Took the southern route to avoid snow. Stopped in Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans and Montgomery, Ala. Checked weather forecasts and had expected rain, but instead found nice weather in every place but Atlanta, where rain greeted me.
Food highlights included dim sum in Houston, barbecue on the Texas barbecue trail (City Market in Luling -- thumbs-up) and beignets in New Orleans.
I drive a car without a trunk, so I got a cargo box for my rooftop. Worked well, though had to be careful about clearance in a couple of garages. I had two passengers, but I drove the whole way, because neither drives.
Stayed at Marriotts along the way because I'm a rewards member. Most rates were about $100 a night. I'd not expected to need reservations because it's low season, but I made them starting with El Paso because of conflicts with football bowl games.
A few car comforts that worked well for me:
I've always navigated with maps and had little trouble. But someone gave me a Garmin GPS before my trip, and I found it very useful and freeing. Kept my maps handy, of course. The voice directions were helpful, especially because my passengers don't know English well enough to help navigate. I'm lazy about learning gadgets, but the Garmin was easy to use, though not perfect, of course. Still had to use common sense, like not turning on to one-way streets that the Garmin didn't recognize in at least a couple of instances.
AAA is worthwhile because the free maps and roadside assistance can easily pay for themselves.
Got my tires and oil checked before starting off. Found Jiffy Lube helpful because it's a national chain with many locations. I found that reassuring as someone who knows next to nothing about cars.
For my rooftop cargo box, I found translucent handled bags from Ikea very handy and cheap. I stored emergency blankets and shoes in them (they come in big sizes) and they cost only three or four bucks and can be reused many times. Their translucence helped in identifying stuff without removing the wrong bag from my rooftop cargo box.