The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (2024)

Table of Contents
Our Top Picks Best Travel Dash Cam Best Travel Portable Coffee Maker Best Travel Gadget Wi-Fi Hotspot Best Travel Action Camera Best Travel Gadget Radar Detector Best Travel Gadget for Portable Power Best Travel Headphones Best Travel Mug Best Travel Gadget Cooler Best Travel Tracker Garmin Dash Cam 57 Garmin Dash Cam 57 CERA+ Portable Electric Coffee Maker CERA+ Portable Electric Coffee Maker Verizon Jetpack Wi-Fi Hotspot Verizon Jetpack Wi-Fi Hotspot GoPro HERO9 GoPro HERO9 Escort MAX 360 MKII Radar and Laser Detector Escort MAX 360 MKII Radar and Laser Detector Anker 325 Power Bank Anker 325 Power Bank Bose QuietComfort OverEar Headphones Bose QuietComfort OverEar Headphones Ember Travel Mug Ember Travel Mug Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler and Warmer Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler and Warmer Apple AirTag Apple AirTag Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone Bundle DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone Bundle DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge Rolling Square Keychain Charger Cable Rolling Square Keychain Charger Cable Reliefband Classic Wristband for Motion Sickness Reliefband Classic Wristband for Motion Sickness BUBM Electronics Organizer BUBM Electronics Organizer FAQs How do I determine which items are essential to my trip? I'm new to road-tripping. Will all these gadgets be daunting? Can I buy stuff on the road? Why Trust Good Housekeeping? Why Trust Hearst Autos?
The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (1)

Summer is prime road-trip season; time to pack up the car and the kids (or not!) and head out on the highway. With that in mind, we looked to our friends at Good Housekeeping for some expert insight into the best travel essentials to make your adventures a bit more comfortable. Whether you need to keep your little ones occupied with Wi-Fi connectivity or capture your special moments in a particular way, these products will surely elevate your road-trip experience.

Our Top Picks

We all have our own ideas about what tech we need and which gadgets and devices we enjoy, so the Gear Team could have simply thrown together a list of some of our favorites. But Good Housekeeping has been testing and evaluating products for parents and homes for over a century, and its testing processes have become an industry standard. So we hit up our colleagues over at the Good Housekeeping Institute for some tips, just to make sure we weren't missing anything.

Relying on the expertise of the Gear Team and the testing acumen of Good Housekeeping, here are some of the Best Travel Gadgets and Tech for your next road-trip adventure. Note: Car & Driver has paraphrased Good Housekeeping's findings to reflect our purposes here; we have omitted some of the Institute's non-automotive selections and included other products more suited for our audience.

Best Travel Dash Cam

Garmin Dash Cam 57

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (12)

Best Travel Dash Cam

Garmin Dash Cam 57

Dash cams can be a fantastic tool for recovering damages, beating tickets, or recording incredible situations. The Garmin 57 mini dash cam takes the functionality up a notch with a Swiss Army knife–like list of features. It can record in 1440p and features incident detection, forward-collision and lane-departure warnings, and a cool option that lets you turn hours of driving into a time-lapse video. Best of all, it measures just about 1.0 by 2.0 inches.

Best Travel Portable Coffee Maker

CERA+ Portable Electric Coffee Maker

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (13)

Best Travel Portable Coffee Maker

CERA+ Portable Electric Coffee Maker

Don't settle for whatever truck-stop cup of joe you come across while on the road. The CERA+ portable coffee maker will allow you to indulge your inner coffee snob wherever you are. It can perform cold or warm brews, and its rechargeable battery allows you to make several cups, no matter the type of coffee you choose.

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Best Travel Gadget Wi-Fi Hotspot

Verizon Jetpack Wi-Fi Hotspot

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (14)

Best Travel Gadget Wi-Fi Hotspot

Verizon Jetpack Wi-Fi Hotspot

Wi-Fi on your road trip can be a game changer. For those who lack the luxury of integrated Wi-Fi found on many newer cars, the Jetpack allows Verizon customers to connect up to 15 devices to their personal Wi-Fi network in more than 200 countries. During Good Housekeeping’s testing, the battery showed impressive all-day life. As a plus, it includes an extra USB port for charging other devices.

Best Travel Action Camera

GoPro HERO9

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (15)

Best Travel Action Camera

GoPro HERO9

GoPro has been offering compact action cameras since 2004, and the HERO9 is perfect for road-tripping. It's durable and waterproof up to 33 feet, allowing you to take it with you just about anywhere. It shoots in 5K so you're guaranteed sharp, high-quality memories once your trip is over. GoPro also offers an array of accessories for attaching it to a helmet, your chest, your car—even a toddler.

