use.
The Deets: $89.99 $79.14 at Amazon
A handheld vacuum is a mighty gadget when you’re road-tripping.
This BLACK+DECKER weighs three pounds and is easy to store in the car. It comes with a 15-ounce washable dust bowl, a pivoting nozzle, and a compact charging base. The suction and battery are good enough for a quick tidy up; plus, you can clean hard-to-reach places with its extended crevice tool.
On a full charge, it can give you 10-15 minutes of run time, which is just enough for a car. Note that customers complained that the battery life shortens over the years and it won’t hold a charge for long. The brand offers a two-year limited warranty on this product, so you should definitely get in touch if that happens.
The Deets: $10.68 at Walmart
This pack of two sun shades will keep you protected from the sun when you’re driving this summer. It’s easy to attach and roll up, and it’s made of mesh so it doesn’t block everything out. There’s a heat alert system that indicates when the car is too hot. It comes with two attachment options: suction cup and window clips. You don’t have to rely on just the sun visor to keep the sunlight out from your eyes! Keep in mind that buyers mentioned they may be small for some car windows (they measure 17 x 14 inches) and the suction cup isn’t reliable.
The Deets: $29.99 $21.99 at Walmart
Furry friends need to be comfortable in the car while also keeping the seats free of dust and scratches. Enter this seat cover protector that’s waterproof and easy to anchor and detach. You can vacuum clean it or use a damp cloth when it shows signs of dust and dander. It can be used as a hammock or tucked between the car seats with space for seat belts.
The Deets: $99.99 $94.99 at Gander RV & Outdoors
A chilled beer on a summer night is a delight, and it feels deserved after a day’s worth of driving. On your road trip, pack sodas and beverages for the family in this 24-pack cooler, which keeps ice frozen for more than 24 hours. It’s a leakproof soft bag and has an antimicrobial nylon liner. It comes with an easy-access zip top that’ll fit in your car easily and can be attached with tie- downs. It also has a shoulder strap and release buckles that work as bottle openers.