Don't Forget This Essential Car Tool On Your Next Road Trip Through Remote Areas

Road trips can be a blast. Just you and your family and friends (or maybe even you by yourself), out on the open road, wind in your hair, taking in the scenery mile by mile. There are so many benefits to a trip like this — like going wherever you want without a tour group, the freedom to stop whenever you want, and checking out remote locations and attractions that you might not otherwise get to see. 

Of course, there are some things to keep in mind while your wheels are taking you everywhere you want to be. What if something goes wrong with the car, and you're in a remote location? Even if you have AAA, which can send someone to give you a jump start, it could take a while for them to get there. What if you don't have cell service and can't connect to the internet to contact them in the first place? We've got a great tip for you that can help get you out of a jam like this: Try taking a portable jump starter with you on your road trip. Instead of waiting for someone to assist you, you'll have everything you need to power up your car and get back on the road.

Let's talk about portable jump starters

These devices are different than jumper cables, which transfer a stored charge in another car's battery to jump-start your own. Portable jump starters don't require another car — your car battery charges directly from the unit. These helpful little devices can range from around $40 to $150 or more, and most do come with a bit of a charge; however, we recommend charging it completely before your trip and at night wherever you're staying.

You should also familiarize yourself with the directions before you hit the road so you can take care of this, no matter the situation. Plus, flagging down a stranger on the side of the road (if you can even find one in remote areas) isn't always the safest thing to do during a road trip. You should usually let the car run for around 15 to 30 minutes after a jump, but check the instructions for your specific device.

It's worth bringing these on your summer road trips as well as your winter ones. Intense heat can wreak havoc with your car battery and make your tires expand. If you're flying to the starting location for your trip, make sure to pack your portable jump starter in your carry-on. Small portable jump starters typically have lithium-ion batteries, and according to the most recent TSA guidelines, lithium-ion batteries cannot be checked.