Road trip: 4 items that you wish you had
Most of people nowadays choose to fly everywhere, rather than going for a classical road trip. For example, when I took my car for a spin to reach my Erasmus+ destination and I told my classmates, that I drove almost 5000 km1 to Portugal by car, most of them used to raise their eyebrow and told me that I’m crazy.
I believe, that by flying we miss a lot of new experiences and new sights. If there is a chance you should always choose to drive to your destinations. But traveling with your car you need even better preparation of things you should take. First, you can add much more than in your average plane luggage. Second of all, it is gonna be a longer trip than an air-flight.
So let me help you to remind you of the most necessary items you should take down the road! Also, I believe, that you have already thought about spare wheel2, GPS, car air compressor, etc. So I only provide you with items that you might have not thought about yet. At the end of this post you can find a full list of recommended items.
Car Fridge – for cold bevarages
I have been this to one road trip3 with a car fridge and in a few without one. Believe me, it was much much better to have a cooler in the car.
Doesn’t matter if you need it for beer, water or Gatorade it’s always better to serve your drinks cold, rather than warm. And if you’re traveling on summertime there is absolutely nothing worse, when you want to take a beer4 and it is warm.
You can check what’s being offered in online store. We, personally, used a similar cooler that is shown in the image and can be found here. Now I am not sure about this particular product, but according to positive reviews, I believe, that his product could solve the problem of warm beverages!
Car socket – for good mood
Now this is definitely the most important thing. The reason, why I haven’t put in the first place, because you can’t store beer in it and that’s the most important thing, because all the best things can store beer in itself 5 or are small and walk on four legs 6.
Back to the topic – car socket is absolutely necessary. And the bigger the better. While you’re on a road trip at the beginning everyone is enthusiastic and chatting. But later it gets to the point when it’s better for everyone to just stay in their worlds. That’s why we should thank God for smartphones. When you hear the advice that it’s better not to have your smartphone in your road trip and just to enjoy everyone’s company, don’t believe that. After 4-5 days of seeing the same faces there will always be a person, who will become frustrated and that’s why it’s better to keep ’em smartphones charged all the time.
When me and my lads were travelling in Portugal four of us used to have a car charger with two USB ports. But believe, it’s not worth it. It’s much better to buy a serious car power inverter, which we had on this one road trip7, than to use these cheaper alternatives, which sometimes don’t even charge your phone – they only prolong your usage.
Bluetooth portable speaker – party everywhere
I love to have a chance to listen to music all the time. For me it is necessary to have a speaker on a trip. Either you are on beach, or in a motel room being able to play music helps you to seed the right mood.
Personally, my first speaker that I bought for a trip was a XMI X-Mini Max Duo Portable Mini Speakers. This wasn’t a Bluetooth speaker, but for it’s sound and price it was a really good purchase. Still, it didn’t last long because, simply put, it was not designed to do so. In less than a half a year a 3,5mm Jack was already completely damaged, without using it daily.
So for my next portable speaker I knew that I want it to Bluetooth and to have an awesome sound quality. I have tried every single Bluetooth portable speaker that you could’ve found in the market as of March 2016. And by every, I literally mean, every single one. I compared them while listening to different types of songs, I watched and read a lot of reviews. I also consulted with specialists in electronic shops and specified shops.
Finally, I was left with two possible solutions – it was either Marshall Kilburn or Bose SoundLink Mini II. Now I really could write a huge article about these two speakers, so to make it short I’m just gonna make a table comparing these two8.
So, as you probably guessed, I purchased Marshall Kilburn. Of course, it is a little bit too big and harder to carry. Still I love this speaker so much, that these disadvantages really don’t bother me. Truth be told, it is probably more practical to buy Bose Mini SoundLink II.
GoPro action camera – capture your road trip
Finally, you have to be able to capture the moments of your road trip. Of course, you have your smartphone, but trust me, that there will be moments, when you will wish you had something to capture high quality pictures. Well, iPhone 6s camera is something that gives you a high quality images. Still it doesn’t make really beautiful pictures that you can get with a normal camera or an action camera.
A regular camera is probably the best solution to take high-quality pictures, but one thing I’ve learnt with a friend who has a normal HDSLR camera (Nikon D5300), that it is a bit annoying to carry such a big camera.
Compact cameras are good alternative as technologies are improving. These type of cameras become able to capture really high quality images. The main advantage is that you don’t really know that it’s there, until you find yourself in need.
If I could allow myself to purchase this gadget it definitely would be a Leica camera. Leica Q is an absolute favorite, as it has awesome looks and wonderful specifications, but is very very expensive11. A cheaper alternative is Leica D-Lux, but before purchasing this I am definitely going to get…
… GoPro Hero 4 Black. I have only used a GoPro Hero 3+ Silver, which me and my friends rented for this one road trip and I was very happy with using this device. We were able to make quality pictures, we didn’t have to ask other people to take pictures of us, we could take videos under water and afterwards I was able to make a video from this one road trip.
GoPro action camera is very compact and you can do a lot with it. So make sure if you’re not purchasing one, at least rent one. You will be able to have much nicer looking digital memories of your trip.
All of the mentioned products: