So you’ve put team schedules side-by-side and mapped out a three stadium weekend baseball road trip. Boston to New York to Philly? Cincinnati to Cleveland to Detroit? San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego? What ever your route is don’t head out on the road unprepared. Take it from us, the easiest way to prevent animosity between three dudes in a small car is to make sure you have all the tools necessary for a good trip.
The Windows Phone Baseball Bucket List has us on the road for three weeks so we are as close to road trip experts as there can be so check out our list below and if you think we missed anything let us know on Twitter by using the hash-tag #WPbaseball.
Tethering Internet On Your Mobile Phone
In today’s wired society having internet is everything. Don’t be confined to your mobile phone when you could have the power of your laptop available for those long drives. Windows Phone offers the ability to tether internet and it has been the most crucial tool of our trip so far.
We’re actually writing this article on the road from Milwaukee to Chicago by tethering to our HTC Radar. Tethering will also save you a bunch of money at the hotels because you can kiss the ridiculous $15 per day internet fees goodbye.
Having power on the road is everything. Cigarette cell phone chargers are fine but if you consider yourself a baller then upgrade to a beastly travel power converter. The $20 expense goes a long way as you’ll have plugs for USB cords and also standard outlets for laptops, coffee makers, the 100 inch flat screen, a popcorn machine or really just about anything that has a wall cord.
Raise your hand if you don’t want to spend more on gas than you need to? It’s a recession dude so put both hands in the air and wave then around like you just don’t care. GasBuddy is an app that shows up to the minute prices at gas stations in the area. Don’t overpay ever again.
gMaps Pro is only $2 and it’s the best navigation system on the market. No need to spend $100 on a Garmin when you could just use this turn by turn navi on your Windows Phone. It also has a very accurate speedometer which is a fun thing to mess around with while you’re on the road.
This is a must have for road trips. Over the course of a weekend EZ Pass (or the equivalent for your state) will save you probably an hour on tolls and a good chunk of change as users are typically offered a discount. Just a note, be aware of which roads you’re on because some are cash only tolls or don’t accept EZpass.
MLB At Bat
For the low low price of $14 this app allows you to listen into the radio broadcast of any MLB game, watch video highlights and follow along live on Gamecast. Anthony, who is on the trip with us shooting video uses it everyday and says it’s “pretty legit.”
Thought you couldn’t afford to go to cool events. Think again. Stubhub is hands down the best place to buy your tickets to any event. Most of the time you can visit Stubhub the day before a game and buy tickets cheaper (in some cases significantly cheaper) than buying them at the box office or even worst scalping or on Craigslist. Save your info into Stubhub and you can buy all the tickets you need for the road trip in about 10 clicks then easily print them at your hotel. Stubhub also offers ticket guarantee, something Craigslist, scalping and other shady routes simply don’t offer.
This one is pretty obvious. It’ll have you prepared for heat or rain delays in advance.
Sometimes the car DJ plays ridiculous tunes that you don’t want to listen to. Easy fix. I’m a strong believer that Munitio 9MM earphones are the best on the market for the price but when your car DJ is playing Nicki Minaj “Starships” on loop for six hours even $2 Steve Bartman headphones will be better than nothing.
I Heart Radio
There are so many music apps available but one that is great for a baseball road trip is I Heart Radio. It allows you to tap into over 750 local radio stations and also create your own custom playslists. That way you can hear your own tunes but also see what people are listening to in the towns you are driving through.
Sure, you could go to a truck stop and buy $3 Dale Earnhardts but a nice pair of polarized sunglasses block certain UV rays which will make you see better. Sunglasses are an easy thing to forget so don’t be that guy always being forced to squint. I found this killer pair at CVS, $15, a total bargin.
If you’re not driving or navigating you’re probably sleeping in the cramped backseat. Do it in comfort with a neck pillow. You’ll thank me later.
Road Trip Games
Sometimes a good playlist runs out or you get bored talking about chicks or beer or how bad your fantasy team is or how you ran for 80 yards in that high school football game. Road trip games can break up the monotony between Cleveland and Milwaukee or where ever you may be. Here is a huge list of games, a favorite ongoing game of the Windows Phone Baseball Bucket List trip has been the license plate game.
Bags and Packing Technique
When traveling it’s important to pack economically. We played car Tetris and successfully fit our gear into the Ford Focus in the picture but that’s only because we had the proper bags to fit everything for our trip. If you’re looking for something stylish, plenty of space and durable look no further than Swiss Army.
Huge savings on hotels. Free towing. Will help unlock your car doors when
John your road trip bro locks the keys in the trunk for the third time in two weeks. AAA is a road trippers savior.
When your road side problem isn’t quite AAA worthy a car emergency kit comes in handy. This should actually be the #1 thing on the list because nothing is more annoying than being broken down without jumper cables, a tire pressure gauge or flairs. Again, you’re a man and real men are always prepared.
Need I say more? I’ve been curating this list for about a year and it’s nearly perfect. An eclectic mix ranging from Montel Jordan to Ace of Base. Did I miss something? Tweet your 90’s tunes to me at @RSVLTS.
Don’t leave home without it. You don’t need to bring it into the stadium, unless a freak accident gave you a rocket arm and you want to catch a home run ball only to throw it back from the bleachers on a frozen rope in hopes of getting signed by the Cubs. But more realistically it is always nice to throw a ball around at your tailgate, and in that case you might want to fill up one of your baseball bags so you have enough for everyone.
Auxiliary Cord or Bluetooth Sync
This one is pretty obvious. The basis for any good road trip is music and with the Windows Phone you have access to any song ever produced at your finger tips so a car with an auxiliary plug or bluetooth capabilities like Sync from Ford is a must.
A big part of a baseball road trip is tailgating. You can either run the risk of killing your car battery or pick up a Nokia Play 360 portable speaker which goes anywhere and also won’t have you reaching for jumper cables after the game is over.
Darwin Briefcase BBQ
A space efficient and self containing BBQ. It closes up into a nice small package and won’t get charcoal all over your car on the way to the next stadium. Great hat tip by Uncreate.com.
B.E.E.R. – Beverage Ectothermic Everyday Receptacle
Keeps your six pack of “sodas” cold and your food fresh. A pretty obvious move for any pro. You can pick up a good cooler from CVS for less than $20. We found one and it even had wheels so we could ride around the store located in the southside of Chicago. The key to a good road trip cooler is finding one that doesn’t take up too much car space. Shop wisely.
5 Hour Energy
Obviously if you’re getting tired on the road just pull over and catch an hour of Z’s. Nothing will replace good ole sleep but if you need a quick pick me up 5 hour energy is the way to go because who wants to drink coffee in the middle of summer?
Our list isn’t only about how to make your baseball road trip better and more economically friendly but it’s also about how you can make the experience enjoyable and create memories with friends or family that last a lifetime. Something that we do is buy a good old fashion map and highlight your route with a red sharpie. Once the trip is over the map makes for a good tangible momento that you can keep for ever.
Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses
Usually you’ll be on the road with 3-4 friends and each one of you have a good set of specific skills. Are you good at navigating? Can you drive long distances? Do you often get called on to be the resident DJ at “Club Road Trip Car.” Do you know how to cook a burger? These are all specific skills that are cucial to a good road trip.