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Best Travel Gadget Radar Detector

Escort MAX 360 MKII Radar and Laser Detector

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (16)

Best Travel Gadget Radar Detector

Escort MAX 360 MKII Radar and Laser Detector

Even if you don't consider yourself much of a speeder, having an additional layer of protection against hefty fines is a wise move. The Escort MAX 360 will keep you covered, just in case you lose track of your speed over hours of cruising. It's loaded with features, including dual antennas for increased range, 360-degree awareness, an easy-to-use app, and many more we don't have the space to list here.

Best Travel Gadget for Portable Power

Anker 325 Power Bank

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (17)

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (18)

Best Travel Gadget for Portable Power

Anker 325 Power Bank

Now 21% Off

Charging ports can be a point of contention in cars and trucks, particularly when a family is on the road for extended periods. This Anker portable battery will help nip back-seat fisticuffs in the bud. The 20,000 mAh Li-ion battery allows you to charge up to two devices at a time via dual USB-A ports, and it can be recharged through either its micro-USB or USB-C ports.

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Best Travel Headphones

Bose QuietComfort OverEar Headphones

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (19)

Best Travel Headphones

Bose QuietComfort OverEar Headphones

Now 40% Off

If you plan to spend many hours in a packed car, you will inevitably be met with conflict when everyone disagrees on what to fill your collective ears with. These noise-canceling cans from Bose provide a convenient solution, allowing your passengers to escape to their own audio reality for a bit. Testers found them very comfortable over extended periods and really appreciated being able to switch between Quiet and Aware modes to filter outside noise.

Caveat: No matter how tempting it may be to drown out the world around you, and despite settings that allow you to control ambient noise, we don't recommend over-ear cans like these while driving. Opt for a pair of AirPods or earbuds, if you must—but be advised, state laws vary on their use behind the wheel.

Best Travel Mug

Ember Travel Mug

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (20)

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (21)

Best Travel Mug

Ember Travel Mug

Now 12% Off

When you're on the road for hours on end, a warm beverage can be key in getting your body's motor started and keeping it going. This travel mug from Ember won't just keep your beverage warm, it will keep it exactly the temperature you prefer. The temperature can be controlled from an app on your phone, and its two-hour battery life can be extended by placing it on its charging coaster.

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Best Travel Gadget Cooler

Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler and Warmer

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (22)

Best Travel Gadget Cooler

Koolatron Thermoelectric Iceless Cooler and Warmer

Staying hydrated and keeping your appetite at bay while on the road can be tough if gas-station jerky and drive-thru fare aren't your thing. Koolatron's thermoelectric cooler and warmer plugs into your vehicle's 12-volt outlet and keeps the contents as cool as 40 degrees Fahrenheit and as warm as 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The 18-quart version can hold up to 23 standard soft-drink cans; the much larger 45-quart version is ideal for families.

Best Travel Tracker

Apple AirTag

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (23)

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (24)

Best Travel Tracker

Apple AirTag

Now 17% Off

Many are already familiar with the invaluable functionality that Apple's tiny tracker provides. It can be used to track anything from your valuables to your luggage and even your car, right from your phone. It does require you to use Apple's digital ecosystem, but its overall functionality could just be enough to convert Android users. Its one-year battery lifespan makes it an easy set-and-forget tool.

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Best Travel Multitool

Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

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Best Travel Multitool

Leatherman Wave Plus Multitool

If you don't already carry a good multitool, it's about time you do. The Wave Plus from Leatherman is a handy everyday tool for popping bottle tops, tightening screws, opening packaging, and a plethora of other odd jobs. Out on the road, it's great for small inconveniences and quick fixes, such as replacing burnt-out bulbs, tightening hose clamps, or whatever other mishaps may arise.

Best Travel Drone

DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone Bundle

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (26)

Best Travel Drone

DJI Mini 3 Pro Drone Bundle

This DJI camera drone will elevate your ability to log your road-trip memories. When you're no longer limited to the ground, the photo and video opportunities you'll realize are pretty vast. The GH Institute testers loved that it can fold away into a compact carrying case and lauded its sharp picture quality. The included Fly More Kit opens up the potential to capture professional-quality aerial shots of your car ripping through the twisties. It includes spare batteries, chargers, parts, and more.

