Save. Spend. Splurge.

Essential Items I Keep in my Car

Ember Travel Temperature Control Mug

I get distracted or lost in my work easily. My tea usually goes ice cold in this time, even if I put it in proper travel mugs. This is the only mug that keeps it temp-controlled to the temp I want, and is rechargeable.

It is pricey, so if you want a cheaper option that keeps your drinks super ice cold or very hot without temp control, then I highly recommend this travel mug instead.

Things will stay warm or cold in there for at least 2-3 hours. I use it at home to keep warm water in there for drinking during the day, and I am always surprised after 3 hours how hot it still is. You cannot set a temperature on it, so do not put boiling water in there and expect it to cool down to what you want within a reasonable time frame. You would have to wait a few hours before it becomes drinkable.

If you want an absolutely stunning option for your home office, I am currently considering this one. I wish I had it when I had Baby Bun because my tea kept going cold when I was pulled away by him, or distracted.

Magnetic Car Phone Holder for the Vent

This particular car phone holder is an excellent product. I have not yet had my phone fall off while driving, and it REALLY holds on. I have tried other ones, and I hate the ones with the arm (annoying to take it out and snap it back in), and I do not find the other magnetic ones hold my phone as well. I like being able to take my phone out and snap it onto the

Minor note:
I will mention that your phone case seems to make a difference if it stays on without moving 100% of the time or 99% of the time. I have a sort of soft plastic silicone case (OtterBox), and I find it falls off more readily (the rare 1% of the time) than if I use another case that seems to cling on better (Casetify).

Mobile Hotspot

I bought this mobile hotspot device and got a SIM card for the plan. I use it constantly, even at home on occasion when my internet cuts out. You can use their cloudSIM (no need for a physical SIM card) and just buy a plan through them if you flip through different countries often while traveling.

I also find it very useful if you work outside of the home but not necessarily in one set spot all the time. I just carry the wifi with me, and even if I flip to another place or go somewhere else where the signal may be weaker or stronger, I don’t really care – I always stay connected and it never cuts out, and the strength of the signal stays steady, so I do not keep having to find a new wifi network to connect to.

Crossbody bag strap with swivel hooks

Hear me out. This crossbody bag strap is strangely one of the most useful items I have in the car because I use it to hold my bags or backpacks on the seat while I am driving. It drives me crazy that car manufacturers do not think about bags and purses needing a spot to place them, and they end up on the passenger seat, but then as you are driving and turning, depending on what you have in your bag, it falls down and smashes to the passenger car floor. It is extremely annoying and I have had a laptop fall once as a result.

So now, I put these bag straps around my backpacks in the car, to ‘belt’ them to the car seat easily by slipping the strap over the back of the passenger car seat. I also like having the straps themselves on the bags (I hook them on whatever I can find on the bag) because I can wear them crossbody in a pinch when I need both hands free.

I now no longer have my heavier or off-kilter backpack or bags falling to the floor while driving and swerving.

AC Power plug and charging port adapter

I work in my car on occasion and I have a lot of things to charge such as my personal wifi router, my phone, my hand warmers, etc. So I find this adapter extremely helpful when I have turned my car into my mobile office. I can charge laptops (two of them), and many other items with the right cables. Works great. You can try the cheaper, smaller versions (like I have), but they die after about 6 months of actual use. This one has been going strong, and you can even switch the electric current on or off.

Portable battery chargers

OK so there are a few options here depending on what you like.

There is the kind that you can buy that is magnetic, so you just snap your phone on there and let it charge while you use it as a stand.

Then there is the kind where it is just a brick and you use a cable to attach it to the item you are charging.

Lastly, you have the mini charger where it plugs into your phone as a small tiny little charger. It is perfect and super mobile when you do not want to lug around a second brick of a product to recharge your phone, and you just need a little boost to get you through until you can get to a charger.

Two flavours: Lightning connector version or the USB-C connector version.


A book light with a flexible gooseneck seems like a strange item to have in the car, but I have to tell you it is super useful. A flashlight or phone, you would have to hold it to be able to direct the light to where you need it to go in a dark parking garage or at night. With this book light, you can clip it to something nearby or to yourself and twist the neck to direct the light to where it needs to go. I would say it is more useful than a flashlight in some situations, though I have both in the car.

I also have two more at home. I find them very useful for reading at my desk, or when Little Bun is working on things and you need very focused light on a specific spot or area.

Lap desk with a mouse pad, phone holder and device ledge

I did extensive research on lap desks and this specific lap desk is EXCELLENT. I sit in the passenger seat or in the back, and put this on my lap while I am plugged in, and working. The phone holder I thought would not be so useful but in the end, I use it a lot to put my phone while I am not using it. It is also very nice to have extra space on the side beside your laptop to plug in things like hard drives and so on, or to use as a writing space. It is very comfortable, and the device ledge is super handy to stop your laptop when your it is sliding down.

Car seat cushion

If you plan on sitting for long periods of time, longer than half an hour, I highly recommend this car seat cushion. Car seats are not meant to be sitting in for long periods of time while working. I like it because it elevates my back up, and lets me sit properly with correct posture while I have my lap desk with my laptop. Seriously a game changer for my back when I am stuck on back to back conference calls.


Any tote bag will do. The one pictured in the image is here, and very cute.

If you want a sturdier box option, then you can use this tote bag.

If you want one with more compartments for little things here and there, I really like this one.

What I do is I hang the arms of the tote bag across the front head rest, and the bag part is at the back (or sometimes in the front!), holding all my useful items for the day. I just lift off one of the arms of the tote bag when I want to reach in and get what I want. Nothing falls to the floor either.

You can certainly buy fancy car-specific tote bags that are more like boxes with straps to organize things but I do not really see the point. It is a waste of money for a very specific item. You can also use these tote bags to run errands in a pinch. Dump everything on the car seat, and head off into the store.

Car seat hooks

In line with hanging that tote bag, or even coats, these car seat hooks are super useful to have so you can hang things on there. I hang our coats on the back, other bags, drycleaning items, anything really that I can hang on a hook.

Other items I keep in the car that are useful enough to mention:

Flashlight (mini)

I like this rechargeable one. They are handy for finding things you have lost under the seat.

Mini screwdriver set

You never know when you may need it for something you did not think of. I have these mini sets everywhere and they are very useful to help you get the lids off things, or to fix things.


I love this brand of scissors specifically. They are sharp, they don’t stick to the tape when I use it, and it is always handy to have scissors in the car.

Ocoopa Hand warmers

If you live in cold climes these hand warmers are seriously useful when it is frozen outside and you need to warm up your hands or gloves while standing outside. Or you forgot your gloves and can use these in a pinch in your pockets. Either way they are rechargeable and wonderfully useful.

Travel Umbrellas

These are some of the most well-made travel umbrellas I have ever purchased. They aren’t the absolute lightest and the smallest, but those break after a few uses, and don’t really help in a real storm. These are sturdy, with an air vent, and easy to open and close. LOVE.

1 Comment

  • H

    What’s the value of the hotspot when you can use your phone as a hot spot? Is a sim only necessary when traveling?

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *