Are We There Yet? A History Of The Family Road Trip

Jul 9, 2018

With Ben Brock Johnson.

We hit the gas pedal on classic moments of the family road trip. We’ll talk with the author of the new book “Don’t Make Me Pull Over!”


Richard Ratay, author of “Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip.” (@RichRatay)

Jane Clayson, On Point guest host who is roadtripping with her family in an RV. (@jane_clayson)

Christina Malo, an Arizona resident on a 15-week road trip with her husband, three sons, and the family dog. She’s chronicling their trip on her blog, A Malo Walkabout.

From The Reading List

Newsday: ‘Don’t Make Me Pull Over!” Review — “Fun and informative, “Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip” is Richard Ratay’s tribute to a classic American mode of travel. Ratay grew up in the Milwaukee suburbs in the 1970s, when Watergate was unfolding and American confidence was ebbing. Like many Americans, the Ratay family took to the road in search of distraction and adventure. Airline tickets were prohibitively expensive, and the car was king, oil crisis or no.”

The Associated Press: Millennials drive a resurgence in the American road trip — “The resurgence in road trips is “led by millennials,” said Steve Cohen, senior vice president, travel insights, MMGY Global. “When we look at the total number of road trips, there were more taken by millennials than any other generation.” And even though they’re young, nostalgia plays a role. Millennials are remembering trips they took “when they were kids, which wasn’t that long ago,” Cohen said.”

What is the best road trip car? Best road trip song? Do gas prices impact your choice to go visit your aunt and uncle in Tennessee? Or that national park? And how did America’s favorite fossil-fueled pass time go from bumpy country roads to speedy super highways anyway? If you think this sounds like a back seat game of 20 questions. IT TOTALLY IS. This hour, On Point: We’re hitting the road for the Great American road trip. Are we there yet? — Ben Brock Johnson.

Read An Excerpt From ‘Don’t Make Me Pull Over’

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