Everything Your Car Needs For A Spring Break Road Trip
Alexandra Kesick | Reviewed
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Spring is almost here, and it’s the best time of year to hit the road. There’s nothing like opening the car windows and letting in the fresh air while your loved ones are curled up in the back seat, all on the way to your favorite place. You can take the time to stop and look at the stars, visit roadside attractions without the crowds and even camp out when the weather is just right.
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Despite the fun you’re definitely going to have on the trip, you’ll want to make sure you have the basics and a few fun extras packed in the trunk. We’ve picked out 18 top-quality products that’ll help you make this spring break the best one yet.
1. A weighted blanket to stay cozy and calm
If hitting the road makes your palms sweat, bring a calming tool along. We found the YnM Weighted Blanket was the best bang for your buck and topped the list for our editor’s pick. This blanket has multiple weights to choose from on Amazon, too, so you can pick the weight that’s best suited for you.
Get the 10-Pound YnM Weighted Blanket from Amazon for $49.50 with on-page coupon
2. A collapsible cooler for drinks and snacks
This cooler can hold up to 24 cans, snacks and even 14 pounds of ice throughout the trip. The soft canvas construction means it won’t take up a ton of room whether it’s in the back or front seat—or stuffed under your luggage in the trunk. With the carrying straps, it’s easy to pull out the back and take it with you if you’re stopping by the beach.
Get the AO Coolers Original Soft Cooler at Amazon for $85.95
3. A headrest pillow to keep your head up
Ever get a sore neck after driving for a couple hours? Blankets and cozy pillows aren’t just for passengers. This memory foam headrest pillow keeps your head comfortable during the trip. It can be adjusted to grip the car’s headrest, and is a great addition if your built-in headrest is not up to your comfort standards. The pillow comes with a spare extension strap in case you lose one or a strap breaks. Even better? After the trip, you can unzip the casing and give it a good clean in the washing machine.
Get the Aukee Car Pillow at Amazon for $22.99
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4. A car vacuum to clean up crumbs on the go
You’d be surprised at how dirty the car can get when you’re spending so much time in it. A small vacuum is the perfect thing to keep stashed under the seat or in the trunk for cleaning quick messes, whether they’re crumbs from little passengers or a quick deep-clean on the carpets. This Black and Decker model can vacuum up to four hours after a charge, so you can leave the charger at home.
Get the Black and Decker Dustbuster at Lowe’s for $79.99
5. Keep your car smelling clean with an air freshener
While you might not be able to replicate that new-car smell exactly, you can come close! This air freshener takes advantage of the car air vents, clipping onto the vents and pushes out more fragrance when the air is on, or naturally allows the scent to come out with them off. This squash flower-scented air freshener lasts four weeks—perfect for a long road trip!
Get the Air Spencer Air Freshener at Amazon for $13.99
6. Bluetooth headphones for long rides
You might wonder how AcousticSheep’s SleepPhones weren’t invented sooner. Have you ever wanted to take a nap or fall asleep to some ASMR sounds or a podcast? Perhaps you hesitated because you’d have to worry about where your earbuds might disappear to, or about getting tangled up in the headphone cords as you sleep. Here’s where SleepPhones come in: They are comfortable, have a battery that lasts 24 hours and are made of comfortable fleece.
When we tested SleepPhones, we found they were amazing for people who had trouble falling and staying asleep—especially if you’re sensitive to sounds. If you’re hoping to get some shut eye on the long drive but happen to be taking the trip with some chatty Cathys, this product would be perfect for you.
Get the SleepPhones at Amazon for $99.95
7. A car charger for all those electronics
Whether you have a full car or are heading out solo, there’s no doubt you’ll need to charge while you’re on the road. We found that the Anker Powerdrive III Duo charger was the best overall in terms of charge time and updated USB ports. We also found that it charged an iPhone in just 77 minutes.
