If you’re anything like my family, you’re likely planning to spend some time in your car, driving long distances for some summer fun. We have camping trips, beach days, and even a possible cross-country excursion on the schedule this summer, so we are gearing up. One of the ways we plan to make those long drives a bit easier is to go ahead and let technology help. While I may have spent most of my childhood driving cross country without technology (in fact, our VW Beetle didn’t even have a RADIO, the horror), I do remember how mind numbingly boring it was to play the alphabet game over and over again. So I’ve rounded up some awesome tech gadgets to make those road trips just a bit more comfortable. I know we’ll be using them!
iPad (or any tablet) Holder for the back of your car headrest.
We don’t have video screens in our minivan, so we have to make do. We used to use a portable DVD player, but the iPad is a much better tool anyway (plus it doesn’t come with DVDs that inevitably get scratched up in the car and end up getting tossed). This handy little item makes it easy to mount any tablet on the back of a car headrest for easy viewing and game playing. Available for $34.95 on Amazon.
Kid Safe Headphones
Unless you’re a glutton for punishment and actually enjoy listening to the absolutely horrid shows your child likes watching (what, just me?), you’re going to want your kids to also use headphones while in the car. But kid ears are pretty sensitive, so these awesome headphones are the best because they have volume limits to keep your kidlet’s ears protected. Available for $19.99 from Gear for Kidz.
Headphone Splitter Jack
If you have more than one child who wants to watch the same thing at the same time in the car, you’re going to want one of these handy items. This particular headphone splitter is great because it also offers individual volume control as well. Very helpful. Available for $5.96 from Amazon.
3 in 1 12v Power Splitter with USB Port
So, if you’re going to have all kinds of gadgets running in the car on a road trip, you might need some extra “outlets.” This awesome gadget lets you easily add 12v outlets so you can charge your phones and your tablets at the same time. It also has a built in fuse so your devices don’t get overcharged – think of it like a car powerstrip. Available for $5.99 from New Egg.
Our car has lovely air conditioning and we stay quite comfortable while driving long distances, even on the hottest days. But that doesn’t mean our water bottles and Diet Cokes (again, just me?) don’t get to be room temperature while we drive, and I won’t even tell you about the ham and cheese sandwich incident (shudder). So why not get a little fridge for the car? You plug it into the car’s cigarette lighter (and remember, if you got the splitter above, you’ll have room for it). I love being able to keep our waters nice and cold while we drive as well as being able to pack our own food so we don’t have to rely on rest area fast food. Available for $45.99 from Sears.
Bonus App! Find Cool Things On Your Route with Roadtrippers
You may have already heard about this fabulous app, but if not, you’re going to want to get this app when you have a long drive. Not only is it an excellent navigation app, but it also features cool and unusual things you can see and do while on your trip – perfect for when you need to stretch your legs a bit and need to get the kids to burn off some energy. So instead of just getting your regular old map directions, you’ll get cool and weird roadside attractions as well. Available both online and as a synched app.