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Gadgets to Make Road Trips Even Better

There’s nothing like being on the open road. But even with the wind in your hair, the sun at your back and great music to sing along to, driving across country can get a little monotonous. Fortunately, road trip gear has come a long way in the past 20 years… and today’s family vacations are probably nothing like those of your youth.

Whether you’re renting a car or taking your own family truckster across the country, here are five gadgets that can make your trip even better:

  • DVDs. If your rental car doesn’t come with a built-in DVD player, then snap up a portable one and bring your kids’ favorite movies along for the ride. It’s just the thing to keep them entertained through the long stretches between attractions.

  • GPS. No longer are you relegated to charging your front passenger with reading the map and warning you of the turns ahead. Instead, just pop your destination into your built-in or portable GPS device and follow the computer-generated voice to the end of the line.

  • MP3 Players. With the ability to take all of your music with you in one tiny package, you won’t be forced to listen to static for miles or sing along to the same CDs for days.

  • Noise-canceling Headphones. Obviously not a wise choice for the driver, but for passengers who need to get some sleep, a pair of noise-canceling headphones will block out conversations and the sound coming from theMP3 or DVD player.

  • Cargo Cooler/Organizer Combo. With its ability to hold chilled drinks and snacks, plus magazines, handheld games, DVDs and books, a cargo cooler/organizer puts everything your crew will need right at their fingertips. Plus, if you’re traveling by van or SUV, the organizer can be placed between the captain’s seats in the middle row so everyone can access it easily.

One last bit of advice: Don’t forget your cell phone car charger. It’s not only vital to staying connected to those back home, but without it you may find yourself stranded in the middle of nowhere.

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