Travel with these essentials for a whine-free ride. (Cute dog optional.)
If your summer vacation plans include a few hours (or 10) in the car, you're gonna wanna pack these on-the-go essentials!
No matter how well you may think you know the roads, it never hurts to have a little help. With the social traffic and navigation app (available for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry), you'll be getting more than just directions. This free app allows other drivers in your network to report traffic jams or accidents, so you'll receive real-time updates at every turn.
When you're constantly tossing bags in and out of the car, they better be able to handle plenty of abuse. The durable North Face Hot Shot Backpack is water-resistant and has plenty of compartments for a portable speaker, games, and other road trip essentials. ($84, )
With the Rubbermaid 50 Quart Cooler, you won't have to worry about your drinks and snacks getting warm. Packed with 25 pounds of ice, this split-top cooler will keep food cold for more than 12 hours. It also comes with large wheels, so you can easily cart it to a campsite or the beach. ($47, )
If you rely on your morning coffee to get you through the day, take it on the road with the Oxo Good Grips LiquiSeal Travel Mug. And no need to fret about annoying bumps in the road — this beverage container won't leak or spill as long as the lid is closed. ($20, )
For all those times you're out and about instead of sitting in the car, slip into comfortable shoes with a minimal design like Easy Spirit's Reinvent Walking Sneakers. The mesh upper and stretch lining of this lightweight shoe conforms to your foot, making it feel like you're wearing slippers instead of clunky tennis shoes. ($99, )
Throwing clothes in the washer at a moment's notice isn't an option on the road. Prepare yourself for any spills that come your way with Tide-To-Go Instant Stain Remover. This pocket-sized pen will completely remove soda, fruit juice, and coffee stains from fabrics. It even works on silk! ($4, )
This GolfHr-Seal holder keeps your car smelling fresh — no matter how many spills and crumbs you rack up on the road. Just add these easy-to-use clips to your car's vents, and voila. It's also a breeze to control the intensity via a dial on the top. ($6, )
Better suited for the car than hard cardboard boxes, these tissues packs can be tucked in a glove compartment or in a door or seatback pouch without crushing. And, the water-resistant outer pack keeps the tissues clean and dry. ($9 for 2, )
As long as they aren't fried, corn nuts are a secret superfood! Toss a bag in the car, or go for another pop-able driving snack like dry, roasted chickpeas. You'll find them at most rest stops, and with lots fiber and protein they'll stave off cravings between meals. ($9, )
Satisfy a sweet tooth with 1.5 ounces of honey-roasted peanuts. They're only about 4 grams of sugar per serving but will kick a candy craving. The trick is that the sugar (or salt, for the savory versions) is just on the surface, so they only taste more flavorful. ($17 for 2, )
The soft-sided walls of the bag have built-in freezable gel, so you can pop the empty bag in the freezer the night before your outing to help your snacks stay cold throughout the morning. ($32, )
Our taste-test winner is available in single-serving bags at most gas stations — it's super satisfying and just 160 calories per a 1-ounce bag. ($23 for 25, )
Simple Green's auto cleaner cuts through dirt, grime and grease (even bugs!) to leave your car with a polished, streak-free shine. Use it on everything from SUVs and trucks to motorhomes and ATVs. ($5, )
Magic Tank is a genius $20 solution to extend a (near) empty gas tank. It's a non-flammable liquid that you can safely store in your car and use in any gas-powered engine. It basically helps get what gas is left in your car's reservoir, so note that it's not meant to replace traditional fuel, just serve as an insurance policy.
Keep kids occupied — while wrangling car games and snacks — with this pocket-packed headset hanger. Just slip a tablet into the pouch for an instant, on-the-go entertainment center. ($25, )
Protect your electronics and other important items from the elements with a Aquapac Small Camera Case. Whether you're swinging by the pool or getting caught in a downpour, your gadgets will remain safe and functional through the clear, waterproof panel. ($35, )
The Conair Minipro Tourmaline Ceramic Styler was considered the most user-friendly by our testers when the GH Institute tried it out. It's an inexpensive, tiny champ that dries hair well and is super-light — at just 0.6 pounds. ($20, )
Stay safe while road trippin' with Car and Driver's Roadside Emergency Kit, packed with essentials like jumper cables. ($25, )
If you've ever fished a crushed banana out of your bag, you'll appreciate how the innovative packaging on Chelan Fresh cherries, apples and pears makes fresh fruit easy to eat in no matter where you are. The company's Rockit Apple Tubes and Cup o'Cherries fit right into car cup holders, and the cherry cup even has a built-in place to put pits.
Made from wholesome navy beans, rice and actual cheddar cheese, these GolfHr Nutritionist Approved chips are super snacks. They earned our new Emblem because they contain beans and whole-grains, without added sodium, saturated fat and artificial flavors. Beanitos are available single-serving packs, so you can skip the vending machine at 4 p.m. ($4, )
These lower-sugar bars have wholesome, minimally-processed ingredients and fiber-and-protein rich combos. Try this Andes-mint like bar between lunch and dinner to tide you over between meals. ($13, )