Five must-have car accessories for your road trip

The festive season and the open road calling often go hand-in-hand for many South Africans. Whether it's a trip to the coast for a seaside holiday or a visit to see family across the country, the chances are the roads will be busy.

If they're lucky, they'll have great company, audiobooks to listen to, and be able to sing along to their favourite songs. That said, what if the tablet battery dies, or worse, the phone battery is depleted, the music stops playing, and the GPS is unavailable an hour from the final destination?

Before pointing fingers because the battery didn't last or arguing about directions, the specialists say this.

“There are few things worse than a flat battery, whether it’s your phone or car battery,” said Jason Ravenscroft, Franchise Manager at Battery Centre, a specialist battery fitment network with more than 120 branches around the country. “Our specialists recommend motorists have their batteries checked before a long trip to limit the risk of getting stuck with a flat battery. If you do find yourself in this position, having the right car accessories on hand, will make things easier until you get help.” he added.

Here are five handy car power accessories to make any road trip comfortable, easy, and fun. Or the “great-family-road-trip-survival guide”, as Ravenscroft refers to them.

  1. A power bank

Think of it as a portable battery to charge cellphones, laptops or other electronic gadgets on-the-go. Available in different sizes, the trusted battery specialists recommend the SE5 or SE10 power bank with its slim design and high capacity. “These power banks keep devices at full power and can charge two devices simultaneously so that you don’t run out of battery power on the road,” said Ravenscroft.

  1. Jumper cables

All motorists should have a pair of jumper cables and know how to use them. Ravenscroft recommends motorists use jumpers that have extra-long and durable cables, that are reliable and safe. "Always start with the red clamp on the positive post of the battery that is working," he said.

  1. 500 Lumen Diffuser Torch

Ideal for camping, hiking, and emergencies when power isn't available. The Lumen torch is powerful and coupled with the diffuser can soften the light beam. It's USB rechargeable and protects against short circuits and overcharging. The diffuser pulls double-duty as it's collapsible and can be used as a high-quality silicone drinking cup.

  1. HiLight Light Sensor

A USB rechargeable, hands-free headlamp. All you need to do is wave. The light sensor can power your surroundings for up to 15 hours when fully charged. Use them for camping, hiking, a braai, DIY, or to light-up dark areas.

  1. Jumpstarter Power Bank

Don't allow your road trip to stall with a flat battery. This powerful power bank includes jump start clamps—keep them in the boot just in case to give the battery the boost it needs and get your trip back on track. Plus, you can use the USB input to charge your cellphone.   

While it is best practice to get your vehicle checked before embarking on a road-trip, it's always a good idea to have power accessories in the car for peace of mind, which can help you stay connected and on the go. As mentioned above, a preventative car battery check is essential. You can get yours checked by Battery Centre, the trusted battery specialists who do them for free, so you can have a relaxed journey, knowing your battery is in the right condition for your road trip.