Rory Smith


DRIVING • April 2018

Six essential items of road trip kit

One car, one destination and one epic drive in mind – it’s the age-old recipe for the beloved road trip. Whether you’re blasting through the countryside at speed, cruising down the Amalfi coast in style or discovering new territory at a leisurely pace, it’s crucial to ensure you have the right tools for the trip. Motoring journalist Rory Smith recommends the crème de la crème of road trip kit

Stay shady

Aside from looking the part, driving – especially in unchartered territory – requires a significant amount of attention. A slick pair of sunglasses can make all the difference when keeping your eyes on the road. First worn by Hollywood A-lister Steve McQueen in the 1960’s film The Thomas Crown Affair, the Persol 714 (£196) folding sunglasses are the ideal accessory for any driver, with blue polarised lenses to block out glare.


The back-up plan

Fingers crossed you won’t need it, but an emergency kit is vital for all driving adventures. Whether it’s a flat tyre in the pouring rain, a freak snow flurry or worse, this 42-piece Lifeline AAA Road Kit (from £62) comes with a torch, poncho, jump-start cables and a 19-piece, first-aid kit to get you back on the road again. 

Emergency kit

Savvy storage

Much more than just a way of carting your valuables, clothes and belongings around the world, a good suitcase is a must for any traveller. In the car, it’s great to have something solid and stylish, whether you’re behind the wheel of a two-seater convertible or a family-friendly SUV. With its two-tone colour scheme inspired by the paintwork on the original Orient Express carriages, the Globetrotter Deco 20" Trolley case (£1,355) will sit neatly in the boot, its stiff shell protecting your belongings inside as well as looking the part when you arrive at your destination.  


The right direction

Gone are the days of spreading a map across the bonnet – everything you require is in the palm of your hand. Of course, you’ll need to have both hands on the wheel while you navigate your way along the open roads, so clip your phone into the Aukey Suction Phone Mount HD-C29 (£8.50), input the route and hey presto you’re on your way. With its strong suction mounting and a 360-degree rotatable ball-joint fixing, this low-cost solution could be the most important item you take. 

Phone mount

Shutter speed

On any road trip you have to live in the moment, but it’s just as important to capture those epic memories – for that, you’ll need a high-quality camera. With manual dials to control different settings, Wi-Fi, the ability to shoot 4K video and a weather-sealed body, the Fujifilm X-T2 (£1,434) is a reasonably compact camera to suit both beginners and budding photographers. 


Pull the plug

Whether you’re driving overseas or just keeping it local, with the number of gadgets and gizmos in most people’s electrical arsenal increasing daily, you’ll be needing power – and lots of it. Plugging into the in-car 12V socket, this Duracell 175W Twin UK Socket Inverter (£27) has space for two three-pin plugs and two USBs, keeping all your devices going for the duration of the journey.  


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This article has been tagged Adventure, Driving