It's amazing just how much time we spend in our cars, going to and from working, picking up and dropping off the kids and just doing all the things we need to do. Since we depend so much on them, shouldn't they be as comfortable as possible?
We probably can't afford to give a new car for the holidays. But we can give that frequent driver on our list something to improve their ride. Here are a bunch of great gift ideas for the road warrior in your life.
It's The Thought (Under $25)
A gift card from Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble or Target are all fine and dandy. But a rubbernecker will really appreciate a gift card from his or her favorite gas station. With a gallon of unleaded as expensive as it is these days, $25 can go a long way to telling someone you really care. Plus, they can use the card to get a bottle of Gatorade or a quart of oil while they're filling up. SVM Cards has a wide selection gas and non-gas gift cards to choose from.
The iGrip Viewer is a lifesaver for any parent with a restless toddler in the backseat. Attach this sucker to the front seat headrest and load a child's favorite movie. This movie-watching mount is designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch, but is compatible with most smartphones. The mount can be adjusted to any angle in both portrait and landscape view. The small screen won't bother a child; just watching Dora on an adventure with Boots is enough to keep the little tyke quiet.
People who live out of their cars tend to have empty water bottles, food wrappers, receipts and other trash littered all over the place. The High Road TrashStand will end all of those "please excuse the mess" comments from friends and coworkers along for a ride. It's leakproof, easy to wash and has a weighted bottom and Velco-like grip to keep it in place on the vehicle floor.
Who says car massagers have to be expensive? The driver can direct the intensity of the massage to three independent zones while logging those commuter miles. The Dr. Scholl's portable massager even has heat to help loosen up those tight muscles. Auto and AC adapters are included, of course.
No one likes to chip away ice on the windshield and work up a sweat in that heavy winter coat. Plug this electric ice scraper from The Sharper Image into the car's power outlet, and those thick ice sheets will melt away within minutes. The telescoping handle extends to 9" long.
Some drivers are finicky about keeping the floor mats clean. These floor liners from Husky Liners are custom-tailored to fit the front and back floors of almost any vehicle make and model from any year. The grooves trap everything from sand, mud and food crumbs to motor oil, grease and battery acid. Even better, they come with a lifetime warranty against cracking or breaking.
AC adapters and USB charge cords are the bane of our plugged-in existence. For anyone tired of lugging them around, Callpod has the solution. The Chargepod can safely charge up to six devices in the car at the same time (the value pack has a car adapter). The global-friendly device weighs less than 2 ounces and can charge from 110-240 volts. Some devices may require separate adapters to work with the Chargepod, but the value pack includes vouchers for three free adapters.
Survival Supply's Roadside Safety Kit is a must-have for any road warrior. No one goes camping in the wilderness without a first aid kit. So why let the driver in your life hit the open road without some sort of security? This 12" x 9" x 10" package sticks nicely to the trunk carpet. It includes an air compressor, flashlight, first aid kit, jumper cables and more. It even has a 24-hour roadside assistance program which includes three service calls.
The GL1 Diagnostic Cable from GoPoint Technology connects an iPhone or iPod Touch to the car's brain, and the driver to his inner auto geek. He can monitor on-board diagnostics and figure out the problem behind the check engine light. The device easily plugs into the vehicle's OBD-II port (usually near the driver's left ankle) and works on all gas and diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. since 1996. The amount of detail depends on the vehicle's manufacturer. It also doubles as a car charger.
Help that driver protect that ride from the elements with a customized vehicle cover. The Silverguard Plus from Coverking is water-resistant to guard against rain or snow and reflective to protect against the hot sun. The heavy weave is tear resistant, and the soft inner layer won't scratch the car's finish.
Garmin probably makes the most intuitive GPS devices on the market. The nüvi 3790T includes functions like voice-activation, Bluetooth calling and optional 3D landscape views. With a very clean, sleek design, it's easily the best looking GPS on the market. The two-hour battery life won't do much for longer trips, but the nüvi 3790T comes with a USB cable for charging and updating software.
We all know speeding is wrong, but we all do it at some point or another. Let that driver in your life protect himself when the local law enforcement is trying to make quota. Escort's Passport 9500iX is the best radar detector on the market today. It has excellent 360-degree long-range radar detection, clear audio alerts and a hi-res display. It even alerts for red light cameras and speed traps. Permanently block out false signals with three easy taps of a button.