Road trips are about as All-American as you can get. Whether going on a weekend getaway or taking a longer vacation to the beach, lake or beyond, there’s something about packing a bag and throwing it in the car that seems altogether a perfect way to travel. But, taking a road trip requires some planning as well. You need to map your route, check your car’s fluids and tires, and fill up the tank with premium gasoline. You’ll also want to take along some handy gadgets for the ride.
What kind of high tech gadgets should you buy for the car? Technological gadgets that you cannot, in good conscience, leave at home, of course. High tech gadgets that will help you during the ride as well as amuse you en route. Finally, high tech toys that will make your road trip that much easier to bear.
Where to start? Check out these all-time Top 10 Best “Must Have” High Tech Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip. Road trips can’t begin without these handy, high tech car gadgets in hand.
First, no road trip would be complete without the Easy Drive Bluetooth Car Kit from Parrot($99). This is a perfect, high tech gadget that will enable your cell phone to sync with the stereo speaker providing for both your safety and hands-free voice activation. Easy Drive also plugs into the cigarette lighter, making it an easy-to-use accessory and ready to go when you are.
Second, your road trip won’t be the same without a TomTom Go 700 ($899) portable GPS device. No installation required for TomTom which makes it easy to use. TomTom will also interface with your cell phone, no small thing if you wan’t to consolidate some of your gadgetry. What I like best about TomTom? This GPS does it all, and it should for the price.
Third, on this road trip, you’ve got to have satellite radio. Subscribe to Sirius and you’re ready to go. Pioneer makes a great Car Kit ($79) for Pioneer GEX-XMP3 Satellite Radio Receivers. For great sound, you can beat this Pioneer product. Priced to sell.
Fourth, if you’re packing a PC, you’ll need some kind of power port during the ride. I like the Tripp Lit PV600 inverter($120) which provides three separate AC outlets that supply up to 600 watts of 120V AC power. With this gadget, you’re ready to plug anything in, like a computer, printer or, even, a television to catch the scores from time to time.
Fifth, the Archos 7 Home Tablet ($199) is the latest, greatest “must-have” high tech gadget for your next road trip. This large screen Android-based tablet will offer always-on access to the Web, email, photo and video, and a dedicated library of Android Apps. Lightweight and portable, Archos 7 is going to give iPad a run for its money. Archos 7 is rated for 7 hours of video, 44 hours of audio playback, and tons of apps and fun, like open source audio and video screening. Archos 7 ships in June, just in time for your next road trip.
Sixth, Car Charge It by Monster ($19) is one cool charging system. One stop shopping for all your mobile car charging needs. I like Monster’s low profile. More organization and less clutter makes this high tech gadget a road trip “must have.”
Seventh, no road trip would be the same without a set of LED flares ($11-$54). These high tech items are relatively new on the market but way cool. Hopefully, you won’t need them. But, it’s a great addition to your emergency road kit. Buy online for discounts. A wide variety of brands.
Eighth, speaking of your emergency road kit, check out Michelin Smart Jumper Cables ($39.90) before you hit the road this summer. What makes these high tech jumper cables different is that once you clamp your battery, when you connect the cables to the second battery, they figure out the polarity automatically. No more color coding and Michelin Smart Jumper Cables also have built-in surge protectors so you won’t mess up the electrics on your car or another vehicle. Another high tech addition for your next road trip.
Nineth, if you’re traveling to the big city on your next road trip, you might want to install a Rear View Parking Sensor ($29.49), with voice, beep or virtual display alerts. Easy to install, this high tech gadget couldn’t be more timely for your big city visit. Most of all, it doesn’t require that you spend a fortune on a dealer-installed parking sensors.
Tenth, head rest monitors (from $150 to $250) are a must-have for your next road trip. No weekend getaway or vacation car ride would be complete without them. This is especially true if you’re planning a family vacation and need to entertain the troops during the ride. If your vehicle does not have a factory-installed video entertainment, check out a vehicle-specific or universal head rest monitor. Prices may vary.