Summertime often means packing up the car and hitting the open road in search of adventure – or at least heading off to visit the family!
Whether you’re off to the seaside, visiting friends, travelling to a music festival or driving all the way to France, we’ve found some hi-tech gadgets to help you reach your destination safely and comfortably.
Some will also help to keep you and your passengers entertained if you’re unfortunate enough to become caught up in a summer traffic jam.
Handpresso Auto ESE Portable Espresso Maker (£139 - handpresso.com)
Tired of paying for expensive and bland coffee at service stations? This little gadget, which is powered by your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, will transform you into a barista on wheels. Just plug the device in, add water and a coffee pod, then sit back and relax. The Handpresso Auto ESE Portable Espresso Maker will satisfy all your caffeine needs.
EE Buzzard 2 In-Car Wireless Wi-Fi Adapter Hub with 6GB of Mobile Data (various monthly plans available - from ee.co.uk)
Stuck in a traffic jam with nothing better to do than watch the other cars and play I Spy over and over again? This device turns your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot providing 4G WI-Fi so your passengers can have access to the internet when on the road. Whether your passengers want to stream their favourite shows or music, play online games or check social media, up to 10 devices can be connected at once keeping everyone entertained throughout a long journey.
Olixar Triple USB Super-Fast Car Charger (£14.99 mobilefun.co.uk)
These days, most of us have multiple handheld devices that all need charging via USB. Battery life on these devices is often pretty poor and is drained quickly when used for playing games or browsing the internet. With the Olixar Triple USB Super-Fast Car Charger, up to three USB devices can be charged on the road allowing your passengers to keep using their mobile phones and tablets no matter how long the journey.
Viotek Heated and Cooled Seat Cushion (£100 – amazon.co.uk)
Tired of your shirt sticking to your back when driving on a hot summer’s day? This seat will help keep your body cool when driving in the sticky summer heat (it will also keep you cosy in the colder winter months too). The intelligent temperature control will let you adjust between the five levels of cooling and switch between cold air and warm air allowing you to be in full control of your comfort.
Smartphone Car Locator VuPoint 3 in 1 PinGo Smart Car Locator (£40 – amazon.co.uk)
Who hasn’t ‘misplaced’ their car? Well, with the PinGo Smart Car Locator plugged into your car, you won’t have to wander around aimlessly looking for your car ever again. The free app which comes with the device means you’ll be able to easily locate your vehicle. This device is also helpful if you’re forever leaving your phone in the house as it will notify you via beeping and a blinking red light that your phone is not present in the car.
Garmin nüviCam LMT-D (£309 garmin.com)
No in-car gadget guide would be complete without a sat nav. What makes this sat nav from Garmin so great is that it also comes with a built in dash-cam that automatically saves the footage if you’re unfortunate enough to have a bump with another vehicle. Another safety feature included is a collision warning if you drive too close to the vehicle in front of you and a lane departure warning to alert you if you drift off the road. This powerhouse of a sat nav comes preloaded with detailed maps of Europe enabling you to safely navigate your journey in the UK and beyond.
Garmin BabyCam (£159.99 garmin.com)
This device is easily attached to the headrest on your seat and allows you to monitor the back seat. This camera works with certain models of Garmin sat nav (including Garmin nüviCam LMT-D), allowing you to view the video on the screen of your sat nav so there will be no need to turn your head to look into the back seat. This can be helpful if you need to check on small children or to check if older children (or adults) are behaving themselves.