It’s Friday and the alarm will be sounding very early for my 13-hour trip to Philadelphia, with a side stop in Akron, Ohio to take on a chair. To maximize the possibility of a great trip, there are certain things I have to have.
My I-Pass/EZ Pass is essentail, cutting the cost of the always-rising tolls in half in Illinois and by unknown amounts in Ohio and Pennsylvania, to say nothing of the ease of just driving through the toll plazas (through the lanes, of course, not through the booths themselves!)
After that, everything else is for comfort a/o fun. I have three or four books on CD, to while away the hours and miles as I enjoy the scenery (and try to ignore the perfect photo ops that I can’t take while on the interstate!) I have two travel mugs of tea, the first with a few ice cubes added so I can drink it before waiting an hour or more for it to cool slightly. Water bottles for when the tea is gone. Snacks: popcorn from Aldi or Trader Joe’s, nuts for protein, a small cooler which will probably have apples, grapes, red pepper slices, cheese, and Trader Joe’s nut/dark chocolate/sea salt bars (so they don’t melt.) Gum to clean my teeth! All the food is put where I can reach it without looking, keeping my eyes on the road and one hand on the wheel. From my pre-marriage days, when I dated a man who sailed, I have a large canvas tote that snacks, travel silverware/cutting board/etc., and all sorts of the things go into and is located on the floor of the van in back of the front console, where I can easily reach it. Extra water bottle go there, too, and for every day use, a workout jacket for going into overly air-conditioned places.
I do have a GPS which, as our daughter has a new address in Philly, I’ll actually use at the very end, although I’m pretty sure I could get there without it. I always have an emergency bag, although it’s geared more to winter: emergency crank radio, old sleeping bag, flashlight, winter cap and other clothes. In winter I add a small shovel with extendable handle, ice scraper, and more winter clothes.
One last item I always have in the center console is a small, fat notebook, perfect for jotting down thoughts or observations. However, since I do this while keeping the hand holding the notebook on the steering wheel and my eyes ahead 99% of the time, I can’t always decipher the chicken scratches that pass for writing.
A road trip is always cause for excitement for me. How about you? When you travel by car, what do you always carry with you and wouldn’t dream of leaving home without? Or what’s the most unusual thing you always take (like my popcorn)? I’ll have time to read all about it over the weekend or in the bathroom of the rest stop, so ‘fess up!!