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Wheels Not Wings: Road-Trip Essentials

Wheels Not Wings: Road-Trip Essentials

Due to the global pandemic we are currently living through, road trips are on the agenda for many people this summer. As a brand that has proudly and frequently circumnavigated the globe for the last 10 years, we understand that the world and travel has changed. Our lust for adventures will have to be fed in a different manner for a while, without passports, visas, or the convenience of air travel to far-off destinations. With that in mind, we have turned our attention to #WheelsNotWings—loading up a car or truck or van or motorcycle to set out to find the new luxury: wide-open spaces shared with small groups of trusted friends. We understand that the craving for travel and adventure can never be quenched, so we hope you find a way to get out there this summer. Whether you’re going on a last-minute getaway, a family road trip, or that bucket-list drive from national park to national park, a successful drive requires proper gear, planning, and execution. Here, some of our favorite travel gadgets and planning apps to help you steer your trip in the right direction.

You never know what you may come in contact with on the road, something that requires a knife or some note taking. It’s always good to be prepared, which is why we collaborated with James Knife on this limited-edition EDC kit, which comes in a weatherproof case and contains a James + AETHER-branded Moleskine notebook and limited-edition pen and knife. The knife features one main blade, a Phillips-head screwdriver, a bottle opener, and James’ “All Things” scraper and pry. There are also three credit-card slots, making this an ideal piece for travel.

Board games aren’t just for evenings at home. Games can and should be taken on the road. Challenge your travel buddy to a game of backgammon or checkers with the Double-Sided Game-Bag Set from A Summer Shop. It’s made from a 100% cotton, Japanese selvedge chambray and doubles as a drawstring bag, so you can grab it and go.

You need to stay hydrated while on the road seeing adventure, which is easy with our AETHER x MIIR Vacuum-Insulated Bottle. It keeps your drinks at the temperature you want—cold stays cold for more than 24 hours, and hot stays hot for up to 12 hours. Read: You’re good whether you prefer your coffee hot or iced.

A major hassle of car travel is the challenges of packing your car. Suitcases make it difficult to cram everyone’s luggage in, which makes duffles a great alternative. Made from a waterproof and durable heathered fabric with a sturdy rubberized base, the AETHER Welded Duffle is a rugged-yet-refined piece versatile enough for any trip.

Whether you're camping or road-tripping, having a cooler to keep drinks cold and groceries fresh is a must. The YETI Roadie 24 is made for life on the road: It’s 10% lighter in weight than the classic YETI but holds 20% more. It’s also tall enough for bottles of wine but slim enough to sit behind the driver’s or passenger’s seat. That’s what we call thoughtful design.

Be prepared for summer afternoon showers or other unexpected bouts of weather with the lightweight and packable Meridian and Halley jackets.

Did you know that gas-pump handles are among the most germ-infested objects on the road? Given the state of the world, having hand sanitizer on your at all times is a no brainer. Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer is made with certified organic ingredients so it won’t be so harsh on your skin.

It’s always a good idea to have an emergency car kit on hand just in case you run into trouble. This 110-piece kit includes heavy-duty jumper cables, an impact-resistant flashlight, a siphon pump (to transfer gas from one vehicle to another), auto fuses, a tire gauge, a first-aid kit, and more. In case of emergency, your passengers will be glad you came prepared.

The C-Gear Original Sand-Free Mat is a beach blanket that’s impossible to cover with sand. Its patented woven design makes sand and dirt fall through the mesh, while preventing debris from coming back through. Originally used by the military for its durability, quick drying time, and resistance to water, this mat is a picnic game-changer.

Whether you’re at the beach or camping in the woods, a good portable speaker comes in handy. The BEOPLAY P2 is one of the most compact on the market, but don’t let its small size fool you— the sound quality is definitely big.

Need to stay on top of your email (or, let’s be honest, your Instagram feed)? Mobile hotspots enable you to access the internet while on the go. One of the highest-rated mobile Wi-Fi hotspots available on the market, the Skyroam Solis X offers unlimited 4G LTE service in more than 130 countries around the world. It also supports up to five devices and works as a portable charger for your electronics.

Perfect for travelers looking to capture and share their adventures, this sleek, high-tech drone comes with GPS and can fly as far as 4.3 miles with 10 optical sensors that help it avoid obstacles. It also comes equipped with user-friendly flight modes and smartphone control.

These websites will help plan your itinerary and figure out how long it will take—they can also assist you in finding interesting places to stop and stay:

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