Any Advice on Road Trip Necessities

Jul 20th, 2006, 01:40 PM
  #1  
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Any Advice on Road Trip Necessities

My Husband and I are headed on a 10-12 day road trip from Dallas to San Francisco, stopping at Ruidoso, Telluride, Bryce Canyon, and Yosemite on the way (mix of camping and hotel stays). Anyone have any advice on what to bring, what not to bring? How do you keep a cooler cool for 10+ days to keep picnic items ready for lunch?
SGBrou is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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<How do you keep a cooler cool for 10+ days to keep picnic items ready for lunch?>

Buy ice along the way.

see this recent thread...
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34828598
saps is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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When you purchase gas you check your cooler if it is in need, drain the water out and purchase ice. DH and drove 9,642 miles round trip to Alaska and back. We had a cooler with food, so we did not have to eat out all the time. Checked ice every morning, added as needed. Also have a good spare tire. Have your vehicle checked all hoses etc.
marleneawe is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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For San Francisco - bring a sweater. Even if the forecast is in 80s.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 03:31 PM
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You buy ice every day or two. Blocks last longer than bags of cubes.

If you have a radio/stereo in the car, books on tape or CD are a wonderful way to pass the time.
suze is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 05:08 PM
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Good question-it has taken me many miles from Florida to Oregon to maintain a (kind of) organized car on a road trip. We recently drove the length of CA south to north and back and these are things that really helped:

Lots of hand wipes and paper towels, small bags for trash, gallon of water for possible overheated radiator, AAA card, windshield screen, charger for camera that can be plugged into cigarette lighter (can be found at Brookstone, Best Buy)so you can recharge batteries while driving, envelope for all travel papers (confirmation #'s, brochures), firm-sided bag (available in car care section at Target) for "quick grabs" in the car-maps, binoculars, snacks.

Something we have to remember to do, especially if we haven't gone for a while, is to make sure some food are on top in the cooler-cheese, some meat-that will be ruined if it becomes water-logged. We made a shelf in bigger cooler w/ smaller cooler and put that stuff on top of smaller cooler. It also helps if small items aren't buried-beware the frozen hand in the bottom of the searching for the hot dogs!!!

Have fun. Bryce is beautiful-consider Zion if you have time. Hiking in the river is the best.
jennhawk is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 05:19 PM
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We like to fill ziplocks with ice from free motel ice machines. Keeps things less wet!
sfamylou is offline  
Jul 20th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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a first aid kit
a car emergency pack (from a local auto shop with road flares, etc)
escargot is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 05:30 AM
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GoTravel
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Beer!

A couple of beach or lawn chairs in case you see a park or festival and you just want to stop and people watch. Also great for sitting around the campfire.

Tiki torches make your campsite so much more festive.

We have one of those giant white Coleman fishing coolers. It is about four feet long and holds everything.

Pack squeeze-able condiments (ketsup, mayo, mustard, and butter) in ziplock bags. Don't forget salt/pepper, can opener, and a wine opener.

I freeze my lunchmeat and let in thaw in the cooler.

I also freeze my meat in marinade that I'm planning to cook over the campfire and let it defrost in the marinade.
 
Jul 21st, 2006, 06:26 AM
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Almost very hotel or motel that you stay at will have free ice available. Most will provide a mini-fridge upon request, so you can freeze and re-use those blue freezer packs, which are so much tidier than ice.
Anonymous is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 07:11 AM
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Anon, I've had more than one blue freezer thing leak. That is much, much bigger of a mess than melting ice.
sfamylou is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 07:19 AM
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The hotel "free ice" is for guest use while at the hotel, NOT filling your coolers.

However if the hotel has an in-house or attached restaurant, they probably have excess ice-making capacity and are usually glad to let you fill your ice chest ... right from a large bin instead of those small units made to fill only one hotel icebucket at a time one finds near the hotel rooms.

Bring toilet paper. (Not "free" toilet paper found at hotels.)
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Jul 21st, 2006, 07:21 AM
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GoTravel
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rb, you've NEVER used the ice machine in the hall to fill your cooler?

Ever?

We use them all the time.

 
Jul 21st, 2006, 08:13 AM
  #14  
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Thanks so much for all this advice!! Thanks jennhawk you sound like an organizer like me. GoTravel what fun ways to spice up the trip and good thinking about letting the meat thaw in the marinade!
SGBrou is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 08:19 AM
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esm
 
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GoTravel, that's a very good tip for freezing meat in marinade. Thanks.

Once I put my lunch meat in the freezer (by accident) and it later tasted mushy. Maybe it works for some cold cuts and not others.
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Jul 21st, 2006, 08:51 AM
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GoTravel
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The freezing meat in the marinade is an old sailing trick I used that worked camping.
 
Jul 21st, 2006, 06:40 PM
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If you are a coffee drinker, you might want to buy a few packets of coffee from Starbucks. We found the coffee in the hotels to be inconsistent at best. The coffee that they supply in the rooms is often tasteless. We found bringing our own was the only way to insure a good start to the day. Very important!
oaktreela is offline  
Jul 21st, 2006, 07:42 PM
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It probably goes without saying, but make sure you have good state maps that show the larger local roads.

And I am LOL over the disagreement about whether to use ice from the hotel machines to fill your coolers. Ever stayed in a hotel on a NASCAR race weekend? One pre-race activity is seeing who can fill their track coolers before the ice runs out.
xrae is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 03:12 AM
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A good sense of humor! When I drove from FL to VT with my bf at the time, a sense of humor was a must since we have very different ideas about good driving. It is no fun wasting time arguing because you can't get up and walk away.
coldwar27 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2006, 04:31 AM
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Put a table cloth in with your things - I have never found a clean table whether it's at a rest stop or a park.
LaRee1L is offline  

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