The one thing we think was the best investment, and is a must have for any road trip is Microsoft Streets and Trips. It's a piece of software that we ran on our laptop. It works like Map Quest, but without being on the Internet. I cannot stress how valuable this was for us. When we got lost, traditional maps didn't have the detail we needed, but Microsoft Streets and Trips did. When we needed a mechanic in San Diego, it found the closest one for us, and even gave us the phone number. It helped us located food, stadiums, sites and many other things. And it only cost us $20 after a rebate.
Bottled water was another great asset, we brought 60 bottles with us, and used an average of 2-3 a day.
We brought lots of little snacks, like granola bars, nuts, crackers etc. We didn't bring any real food for the long term, but if you budget is tighter, i would suggest bringing a couple of meals. We saved money for lunch often buy buying a $.98 loaf of bread and $2 of lunch meat.
Some emergency stuff we brought were blankets, flares, tools, and the usual stuff.
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