Get the Anker PowerDrive III Duo at Amazon for $32.99
8. A neck pillow keeps you cozy while sitting up
You can use this pillow on your road trip now—and on your next flight, too. We found the Cabeau Evolution Classic pillow was the best overall travel pillow for its amazing support and comfort. It also is adjustable and comes in multiple colors. If you want to have it handy but don’t want it laying on your lap the whole car trip, you can even smush the memory foam pillow into your bag.
Get the Cabeau Travel Pillow at Walmart for $29.99
9. An instant camera for classic trip photos
Wherever you go, it’s always nice to have a camera on hand—yes, even outside your phone. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic was the best camera on our Best Instant Cameras list—it doesn’t need any batteries and develops great quality instant photos in seconds. Get instant photo gratification and analog memories to keep.
Get the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic at Amazon for $129.43
10. A portable hotspot for long trips
If you’re taking work on the road—or just want to stay connected—a mobile hotspot router means you can keep in touch only thing that might be missing is WiFi so you’re able to do your work on the go—whether you’re out in the desert or in the passenger seat. Netgear’s Nighthawk provides internet for up to 20 devices, so you’ll be able to connect all the devices you’ll need.
Get the Netgear Nighthawk Mobile Hotspot Router at Walmart for $542.81
11. Mad Libs for the kids in the backseat
If you’re looking for something fun to do during the long road trip—and a game that even the driver can join in to play—look no further than Mad Libs. Listed for littles 8 and up, Mad Libs uses nouns, adjectives and verbs to create a funny story. It helps kids learn their grammar while having fun, which is just an extra benefit to an enjoyable, classic game.
Get the Best of Mad Libs: World’s Greatest Word Game from Amazon for $5.92
12. A basic tool kit for your car and beyond
Having a basic tool kit in your car keeps you prepared for anything—setting up your camping area or doing basic car fixes on the go. This tool kit from Home Depot comes with a variety of bits, sockets, a screwdriver, a hammer and more. The carrying case makes it neat and simple to bring it along for your trip.
Get the Stanley Home Tool Kit at Home Depot for $53.97
13. A water bottle to stay hydrated on the go
The Brita BB11 Premium made the top of our best water bottles list for good reason. It has a slim design that can be tucked into a bag or side pocket, and it’s made of sturdy stainless steel. The bottle comes with a Brita filter insert, so even if you fill it up in a rest stop sink, it will still taste great. It even comes in a variety of colors, so you can get a couple for the family before you set off on your trip.
Get the Brita Stainless Steel 20-Ounce Water Bottle at Amazon for $21.14
14. A jump starter in case the car battery fails
Keeping a jump starter in the trunk can give you peace of mind. If your car battery fails, you can restart it yourself without trying to flag down another car. This car starter also comes with USB chargers, so if you end up stranded on your road trip without a working car, you can charge your phone, too, and an LED screen has real-time information and will stay lit in a dark area.
Get the 1400 Peak Amp Portable Car Jump Starter with Digital Compressor at Home Depot for $159
15. Hand wipes to keep passengers clean
Tuck a can of hand wipes in a car door to keep hands clean after going to a rest stop or roadside attraction is key, and these will keep hands clean of salmonella, COVID-19, strep and other nasty viruses. They’re also handy for cleaning hands that were digging into the snacks in the back seat.
Get the Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes Canister at Target for $3.19
16. A portable telescope for roadside star gazing
You’ll find the stars are so much more clear in the country without much light pollution, and having a telescope on hand will give the family an experience they won’t forget on the road trip. The Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian is a perfect telescope for those starting out, and it made it to ourlist of best telescopes. It isn’t a big item to store, so you can shorten the legs and tuck the telescope back into the back of the trunk for use along the highway.
Get the Celestron AstroMaster 114EQ Newtonian at Amazon for $271.88
17. A flashlight to light up the dark
This flashlight was our best value pick in flashlights list, and that’s no surprise with its many features. The Anker Bolder has a 400 lumens beam, a protective scalloped bezel (so you can use it to break a window in an emergency) and a rechargeable battery (rare at this price point).
Get the Anker Bolder LC40 flashlight at Amazon for $25.99
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.