I think this is a great thread. I've always been curious how other's travel (mainly to see if I'm doing it right!)
I've been "roadtripping" since I had a driver's license and have been all over the southeast US (and once out to California, which I enjoy MUCH more than flying).
During my trips I see mini-vans loaded with passengers with out-of-state tags from hundreds of miles away, and I always wonder what they have to keep them entertained or on the right course.
As my first post, and in preperation for a trip over the 4th of July 4-day weekend, I'll share my setup.
- Garmin c320 GPS with the East Coast maps loaded on a 1 GB SD card
- Radio Shack PRO-2051 Radio Scanner connected to a glass-mount antenna on the front windshield
- Cobra HH 38WX (Road trip version) handheld CB connected to a 21" antenna on the trunk lid
- Delphi MyFi XM Radio
- 4 GB iPod Mini
- Sony Cybershot digital camera (must have readily available!)
- 45 cal. handgun (I wouldn't travel anywhere without it, and we like to cat nap at truck stops)
- Loving, and like-minded, fiancee that loves road trips as much as I do (equipment not standard)
- Two laptops (both stay in their cases; one with a 17" LCD is main system and used for email or what not while in the hotel, the other with a 10.5" LCD we use for war driving and watching DVDs)
- Cooler filled with snacks, drinks, etc.
- Sunshades for front and back windshields, and shades for side windows when we need to pull over and count some sheep.
- Our favorite pillows and two blankets.
- A handy ol' atlas
- Fully inflated spare tire!
- Luggage (not exciting)
- Tool box with all the vehicle basics
- A "self-jump start" thing that charges your battery
- RainX wipes
- The Bible (doesn't have anything to with the trip, and I'm not a very religious person, but I've narrowly missed a LOT of bad situations and I have to attribute it to something, so I always carry it with me)
I'm sure there's quite a bit I've missed, but we always pack the basics such as extra medicine and what not.
I drive a Lincoln Towncar and we have quite a bit of room (especially in the trunk). The gadgets are fun, but the GPS is the only one that's constantly used. Most of the time on long trips, we prefer to roll the windows down and enjoy the new sights and smells as opposed to listening to the radio.
The two pieces of equipment I would recommend to everyone is the XM Radio and the GPS. You'll never get lost, and you'll always have the same radio stations to listen to without static (something I hate when traveling is FM radio)