Recently my husband and I took a trip to Yellowstone National Park.  Both of us had been there during our childhood and wanted to revisit with a new appreciation now that we're adults.  As we were traveling hours in the truck, we began to discuss the differences on-the-road from years ago.  Oh how far we've advanced in just a few years!  Maybe you can add to my list.


  • Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images
    Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images

    GPS VS Maps

    I for one appreciate the GPS because folding a map is about as easy for me as doing math, not very.  During our trip the GPS was a very important tool in getting around and avoiding construction.  We were also monitoring elevation because we were pulling a 5th wheel camper through the mountains.

  • Getty Images/Handout
    Getty Images/Handout

    DVD VS Car Bingo

    When I was young and we had hours in the car to kill we'd play the Alphabet game.  Looking for the letters A-Z in signs and license plates.  Then my parents splurged and bought me Car Bingo at a travel center.  Both of which made me look out the window and do exactly what we were there to do, see and explore the countryside.  Nowadays, the kid's eyes are glued to a DVD screen on the back of the car seat in front of them.  For the parents, it keeps them quiet and I'm sure the ride more pleasant for all.  But, if you're taking your kids on a road trip to see the sights, you're missing out on some of the best parts.  Half the fun is the experience on the way, not only whatever it was you drove so far to see.

  • Spencer Platt / Getty Images
    Spencer Platt / Getty Images

    Guesstimating VS Range of Miles

    Our road trip to Yellowstone took us across South Dakota into Montana and there was several areas where gas stations were sparse, I stocked up on snacks and beverages but gas was another story.  Years ago we would have been trying to figure out how many gallaons our tank held versus how many miles to the next town.  I'm bad at math, so we'd have been riding on fumes and praying we made it to the next town.  Not this time, our truck's programming not only tells us how many miles we have left until we are on empty, but it also tells us where the next gas station is located.  Being old school, I still made Homie carry a full 5 gallon gas can in the bed of the truck.  Yup, I'm a "just in case" girl!

  • Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla
    Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla

    Coolers With Ice VS Plug In Coolers And Heaters

    My mom never owned a hard plastic cooler, she always bought the cheap styro-foam ones from Holiday when we picked up their canned soda pop. Inevitably it would crack and melted ice water would end up soaking the carpeting in the trunk of our car.  That problem has been eluded with something my sister introduced me to, the cooler that plugs into the aux jack.  She lives about 30-45 minutes from a grocery store and often times needs to keep her purchases in a cooler as they head for home.  The "cool" think (pun intended) is that it can also be used to keep food hot.  Not at the same time, you have to choose, but wow, how things have changed.

  • Julie Denesha / Getty Images
    Julie Denesha / Getty Images

    Real Spare Tire VS Donut Or Fix A Flat

    Years ago, you got an extra tire as a spare.  An honest to goodness, heavy, real, actual spare tire.  Then, cars needed to be more gas efficient and therefore lighter in weight, thus the introduction of the donut tire.  You have to drive 30mph, but it gets you to a service station for repair.  I feel kinda ripped off even though I would probably never be able to get the lug nuts off my tire anyhow.  My car didn't even come with a donut.  If I get a flat tire I have to use a can of fix a flat and an air compressor that plugs into my aux jack.

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