Five essential gadgets to take on the road this summer

The must-have travel companions that will make your road trip a breeze.

Five essential road trip gadgets

So, you’re heading out on a road trip – the perfect Aussie summer holiday! You’ve chosen a destination, mapped out a route and dusted off your wide-brimmed hat. Now, all that’s left to do is load up the car. But if you’re wondering which gadgets to take with you this summer, we’ve got you covered.

Here are five essential travel gadgets that you’ll be happy to have on hand.

1. Inverter
A power inverter is a device that can be used to power your appliances when you don’t have access to mains power. It will give you charge whenever you want, wherever you want, which is invaluable when you are driving or camping off the beaten track. This way, you don’t need to be reliant on cafes, powered campsites or libraries.

A 240 voltage inverter will allow you to charge and run laptops, phones, cameras, blenders and power tools off a 12 voltage battery, like that of your vehicle.

Note: it’s a good idea to bring a battery charger or a spare battery along, too!

2. GPS navigation system
Anyone setting off into the Australian bush must understand the perils of getting lost in the wilderness. The vast landscape is awe-inspiring, but, if you’re not careful, it can quickly become disorienting.

Smartphones with Google Maps might be great for zipping around town, where a phone signal is within easy reach. But when you’re away from any major point of civilisation, you’ll need to carry your communications technology with you.

A good option is investing in GPS technology, such as Garmin Nüvi, which supplies you with fast and accurate navigation, even in places without internet access.

Note: a paper map tucked into the glove compartment never goes astray. These can be picked up cheaply, or for free, at tourism offices around Australia.

3. Headlamps
Any seasoned road tripper will say you shouldn’t leave home without packing a couple of good headlamps. It gets dark in the bush – very dark. And the path to the toilet – if there is one –  is paved with all manner of creepy-crawlies at night.

Of course, headlamps are useful for other things, too – pitching a tent in the dark, or cooking, among other needs.

Note: don’t forget to pack spare batteries – and more than you think you’ll need.

4. Portable stove
A Jetboil stove will set you back about $140 but it may be one of the best camping gadgets you’ll ever buy. At the click of a button, this handy one-litre capacity stove boils water in two-and-a-half minutes – as fast as a kettle – making it perfect for a cuppa on the road. You can even heat up soup and freeze-dried meals. It’s designed to be one of the fastest cooking solutions out there, and it uses half the fuel. There are also a number of cooking attachments you can buy, which will allow you to cook all kinds of meals.

5. Dash cam
Dash board cameras are quickly becoming a popular gadget for drivers because they continuously record high definition video and audio from a first-person perspective. This means you’ll have photographic footage of your journey, providing you with memories – and evidence, in the case of an accident.

Some dash cams also come with an ‘incident detection’ sensor, which automatically identifies and saves a file, which you might need to show to insurance or other authorities later on.

Can you suggest other gadgets that you have found to be indispensable on a road trip?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    4th Oct 2018
    Plenty of extra water and snacks. Drinks are first priority but if you have a problem with your car cooling system you can add water and get it flushed and refilled with coolant later. Also if you are unfortunate to break down you would wait 2 hours + especially in country areas or in bad weather. Priority is given to those stranded on the actual road, not parked at the kerb or off the road.
    Fuses. We blew a few over the years. We had no reversing lights or rear window demister.
    If you have a baby make sure have have extra feeds with you, not just what you anticipate needing. I know a Mum who broke down in front of a friend's place and had no extra bottles or solids with her. Had she broken down on the road elsewhere she would have had problems with her baby too.
    4th Oct 2018
    If you plan on buying an inverter for use with a laptop spend the little extra on a "Pure Sine Wave" inverter. Sensitive electronics often don't like the power output of regular inverters, can make them do strange things like flicker the display, make icons move on the desktop, switch the device off, etc.

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