A long road trip can be just what you need to unwind and bond with those you care about most. Whether you are heading a couple of cities over or spanning the continent, it can be a fun way to see the sites up close and enjoy regional favorites along the way to your point of interest. However, the longer the ride, the more you may benefit from certain technological advancements. Regardless of your journey’s end, consider how investments in technology may make your trip a more safe and pleasant one.
A Reliable Car
First and foremost, having a reliable car for long commutes will likely be the highest priority on your list. Your vehicle should be able to handle even the most challenging driving scenarios, a variety of terrain, as well as unpredictable weather conditions. In short, you will need a well-rounded vehicle that won’t break down on you even after countless hours on the road. While all vehicles may not come standard with these features, some ideal ones to aim for when researching include the following:
- Good fuel efficiency
- Plenty of leg room and comfortable seating for both driver and passengers
- Reliable cooling and heating system that circulates well throughout the cabin
- Cupholders for drinks and pockets to stow away belongings
- Ports to charge devices
- Four-wheel drive and all-season tires
- Spacious trunk space for luggage
At the end of the day, it is possible to use a road map or atlas to help navigate you to your destination. You may even end up having to use one in those occasional spotty areas that don’t have service. But there’s no denying that using a GPS has almost become a way of life in the last decade which has made travel to new places much easier and convenient. Unlike a map, GPS can reroute, provide turn-by-turn directions, and are often updated in real time. As a bonus, you have multiple ways to search for locations and can even easily discover some surrounding stops along the way. While GPS apps can be downloaded on your phone, they may eat up data on limited cellular plans, slow down other apps you are trying to use, and rely on your phone’s signal.
Newer cars may have Bluetooth capabilities that not only enable you to safely multitask on the road, but also make it easier to abide by many states’ cellphone laws that impose hefty fines if you are caught talking or texting while driving. Depending on the specific features your vehicle has, you may be able to control many aspects of your car while keeping your hands on the steering wheel. Even if you have an older model vehicle, it may be worth considering purchasing aftermarket gadgets and accessories that can help give you easier hands-free access to features such as music, phone calls, and GPS.
When you need something to break up the endless hours of breathtaking (and occasionally monotonous) roadside scenery, tablets and other handheld devices can be a lifesaver. Since everybody is likely to come ready with their own portable electronic entertainment, you will likely want to have enough charging cords as well as ports in your vehicle to keep them functional for long periods of time. Headphones and earbuds may also be essential so that noise pollution does not distract the driver. For entertainment for the whole family, you may even consider installing a DVD system or device mounts.
Spending long hours on the road doesn’t have to be nerve-wracking and monotonous. Thanks to modern day technology, you can feel safe and have access to several options for entertainment that can help the hours to breeze by. With a little preparation, you can enjoy your trip even before reaching your destination.