(Illustration: Gajanan Nirphale)
(Illustration: Gajanan Nirphale)

A road trip checklist: Here’s all the tech you need

Be it an adapter for your chargers or portable mini fridge, you might not want to miss out on the gadgets or apps that would come handy while solo travelling or going on a vacation with family.
Hindustan Times | By Abhishek Baxi
UPDATED ON SEP 08, 2019 10:31 AM IST

If you’re planning to head out on a road trip anytime soon, once you’re done with planning your itinerary and making bookings, add the following gadgets and apps to your travel basket.

Gear for your car

One of the first things I pack for a road trip is a portable car refrigerator. While chillers with ice packs are very common, mini-fridges from Tropicool help keep your sodas, fruit or baby food fresh and chilled over long hours without the botheration of melting ice packs.

While most of us use a car charger these days, you might want to pick up a TP-Link CP250 adapter which offers three cigarette lighter ports for further expansion to charge a multitude of devices in parallel. Or pick up a Targus Automotive Power Inverter that lets you charge devices like your laptop or camera batteries via the cigarette lighter port.

With air pollution levels rising, a lot of people use air purifiers at home; if you’re travelling with kids or elderly folks, you can also get a portable car purifier like Philips GoPure Compact or Honeywell Move.

Stay connected

MapMyIndia and AutoWiz offer products that help you monitor the health of your car via a mobile app. The AutoWiz HotSpot also acts as a wifi hotspot to help you stay connected on the go. The primary purpose of these products is to enable real-time car location tracking – if that’s your need every day, go for it. If not, do what I do and opt for a cheap, generic ELM 327-based OBD II dongle. OBD (on-board diagnostics) give access to the status of the various vehicle subsystems. These dongles can pair with apps like Torque Pro and CarScanner to tell you more about your car.

App-ify the journey

First things first, use PackPoint to smartly organise what you need to pack based on length of travel, weather at your destination, and activities planned for the trip. Often, on a trip, you need to split expenses with the group. Rather than doing the maths every time the bill arrives at a restaurant, use an app like Splitwise or Splittr to log and divide expenses seamlessly.

Most people only use translation apps when travelling abroad but remember that both Google Translate and Microsoft Translator support many Indian languages as well.

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