Summer Survival Guide - Part 1 - Equipment extras

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It's not just about preparing for the worst when you load the car up before going away. Here are some of our favourite items that can add a little luxury to your trip.

Waterproof picnic blanket
Price £39
Web www.highlandstore.com

This blanket will keep picnickers dry, even if the grass is damp underneath, and folds up into a bag.

Measuring 120cm by 150cm, it's made of pure wool with waterproof vinyl on the underside.

Harmon/Kardon Drive+Play iPod connectivity
Price£29.95
Web www.htfr.com (type reference MR248302)

This clever little device makes using your iPod on the road easier, and avoids the need for trailing wires and chargers in the car.

You mount your iPod in the dock out of sight, and fix the display screen on the dashboard.

Then, the separate controller and the screen menus work in the same way as the iPod's.

The unit is compatible with any iPod, but it costs a further £50 to have it fitted by Harmon/Kardon installers.

Travel pet food and water case
Price £9.49
Web www.halfords.com

Water your dog but not your car with this clever pet bowl in a case.

Eurohike LED night vision head torch
Price £9.99
Web www.millets.co.uk

Breakdowns happen, and if they do so at night you'll soon realise what an essential piece of kit a head torch is.

It allows you to shed light on the situation while leaving both hands free to get to work.

The elastic straps can be adjusted to fit any size of head, and the light can be set at a variety of angles, as well as straight ahead.

Zippy air-freshener
Price £4.99
Web www.halfords.com

Air-fresheners can play an essential role in some families' journeys - especially if you have tiny tots in tow.

It attaches to anywhere in the car with sticky Velcro pads.

Type S pink mobile phone holder
Price £3.00
Web www.halfords.com

Car interiors don't have to be dull and grey. Cheer up your journey with a bright pink mobile holder.

This model feels strong and durable, and comes with a choice of fixings - either a clip to attach it to an air vent or a bracket with a sticky pad.

Mothercare car seat protection and car tidy
Price £11.99
Web www.mothercare.com

Even family cars don't necessarily have enough storage compartments for all your kids' clobber.

This great-value tidy extends your options, with five handy pockets for toys, drinks and other essentials.

It attaches to the back of a front seat with elastic straps, putting items within reach of older children - and keeping them safely out of reach of tiny ones.

It even keeps the back of the seat free from kiddy grime.

Waeco Bord Bar car fridge/heater
Price £109.99
Web www.mobilegas.co.uk

An air-conditioned glovebox has nothing on the Waeco Bord Bar TB-15.

This mobile fridge-cum-heater plugs into your 12V socket to keep your drinks cool and your sandwiches fresh.

It will cool by as much as 20 degrees below the ambient temperature and can be strapped to the middle of the rear seat with a seatbelt, where it'll act as an armrest.

33cm high, 28cm wide and 46cm deep, it has a 15-litre capacity that will hold a couple of packets of sandwiches and up to six cans of drink.

Alternatively, it can also heat up to 65C, keeping your paninis warm and toasty.

A monitor prevents excessive discharging of the car battery, so even if you forget to unplug the Waeco, your engine will still start.

Plug N Heat mug
Price £5.95
Web www.paramountzone.com

Simply pour the contents of your cup into the Plug N Heat mug, plug it into your car's 12V socket and it'll keep your beverage hot for hours.

This nicely brushed aluminium model has a heat-resistant handle, a non-slip base and is approximately 45cm tall.

Summer Survival Guide - Part 1 - Eat well, travel well

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