The must-have gadgets for your road trip

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From essentials like a USB charger to a dashboard camera for capturing epic drives, here’s our pick of gadgets to pack in the car

Before you hit the open road, check our selection of the latest gadgets that could make your ride that little bit smoother…

1. Mophie dual USB charger (around £30)

An in-car charger is essential for any road trip. The Mophie Dual USB charger plugs into a 12V lighter socket to deliver a rapid charge for up to two devices at a time – either 4.8 amps on a single charge, or 2.4 amps per port.

2. AirSelfie – selfie drone (around £80)

Air Selfie Drone

For stunning aerial photographs of you and your travel companions amid breathtaking scenery, look no further than this pocket-sized drone camera. Propelled to a height of up to 20 metres by four mini propellers, it pairs with a smartphone so you can direct proceedings from the ground. If you like whizzy gadgetry, and want loftier selfies and out-of-reach panoramas, then the AirSelfie is for you.

3. Vasco Translator (around £325) 

The Vasco Translator is ideal if you’re on an overseas road trip. It can translate between more than 50 languages through voice recognition, and comes with a built-in sim card, so you don’t have to worry about internet access or roaming charges to find a translation.

Plan your next road trip with our guides to the best driving routes:

4. Mophie Powerstation mini (around £25)

If you’re on a long journey or run short of power sockets, give you phone or electronics a boost with a portable power bank. This 5000mAh Mophie Powerstation mini is enough to charge a phone for around 18 hours, with dual USB output. The LED indicator shows how much power is left to use.

5. Handpresso Auto – coffee maker (around £133)

Harndpresso Auto coffee maker

Coffee is the driver’s friend, especially for long trips, but the average service station doesn’t usually serve up the best brew. Thank goodness, then, for this miracle contraption, the Handpresso Auto portable coffee maker that plugs into the 12V lighter socket in the car, and delivers a perfect espresso, wherever you are.

6. Huawei E5577C – 4G hotspot (around £69.99)

Huawei E5577

Connect everyone to a single super-fast 4G data SIM, keep the kids quiet with a ready supply of HD video content, and avoid the shock of multiple roaming charges. This mobile Wi-Fi device, from Chinese brand Huawei, allows even a minibus-load of tourists (up to 10) to make calls, stream content and play games at the same time.

There are lots of alternatives out there, but Huawei builds the mobile WiFi network so it knows a thing or two about making devices for it (no other network builder also makes mobile devices). It has a burgeoning reputation for snappy mobile gadgetry that punches above its weight.

7. Scosche MagicMount – phone mount (around £17)

Scosche Magic Mount

Scosche has a range of phone mounts – variously suitable for smartphones and tablets – for both cars and bikes. Some sit flush with the dashboard, some attach to a plinth, some attach to the windscreen; most are cheap and cheerful, and solve the logistical – and, indeed, legal – issue of driving with access to a phone. This Scosche MagicMount attaches to the air vent, keeping the phone outside the driver’s direct field of vision.

8. Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 522GW – dashcam (from £149)

Nextbase 512

Dash-mounted cameras, which continuously record the view through a vehicle’s windscreen, are increasingly popular, especially among heavy road users. They are useful, too, for capturing road incidents, and can reduce insurance premiums. On holiday, they also capture the journey – which can be magical away from the motorway.

The Nextbase iN-CAR CAM 522GW is a high-end model that captures the driver’s field of vision, night and day, in 1080p full HD video, working as an eyewitness to your adventures, as well as any scrapes.

9. TomTom GO 5200 – Sat Nav system (£299.99)

TomTom Go 5200

If you’re heading for unknown roads, a Sat Nav can be invaluable, especially if you don’t have a human navigator with you. This TomTom GO 5200 has decent features and free worldwide maps, and also integrates with your smartphone so you can make hands-free calls and hear incoming text messages. Also compatible with Siri and Google Now.

10. UE Boom 3 – bluetooth speaker (from £99.99)

UE Boom 2

There are higher-spec bluetooth speakers on the market, but UE Boom 3 offers a punchy sound and robust build quality that is well suited to the rough and tumble of road trips. With Siri and Google Now voice integration, it takes requests and, using the app, you can unlock new features like tap controls to pause or skip playback. It also looks super stylish, finished with rubber and felt in a range of colours.

And don't forget, as a Boundless member you can make great savings on your travel gadgets with our online and high street discounts, including 6% off at Halfords. Read our Five Minute Guide to Discount Shopping Cards.

You can find more fantastic gadgets in our guide to gifts for tech-lovers.

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