We love road trips. There’s nothing like setting off over the horizon and not quite knowing what to expect. After three years on the road, we’ve had lots of time to test the best road trip accessories – the ones which will really improve your trip.
Whether you’re travelling by car or camper, these are some of the best travel accessories available today.
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The Best Road Trip accessories and electronics we love
I’ll start this post by saying NONE of these gadgets are essential to your enjoyment of your road trip. NONE of them NEED to be bought. If you are on a budget, don’t worry about it- you’ll still have an amazing time without any of these.
However, the following are stuff we love, use and feel they add to our experiences on the road. Some are helpful for the van and our love of wild camping (like power packs and solar panels!) Some are useful camping tools – and some are just plain fun!! 🙂
For my friends across the ocean…
It’s recently come to my attention that a whopping 46% of you lovely readers are from ‘across the Pond’ in the USA. Welcome! It’s our dream to RV across America someday, so feel free to contact us with any tips you may have. I definitely don’t want to neglect you, so beneath each category you’ll find links just for you! I hope you find them useful. 🙂
Photography Gadgets for Road Trips
99% of the photos on this website and across social media are taken with our iPhones. Seriously. It’s not because it’s the best camera in the world, but because we always have our phones on us. We do carry an old Canon SLR camera, which is the one we are going to learn to use better… *honest* but any camera you carry with you is better than no camera at all!! If you’re looking for a new camera, whether it’s a big serious one or something more portable, here’s a great list of the best travel cameras.
It’s no secret, we LOVE our DJI Mavic Pro drone. It’s allowed us to get some incredible video of us in all sorts of amazing places (are you following us on Youtube?? If not, here’s the link so you can fix that IMMEDIATELY!)
If you’ve never flown a drone before, the TELLO is an awesome place to start (and great for kids). You can even throw it up into the air to start it- so much fun!
For slightly bigger and more advanced drones, the Spark or the Mavic Pro are awesome choices. It’s actually cheaper at the moment to buy both of these through Amazon. Don’t forget to buy a case (ideally one which holds spare batteries etc) and also lens for the drone- we found our video quality was so much better once we put a lens cover on.
These are BRILLIANT for on our motorbikes and in the water. We have the 4, 5 and have used the 5 session. The 4 isn’t great- there’s no stabilisation so the footage is quite jerky. The 5 is much better and is the one we’ve just bought again. The 5 session we used when we went surfing- and was VERY good… but is slightly too big for us to fit comfortably on our motorbikes, which is why we don’t have one. But for travelling and mucking around, this is the one I’d pick.
Road Trip accessories for POWER!
When you spend a lot of time camping in the middle of nowhere without electrical cables, you need a way to keep all the electrical devices going (otherwise I’d have no way of writing this blog!) There are a couple of ways we do this. Firstly, we charge as many things as possible whilst we are charging. We charge laptops via inverter and phones and ipads by 12v chargers, so hopefully when we arrive somewhere everything is ready to go! However, our laptops (Macbook Pros) are brilliant, but VERY power-hungry. The battery on mine lasts about 8hours of non-stop usage, which is a shock after my previous laptop which lasted a couple of days! So, we also carry a couple of powerpacks, one with and one without a ‘normal’ UK plug (think hairdryers girls! 🙂 ) Also useful for things like blenders/ juicers other smaller appliances which you might want to use whilst wild camping (just be careful of high-powered appliances!)
In order to charge 7 phones (yep, 7!), 4 ipads (including our navigation ipad) and a powerpack, we need some heavy duty car chargers! In order to do that, we use a cup car charger, and add a multi USB socket into one of the ports. It takes a bit of organisation, but we manage quite well. 🙂
We debated a long time whether we need a solar panel or not. If you only go a day or two without electric, my opinion is you probably don’t. If you plan to go for longer, it’s a good addition to your motorhome. We have a Sargent solar panel, which we ordered direct but can’t find it on their site anymore. It’s very similar to the one below. A flexible solar panel might also be a great idea, based on your vehicle.
Internet and Data
We have travelled around much of Europe, and so far we haven’t had a problem with EE at all. We also have a phone on Vodafone, which has done very well with data and finding decent signals. We find it quite useful to have our mobiles on different networks so that it improves our chances of finding a suitable network. Our EE dongle lasts days without needing to charge, and there haven’t been many places where we’ve struggled to get a signal.
I know very little about American wifi or networks, so I’m not even going to pretend to offer a recommendation. Here is the link to Amazon USA’s wifi page which should help you.
Fun Road Trip essentials & accessories
Personally, we get frustrated when you’re sitting in a campsite and the van next door is blaring music, so we try to avoid doing that. But when you’re in the middle of nowhere and are enjoying a nice meal outside, some music is a nice addition. Yes, there are a million cheaper speakers on the market- we haven’t tried them all but we’ve tried enough for us to only recommend Bose. The battery lasts for ages, it’s easy to recharge and the sound quality is amazing. A great investment you’ll use for years to come.
If you like to read, I highly recommend getting a Kindle. I fought this for YEARS- I’m a book lover and I like BOOKS…. but carrying them with you is admittedly a pain. Especially when you fancy reading something which you don’t have with you. I love the Kindle app on my ipad, but I’ve also used a Kindle for years and they just keep getting better and better. I gave mine to my Mum and she’s still happily using it- makes her travels so much easier as well.
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Kat never planned to buy a motorhome. She also never planned to quit her job as an air traffic controller, go touring around Europe in said motorhome, start one of the UK’s largest motorhome travel websites… or get a cocker spaniel.
If you’d like to connect with Kat, send her an email or follow her adventures on social media.
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API