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While you're planning your next road trip, there's probably a long list of things you'd like to have along. But the more you pack, the more work you'll have to do, and the less room you'll have in the vehicle. If you're driving with the family, they'll want to be able to stretch out and relax. Some things you can do without. But here are five accessories you might be sorry you didn't include.
Your car may already have GPS, but even so you might consider a stand-alone device, particularly one made for long-haul truckers. These not only provide directions, but allow you to filter for various landmarks, such as restaurants, parks, gas stations, motels, and more. Many provide alerts on traffic jams, closed roads, steep hills, and weather reports by area.
It's important to be prepared for vehicle emergencies, as well. Breakdowns or collisions can happen without warning. Be sure to have at least one fully inflated spare tire, a jack, and lug wrench in the trunk. Roadside flares, flashlights, basic tools, and traffic cones can be important. Before you leave home, locate a good body shop like Central Body Company, Inc. so that you can get your vehicle prepared and tuned up. This should make your car ready for the trip, but you’ll be glad to have an emergency kit just in case.
These devices can be installed on your vehicle to monitor its performance. They must interface with your onboard computer and so only work with newer vehicles. Various products will monitor mileage, speed, and fuel efficiency so you can spot anomalies and possible concerns, or review and plan trips better. You can access this information via a mobile device. Others have features such as GPS-enabled theft recovery.
Many people, especially older kids, will feel lost without a smartphone and Wi-Fi. Be sure to take along an automotive or solar charger for all your devices. That connectivity could save lives in an emergency, so be sure you keep at least one phone fully charged. Even if you have GPS in the car, you should have it on a mobile device as a backup.
If you’re planning some road trip adventures for this summer, this list should give you a good start on being safe and comfortable on your journeys. It’s also important to always do some research on your itinerary so you know what to expect, as well as familiarize yourself with some of the laws of the states you’ll be driving through, just in case.