5 essential car accessories for a road trip

Here’s what you need to fit to or pack into the car if you’re heading away on a long trek.

Going on a long journey? Got kids in the back of the car? Here’s the rundown of the top five essential accessory must-haves for a road trip.

1. Roof box

While most SUVs, MPVs and estates have decent boots, if you’re going away on a big trip and there are four or five people in the car, you’ll be surprised how much stuff you’ll accumulate – and how it might not all fit in the boot. If so, and your vehicle has roof rails, invest in a decent roof box. Thule is one of the leading names in this regard, but as long as it’s aerodynamically shaped and lockable, a good roof box is invaluable.

2. Bike rack

Assuming you’re staying away on your road trip, why not attach the bikes to the back of the car? A variety of companies offer rear-mounted racks that can carry two or three bicycles, some of them mounting easily onto a towbar (if fitted, obviously). It’s a great way to explore new places and it gets you fit, too.

3. In-car entertainment

Most modern cars have USB sockets in the rear, because the manufacturers know how important it is to keep the kids from getting bored on long journeys. Capitalise on this by looking into aftermarket in-car entertainment, with screens that mount to the head restraints of the front seats. Your kids can then watch movies or play games in the back using wireless headphones to cut out the noise, while the adults up front can chat away or listen to the radio as the kilometres pass.

4. Boot fridge

We said in a recent piece that it’s useful to have provisions onboard if you’re travelling far in your vehicle, and what’s nicer than an ice-cold drink? Again, in the boot of most estate cars and SUVs these days, you’ll find a 12-volt socket. This means you can plug a travel fridge into it, so that you can store food and drinks within it that need to be kept chilled. Obviously, a travel fridge takes up precious boot space if you’re packing loads of other gear into the cargo bay, therefore strengthening the case for investing in item No.1 on our list here…

5. Dashcam

Dashcams are great for peace of mind when driving at any time, ensuring that any incidents are recorded on camera as evidence. That’s especially the case when driving on roads you don’t know well. In a more positive way, many of them also allow active recording of video or photographs, which could be ideal for capturing parts of the road trip for your Insta.