There once was a time when road trips were made in vehicles without air conditioning, let alone a GPS and a DVD player. Technology has advanced so quickly that there are now a plethora of portable gadgets available to provide the modern comforts of home while on the road.. The amount and types of gadgets that you bring on your road trip will effect the tone of your trip, so be sure to pick and choose which gadgets are right for you.
1) Camera. Film cameras, digital cameras, video cameras, whatever you choose just do not forget a camera! You will be seeing sights of a lifetime, and your personal camera will work much better than whatever disposable camera you can find (and overpay for) at a gas station.
2) Cell Phone. Most highways have roadside phones, but you will feel more comfortable with your cell phone.
3) Crank Flashlight. Getting a flat tire on a deserted country highway at night is not the best time to be fumbling for batteries. A crank flashlight is inexpensive, and only takes a little bit of manpower to provide a lot of light.
For the Technologically Friendly:
1) GPS. Even if you are an expert map navigator, a GPS can come in handy in ways other than getting you to your destination. You can search for restaurants, attractions, hotels and stores along the route or in specific cities.
2) Cell Phone or Computer with Internet Access. Many rest stops, hotels and campgrounds have free Wi-Fi. Even if you are trying to stay away from email and social networking sites, having Internet access can help you find out information about attractions that you can’t find on the GPS, such as hours and pricing. If you are bringing a computer, store some of your movies on it to watch while you unwind at night.
3) Entertainment. Bring your iPod (and a transmitter if you don’t have an mp3 input) instead of your entire CD collection. It will save space but still supply you with something to listen to when you can’t find a radio station. Do bring a few favorite CD’s if you are using a transmitter, in case you are unable to find an empty signal in some areas. If you are not bringing a laptop, consider packing a portable DVD player to watch movies. Hand held video games may also help to entertain children on long drives.
For the Technologically Obsessed:
1) Solar Powered Chargers. If your road trip isn’t complete without your computer, cell phone, digital music player and hand held video game; you may want to consider one of the many available solar powered chargers. Depending on the model, you can find chargers equipped with everything from a flashlight and radio to an emergency siren.
2) Car Outlet Converters. These can convert your vehicle’s cigarette lighter outlet into a regular household outlet to charge things like your laptop. You could even use it to plug in a hairdryer if you needed! Just please, don’t style your hair while driving.
When preparing to take a road trip, there are a number of things that you may think that you need and ultimately, over pack. But after day nine of traveling and digging through mounds of unused items, you will wish that you had just left it all at home. When bringing gadgets, bring the things that you feel will enhance your safety and your comfort without distracting you from the sights. You can play Nintendo at home, but you probably can’t hike in desert canyons or see the Milky Way.