The best thing I took on the last tour was my GPS. First time I had one on tour. It was a pleasure, no more maps or anything. I may not have gotten their the quickest, but I arrived safely to so many venues, hotels, campsites without having to look at any maps. .
I picked up a Magellan roadmate from Price-Costco right before the Summer tour. For about $130 or so it even tells you when there is traffic and when to avoid certain routes. This thing even knew when the roads by me were closed due to flooding from the hurricane. Cool stuff.
a gps is something I need, but I'll probably need my ciggarette lighter to work right? (it dosn't) .... I could get it on my phone if need be but then my battery better be full cause the car charger goes into the ciggarette lighter.... I just bring a stack of paper directions off mapquest for the routes I plan out before hand. after Jones Beach this year we were about to leave then we couldn't find the directions. I looked through the whole truck and nothing, I was about to wing it but then thinking of the route I decided I better call home. I had my mom on the phone at like 12-1am or whenever it was and she had to look them up for me as I wrote them down and mind you, these are complicated directions with many different highways. all I had was this tiny piece of paper (with other stuff written on it). It must of took a half hour on the phone partly cause of how stressed out I was. A cop came right up to me (the place was just about cleared) and I told him the situation and asked for a few extra minutes - he was cool and left me alone...... but anyway the moral of the story is that a GPS is definitley a good idea
Mine is a plug in to cigarette lighter, but it runs off batteries for about 3 or 4 hours. The Magellan roadmate plugs into a computer to update maps, maybe it can be charged with a USB port - I'm not sure nor am I sure if that would even help you...the drives are long on this tour.
Now that I have it I cannot imagine doing without it. Especially since I have been going city to city so I have been going by myself (no co-pilot / navigator).
Oh, and I highly recommend getting directions from AAA online. It is free
(at least if you can get on the NY AAA site -- which for some crazy reason I could not do when I was in Florida). Mapquest can be messed up at times....the AAA agent I spoke with raved about the AAA online directions, I asked her if they were trustworthy , she said "this is AAA, this is what we do". This link May work....ww1.aaa.com/scripts/WebObjects.dll/AAAOn...direct=1316650404707 or else this one www.aaany.com/index.asp?zip=10017&referer=search.yahoo.com If you get to the main site there is a button on the left for online quick directions.
And Mush, make 2 copies of your directions next time, keep one in the trunk or something. I RECOMMEND DOING THE SAME WITH YOUR TICKETS IF YOU HAVE PDF TICKETS
, I travelled with 2 sets of tickets last tour - for those shows I had PDF tickets for. I was afraid I'd lose a set somewhere in transit.
~happy trails all