12 March 2014

Road Trip Essentials

When I was a kid, the only road trip essential we had was to know where the next rest stop was going to be. Hours and hours, miles and miles of my childhood- all were spent looking out the back window of my mom's ugly 1981 Honda Accord.

Well, my kids know the road. Cecilia probably has spent more time in the back seat of the car than playing with her friends. There was a time when Hector was in the US, that we spent all of our free time going back and forth from Point A to Point B. Patas de perros is what my sweet mother-in-law called us. However, Isaias is not so accustomed to the road and has, literally since Day One, HATED the back seat and the car seat. His farthest road trip has been Yakima, WA- only 3 hours. The ride from Portland to Tijuana is 24 hours (roughly). So I thought I'd make a post about our Road Trip Essentials- how I entertain from the driver's seat.

  1. Philips 7" LCD Portable DVD Player  I've owned 3 of these things over the years. They are an absolute LIFE-SAVER for long stretches of boring highway. It plugs right into the car cigarette lighter and can play forever (2 hours without being plugged in). It also works as a home DVD player. 
  2. Roadside Assistance and Travel Store from AAA. I won't travel without AAA. On our big road trip to Nevada when we got married, we hit a deer and would have been up S!@# creek without the free towing from AAA. At the travel store, I can not only get discounts on awesome attractions, but I can get free maps and travel planning assistance.
  3. Super 8 Motel. I have stayed in more Super 8's than I can possibly remember. It's the only motel I will stay at. They are very affordable and friendly in every place I've ever stayed.
  4. Google Maps and Navigation- I usually can follow road signs and read a map, but I can get lost in the dark in a new town. I use navigation frequently when outside of Portland and I can't stop to look at the map. I let it tell me where to go.

  5. Craftsman Tools- SUPER ESSENTIAL! When we hit a deer on our first major road trip, the radiator guys wanted to charge us $150 to remove the old one. It was literally held in place with 4 screws. Long story short, Hector's tool set saved us AT LEAST $150 that day.
  6. Mountain Dew- This stuff is so potent that it will make your bones ache and after 4 liters, make you feel colors and see the world vibrate (personal experience). But it is ESSENTIAL to be caffeinated for driving long hours.  


  1. What happened to #5? And you didn't mention any food, how can you take a long road trip and not talk about food? I guess that's just me, the #foodslut ha ha! Over the years, we've traded in the portable DVD players for Kindle Fires, I have USAA car insurance so they thankfully cover everything that happens on the road including towing and car rental. It's scary living in Mexico and not having that back up anymore. We could have used some tools when the running board bent into the tire on the trip down here. Instead we were using a tire iron and rock to try to bend it back out. And I don't drink any caffeine but I will take a couple of No Doz tablets to help me towards the end of the drive when I'm exhausted.

    1. I hit enter on the lost thing one too many times. 5 should be #6