6/18/2021 | By Annie Tobey

“On the road again. Just can’t wait to get on the road again.” When Willie Nelson released this classic song in 1990, he didn’t know how perfect the lyrics would be 40 years later. Whether we’re going places that we’ve never been, seeing things we may never see again, or visiting long-time favorite haunts, we can factor comfort, convenience, and safety into our plans. These 11 best road trip accessories for seniors can help make the most of your getaways.

Comfort and convenience


By packing snacks and light meals, you save money and avoid going into businesses that may have lower health or safety standards. Invest in a quality cooler or portable mini fridge to keep your food and drinks cold.

Recommended: Orion coolers boast 2 inches of insulation and a sturdy outer shell. They also have added benefits such as built-in bottle openers, external tie-down points, reliable but easy-open latches, and more. The company offers accessories such as seatbacks for making a chair of the cooler, divider and cutting board inserts, workstation and cup holder attachments, and wheels.

For smaller capacity and portability, opt for a car-powered mini fridge. Recommended: The Cooluli mini fridge electric cooler and warmer has an AC/DC portable thermoelectric system with a USB power bank option. It holds 4 liters or 6 cans.


Even in the best of cars, sitting for an extended time can be uncomfortable at best, distracting at worst, and cause back pain for days afterwards. Although it’s always wise to break up road trips with stops to stretch every hour or so, an ergonomic lumbar-support cushion also eases the pain – which makes it one of the best road trip accessories for seniors.

Qualities to look for in your perfect backrest include breathability, secure fit, size, material – and simply whether it works for you. Depending on your body, you might also consider a neck pillow or coccyx cushion.

Recommended: The Faegar lumbar support pillow is ergonomically designed to relieve upper, mid, and lower back pain and back tightness, to encourage a healthy posture, and to help maintain the spine’s natural curve.

Black hole blocker

At first glance, having something to fill that gap between car seat and center console is merely cool and convenient. On the other hand, important items like phones and toll money often drop into that black hole. Fishing them out distracts from paying attention to the road, so plugging the gap provides a safety benefit, too.

Recommended: Drop Stop fits between the seat and the console, with a slot for the seat belt catch. The Neoprene material allows it to contract or expand to various widths.

Cell phone car mounts

Unless your car has built-in navigation and smartphone Bluetooth capabilities, you need to keep your phone within reach. Holding it while driving is not only unsafe, it’s often illegal. The primary mounting systems each have their pros and cons.

  • Dashboard mounts keep your phone at a comfortable height for viewing, though the phone blocks a portion of the view. Suction models don’t work on all surfaces, and adhesive can come loose in summer heat.
  • Vent mounts hold the phone a little lower and don’t block a driver’s view. However, the mounts block airflow and don’t work well with all car vents.
  • Cupholder mounts work well for cars with center-front cupholders, without blocking view or airflow. Those with taller goosenecks raise the phone to a more comfortable level for reference, though not as high as vent mounts.

Recommended: The Andobil 15-inch-long cupholder phone mount has an adjustable and stable gooseneck, adjusts to different sizes of car cups, and accommodates cell phones with thick cases.

Phone chargers

Having a fully charged phone is essential when traveling – in your car and out, for drivers’ and passengers’ devices. Car chargers and portable power banks provide phones with all the juice they need. You can even get extra power insurance with a boost from the sun.

Recommended: The Blavor PD 18W solar-powered charger has four foldable solar panels; rapid-charging capabilities; a lamp with 32 bright LEDs and three brightness levels; a flashlight with beam, SOS, and strobe; and a compass.

Bluetooth car system

Using Bluetooth to connect your phone to your car’s speaker or another external speaker enables you to better hear navigation directions, listen to music, audio books, and podcasts, and communicate when needed. Many new model cars already have Bluetooth. If yours doesn’t, you can purchase a wireless kit.

Recommended: BESIGN BK06 Bluetooth 5.0 car wireless car kit for handsfree talking comes with a speakerphone, visor clip, motion auto on, and Siri/Google Assistant support.


It’s one thing to misplace your keys, wallet, or phone at home, but losing them when you’re traveling can really cause headaches! Attach the small Tile devices to important items, then pair each one with your smart phone and with Alexa or Google Assistant. Once paired, you can “ring” the missing item. When you’re out of Bluetooth range – as in traveling – the Tile app can show your Tile’s most recent location or enlist the anonymous help of the Tile Network.

Recommended: This Tile starter kit comes with four pieces, in three different sizes.

Related: How to Find Something You’ve Lost

ICE: In Case of Emergency

Medical alert system

Having an emergency alert system in your car can literally be a lifesaver, and is one of the best road trip accessories for seniors. If your car doesn’t come equipped with an OnStar emergency system, you can add a similar, plug-in device.

Recommended: The Splitsecnd alert system by Bay Alarm Medical plugs into a cigarette lighter adapter. The small device combines crash detection, GPS capabilities, and two-way communication. An app connects with driver location status and gives peace of mind with destination arrival and boundary alerts. Requires a monthly subscription fee.

Emergency seat belt cutter and window breaker

The time between an accident and rescue can be interminable – and dangerous. Releasing a trapped victim as quickly as possible can mean the difference between life and death. That’s not always an easy task, except with a tool that cuts seatbelts or breaks window glass.

Recommended: The Resqme seatbelt cutter and window glass breaker is small enough to attach to a keychain but strong enough to get the job done.

Emergency roadside kits

Pack a kit of strategic items for peace of mind as you drive and essentials in case of emergency. Consider car needs like jumper cables, tire gauge and repair kit, tools, and tow rope. Add personal safety items including reflective vest, flashlight and strobe lamp (batteries stored separately), blanket, whistle, poncho, roadside reflectors, and so on.

Recommended: AUTODECO premium 100-piece car roadside emergency kit comes in a ‎14.29- by 12.4- by 5.39-inch bag.

First aid kit

Start with a basic first aid kit: cleansing wipes, gauze pads, assorted bandages, rolled gauze, antibiotic cream, itch cream, pain reliever caplets, instant cold pack, etc. Then pack handwipes, hand sanitizer, and whatever you need for your own medical needs.

Recommended: The Johnson & Johnson first aid kit comes with 140 pieces of trusted brand name products in a 3.27- by 9.75- by 7-inch case.

Have fun on the road again with these best road trip accessories for seniors!

Annie Tobey

Annie Tobey has been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years. As editor of BOOMER magazine, she explored a diversity of topics of particular interest to adult children of seniors. When she’s not writing, she can be found running the trails or enjoying a beer with friends.

Annie Tobey