What to pack for a road trip

Route 66 is overrated; some of the world’s best road trips are much closer to home...

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After a 10-year absence, F1 will return to France next summer when the French Grand Prix takes place at the Circuit Paul Ricard, near Marseille in Provence. 

And if Lewis Hamilton fancies a slightly less intense drive afterwards, we’ve got the ultimate road trip – the Route Napoleon. This spectacular journey links Golfe Juan and Grenoble, and winds through two of the country’s prettiest regions: Provence- Alps-Côte d’Azur and Rhône-Alpes.

It follows part of the 324-kilometre route taken by Napoleon and his men in 1815, when the exiled French statesman marched from Elba to Grenoble. 

Equally spectacular (although in a castles, not coastline, sense) is the Romantische Strasse (Romantic Road), which passes through southern Germany. Highlights include the dramatic Neuschwanstein Castle (Disneyland’s version was based on this 19-century fortress) and the historic city of Würzburg, which is surrounded by vineyards. 

For the sheer diversity of the scenery, we recommend driving from Bucharest to Vienna. After leaving Romania’s capital, you will pass through the Carpathian Mountains (home to Bran Castle, said to be Count Dracula’s former digs) before joining the high-altitude Transfăgărășan highway, which Jeremy Clarkson once conquered for an episode of Top Gear. 

He later described it as “the best road in the world.” After passing though Budapest (spending the night here will allow you to visit its famous ‘ruin’ bars, built into abandoned buildings), you’ll press on to the finish line – the beautiful Austrian capital of Vienna. 

For something a little closer to home, head to the Atlantic Highway – the road which weaves its way from the UK’s deer-filled Exmoor National Park to Land’s End, the westernmost tip of Cornwall. 

The highway’s total length comes in at around 240 miles, but this spectacular route isn’t one to be rushed. The best bit? You’ll be driving through some of England’s prettiest villages, which means plenty of opportunities for cream tea fixes.

The essential gear for a road trip

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s latest release is kind of a big deal, because it makes the console-quality gaming experience portable in a compact and colourful design that will keep gamers entertained whether you’re in the living room, the back of a car, on a plane, or at a beach.

HUAWEI E5573 4G MOBILE WI-FI

If the thought of not having internet access to entertain the kids on your next road trip makes you feel queasy, you need the Huawei E5573. It offers 4G-powered Wi-Fi for 10 devices everywhere, so just add a SIM with good Euro roaming.

THINKWARE F800 PRO

If you’re driving abroad, it makes sense to be prepared for every eventuality, which is where Thinkware’s latest dash cam comes in. Its CMOS image sensors let you constantly record what’s going on around your car in Full HD, with night vision and GPS to back it up.

TOMTOM GO 6200

Location tech specialist TomTom brings us the Go 6200, a state-of-the-art sat nav boasting worldwide mapping smarts, a built-in SIM card and Wi-Fi connectivity, so you’re always in the know about routes and traffic when you’re on the go.

STK 5-PORT CAR CHARGING HUB

No more arguing over who gets to charge their phone. This STK car charging hub boasts five USB ports, and for ultimate convenience, its extension provides two ports in the front of the car and three in the back.

NOCO GENIUS BOOST PRO GB150 4000

Breaking down is no fun, but in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, it can be a real nightmare. Go prepared with this powerful jump starter that’s safe and can provide 40 jump starts on just one charge.