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Best Travel Phone Accessory

DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (27)

Best Travel Phone Accessory

DJI Osmo Mobile 6 Gimbal Stabilizer

The DJI Osmo gimbal is a nice piece of kit to keep handy if you’re even remotely serious about capturing solid images of you and your flock while out on the road. Even if you're solo-tripping, it's an excellent way to capture photos or videos of your car in action. During testing, the gimbal held the phone stable and has a nice feature that allows it to rotate in a single sweeping motion. The magnetic clamp attaches easily to almost any phone.

Best Travel Tire Gauge

JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (28)

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (29)

Best Travel Tire Gauge

JACO ElitePro Digital Tire Pressure Gauge

Now 25% Off

Before and after long drives, it's important to keep tabs on your tires, as they are the only thing keeping you and your family on the road. Investing in a quality tire pressure gauge is key, especially if you drive an older car that doesn't come equipped with a tire-pressure monitoring system. JACO's gauge is calibrated accurately to professional ANSI 2A standards and offers a full lifetime warranty.

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Best Travel Gadget Charging Cord

Rolling Square Keychain Charger Cable

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Best Travel Gadget Charging Cord

Rolling Square Keychain Charger Cable

Rolling Square's keychain charger is the perfect accessory to keep alongside your keys or in your glovebox. It offers multiple outputs and inputs including USB-C, USB-A, micro-USB, and even a lightning port for your iPhone. It complements the Anker portable battery above very nicely.

Best Travel Carsickness Relief

Reliefband Classic Wristband for Motion Sickness

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (31)

Best Travel Carsickness Relief

Reliefband Classic Wristband for Motion Sickness

Lots of us are burdened with the unfortunate affliction known as carsickness. This can get pretty messy on long drives, particularly if you have little ones prone to nausea. The Reliefband is a drug-free remedy to general motion sickness. If it really works—and most users claim it does—it's definitely worth it.

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Best Travel Electronics Organizer

BUBM Electronics Organizer

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (32)

Best Travel Electronics Organizer

BUBM Electronics Organizer

Keep your wires and other small gear organized with this neat-looking organizer from BUBM. It comes in ten different colors, and the testers at Good Housekeeping loved the compact fold-flat shape and zipper enclosures.

FAQs

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (33)

How do I determine which items are essential to my trip?

A good rule, particularly with gadgets, is if you can't name around two-thirds of the buttons on your device, you probably won't use it (or at least to its fullest potential). Carry only what you might need and use.

I'm new to road-tripping. Will all these gadgets be daunting?

Some gadgets like a DJI drone can indeed have somewhat steep learning curves. We recommend trying out your gadgets at home to familiarize yourself with their features and controls. Apps are a requirement for some gadgets, so having those pre-loaded onto your phone can save time and hassle.

Can I buy stuff on the road?

Lots of gear can be a hassle to keep track of, so sometimes it is more efficient to forgo some of the less essential pieces and just pick them up as you need them. Rechargeable electronics are a great solution—they keep working and alleviate the need to carry around or purchase extra batteries.

Why Trust Good Housekeeping?

The Good Housekeeping Institute has been testing products and providing expert reviews and advice on all types of travel gear in their labs, from luggage trackers and noise-canceling headphones to drones and mobile hotspots. The gadgets chosen for this list were evaluated by product testing analyst Selina Tedesco and updated by media and tech reviews analyst Olivia Lipski.

Why Trust Hearst Autos?

Hearst Autos combines the talent, resources, and expertise of three of the largest, most influential automotive publications in the world. We get our hands on each and every product we test. Most are purchased; some are supplied by manufacturers. If we're unable to test a product or category ourselves, we'll sometimes turn to noted experts such as the Good Housekeeping Institute.

Hearst Autos doesn't need to game SEO algorithms for traffic or promote lousy products to earn a buck. We're far more concerned with our legacy, our reputation, and the trust that our readers have in Autoweek, Car and Driver, and Road & Track to deliver honest opinions and expert evaluations. Read more about our product testing and evaluation process here.

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (34)

Justin Helton

Assistant Commerce Editor

The Assistant Commerce Editor for Hearst Autos, Justin Helton is an enthusiast with a passion for heavily depreciated autos and a penchant for philosophical debate. As a lifelong Manhattanite, he has mastered the ins and outs of classic car ownership in one of the least car-friendly cities in the world.

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (35)

Expert consulted:Rachel Rothman

Rachel Rothman was the chief technologist and executive technical director of the Good Housekeeping Institute for over 15 years, overseeing testing methodology, implementation and reporting for all GH Labs. She also managed GH's research division and the analysis of applicants for the GH Seal and all other testing emblems.

The Best Travel Gadgets For Your Next Road Trip, According to Experts (2024)
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