A Travel Pillow for a Full Day's Car Ride

February 07, 2018

Ottawa to Florida road trip map

It’s hard to dream of a good night’s rest on the road if you can’t sleep. That’s the situation our traveller found himself in when he and a group of friends decided to head south of the border one summer on a road trip. We’ll let him tell it himself:

“We took one friend’s truck, a GMC two door with fold-down seats, I think. The idea was we were going to just drive down the east coast of America all night in shifts, get down to Florida for a week at another friend’s time share condo. He'd begged his parents for it on March break.”

Ottawa to Florida“The seats were packed with us—five of us, two up front and three in the bench seat in the back, the smaller of us—and the rear was full of our luggage. It wasn’t too bad at that point, actually. It’s a truck, there’s leg room, you stop to stretch and get snacks regularly, or at least that was the idea.”

“But about three or four hours into the trip, our driver gets worried his insurance doesn’t cover secondary drivers, anybody who might borrow the car to drive it. He doesn’t know and he doesn’t want to risk it, so what was going to be a marathon drive over a day in shifts turns into something else.”

A Down Travel Pillow for the Car...

Anybody who’s done a long-distance haul in a car knows the strain. Long trips turn longer as passengers disagree over what fast food place they want to grab a quick bite at, whose playlist gets to be on next, which radio station they want to listen to, and who has the best car ride games or tall tales.

But that wasn’t the worst of it. “You know, when you aren’t driving in shifts, you’re going to have to stop for the night. So we decided to stop and spend the night before we hit Richmond. We didn’t have a ton of money to spend on a place, you know. We’re students, and it’s all going towards food, gas, the week we’re spending there, the time we’re spending going back.”

“So when we rented a motel room, we really wanted to get just the one. The motel staff wasn’t happy at the rate of one room for five people, a combination of pleading and pointing out at that time of night any rate for the room was better than no rate got it for us. It was two double beds. We didn’t mind doubling up two to a bed, but that left one of us to take a cot.”

So our boy took it like a champ. “But there was no spare pillow.”

What did he do?

...and a Travel Pillow for Motel Cots

 “I used a phone book,” he laughs. 15 years ago, phone books were still big, thick things.

The Yellow Pages - Not the best neck support

“I needed some neck support,” he says. “You go to sleep with your head tilted way back or to the side, you’re going to be sore in the morning, and the Yellow Pages was the only thing to keep my head up a bit. It was that a combination of just being tired and frustrated we hadn’t made better time.”

Why not us something else, we asked him. “By the time we gave in, it just sort of sapped us. None of us wanted to start hauling luggage out, unpacking, looking for a stack of t-shirts to sleep on, packing it back up in the morning. Once we were in, we were done,” he says.

It’s at this point in his story that we mention the Pillowpacker®. He laughs. “Yeah, that would have been incredible. For the car, for the cot. It has a bag? Oh, yeah. Definitely. Just throw a couple of those right within reach in the back, somebody wants to sleep in truck, you need to grab a cot, you’ve got it.”

Our stuff sackAll our Pillowpacker® pillows have that stuff sack. They’re small enough to keep within arm’s reach when needed or pack in luggage if desired. At half the size of your average at-home bed pillow, they aren’t bulky, cumbersome things. And the inner contoured polyurethane pillow is built for neck support. They’re easy to put behind you in a car, simple to set up on a cot or any kind of mattress, and provide maximum comfort for when the rest of your environment isn’t quite as cooperative.

Even for travellers on a budget, like our student and his group of friends, our Pillowpacker® microfibre down alternative travel pillow provides nearly the same level of comfort at a reasonable price. “Oh yeah, definitely. We paid about that much for a leg’s worth of gas,” he says. “We could have easily gotten together the money together. Get a couple for the guys in the back.” 

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