It’s high time you took a road trip, right? School’s finally over, you’ve caught up on the housework you said you’d do. It’s summer, the sun’s shining, water’s warm, and you definitely want to get out of the house.
Even if you’re staying relatively close to home, traveling can be expensive! We’ve put together a list of items that are going to make your summertime travel more fun, and to keep you within your budget, everything’s under $20!
1. OEE 7 pcs Luggage Packing Organizers Packing Cubes Set for Travel
If you’re packing a suitcase, packing cubes like this really work. They save space, so you can fit more in. They organize your belongings so you can go right to what you’re looking for. It keeps clean stuff separate from dirty stuff. The combination of bags, cubes, and zipper cases fits right into most suitcases but can also help organize your backpacks or duffles. [On sale right now]
2. Travel Hanging Toiletry Bag by Hikenture
This is one of the nicest hanging toiletries bags we’ve seen. It’s well-organized, with sturdy hooks and zippers and lots of pockets and sections. Regular Size : 9.4x 4.7×8.7 inches (LxWxH). It has room for everything I need. I love that it looks just as good, and sits flat, on the counter as it does hanging. It’s also waterproof, because you know how wet everything gets in those campground showers. [On sale right now]
3. Kikkerland Mini Doodle Kit
Your young one who loves to draw will thank you for this travel art kit. In a case about the size of a passport fits 18 illustrations, 8 colored pencils, an eraser, and a sharpener.
4. Take Me to The Sea: Sailor Beach Summer Time, Travel Book and Trip Planner, Vacation Planner & Checklists, travel planning journal (It’s Time to Travel) (Volume 6)
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys reading guide books to anticipate your travel, planning out your days of where you’ll go and what you’ll do, this book is for you. Listmakers will enjoy the checklists of important items you want to take with you or look for once you get to your destination. It’s affordable and fun. I love that it’s 120 pages with a flexible enough format that you can use this both as a trip planner and afterwards keep this as a souvenir of your trip, and never forget all the things you did.
7. Coleman 16-Can Soft Cooler With Hard Liner
Check out the great sale price on this cooler! The 30-can cooler is only a dollar more than the 16-can cooler, at the time of this writing. Use it to hold some drinks along with your healthy road snacks like grapes, string cheese, and sandwich makings, so you can eat whenever and wherever you feel like it, and not spend a fortune. [On sale right now]
8. iOttie Easy One Touch 4 CD Slot Car Mount Phone Holder
Chances are good you’re not carting around a tote full of CDs for your road trip. That leaves the CD slot open for this nifty phone mount. This mounts easily into most car CD slots, so you can use your GPS or play music without having to fumble with your phone. [On sale right now]
9. LilGadgets CarBuddy Universal Headrest Tablet Mount
Since we’re talking mounts that will keep the driver happy, check out this one that will keep the passengers happy. This slips over the headrest of the front seats to hold 7- to 11-inch devices such as iPad, Galaxy, Note, Fire, Nook, and Surface tablets. Use in either portrait or landscape mode, with no tools required to install or remove.
10. Autoark Bigger Car Seat Back Organizer and Multi-Pocket Travel Storage Bag
Give one or two backseat passengers the autonomy to get their own stuff. Fill this full of the mini doodle kit we mentioned above, tissues, water, snacks and books and let them get what they need without you having to dig for it. Even if you have no back-seat passengers, this will come in handy. Put the things in there that you don’t want to have to move everything around or open up every bag to get, and when you’re at a rest stop or your final destination you’ll have everything you need in one place.
11. Britax EZ-Cling Window Sun Shades
Driving down the road, or parked at the rest stop, it’s nice to have some shade. This comes in a pack of two, and affixes easily to the windows. It’s reusable and blocks Uv rays and glare. [On sale right now]
12. AmazonBasics Seat Cover for Pets
Why limit yourselves to just using this for pets? Seriously, if you have a dog and you’re planning on taking them to the beach or lake, you need this. But imagine if you have a wet baby you need to change, or a wet toddler who isn’t ready to sit in the car seat yet. Maybe you have wet sand toys or, heck, even laundry you need to bring home from the laundromat! [On sale right now]
13. 2018 Rand McNally Road Atlas
I’m as quick to use my GPS as the next girl . . . no, actually I’m quicker. But I am a paper lover at heart. I remember flipping through the map books when I went on trips with my family as a kid (before we had the choice of GPS). With a road atlas, you and your passengers can see in more detail where they’re going and what’s nearby. And if you just want to stop and see something that your GPS isn’t showing you, you’ll be able to see exactly where to go to get there. [On sale right now]
14. Grid-It Organizer
I saw this in a magazine a few years ago and bought one right away. I can’t tell you how much frustration this organizer has saved me over the travels I’ve taken since then. Whether in a car or on a plane, I always have cords and plugs for phones, tablets, headphones, Kindles, and chargers for myself and others. This organizer keeps it all straight. Instead of digging through pocket after pocket in my bag, I just reach for this and whatever I’m looking for is right at hand and not tangled. Seriously great invention! [On sale right now]
15. Belkin SurgePlus USB Swivel Surge Protector and Charger
This is one of those things that when you get it, it’s going to change your life. How many times have you been in an airport (Hello, Denver? Seattle?) where there never seems to be outlets when you need one, and when you do find one, it’s just that, one? But you need to charge your phone and your Kindle. Or what about getting to the hotel or friend’s house and EVERYONE you’re with wants to charge ALL of their devices at the same time? This power strip expands your options, so you don’t have to use the outlet in the bedroom, the bathroom, and the one across the hall.
Vanessa Salvia is a traveler and journalist based in Oregon.