In this post published in The Atlantic, Ashley Fetters interviews Richard Ratay about his new book Don’t Make Me Pull Over!: An Informal History of the Family Road Trip.
I haven’t read the book yet, but will add it to my list of books on road trips. The interview covers several
interesting topics on how young our interstate highway system is (hint: it’s younger than color television). It also addresses how cheaper airfare in the late 1970s and early 1980s led to the demise of the family road trip. But what I didn’t appreciate is the impact that World War 2 had on the explosion of family road trips. As Richard explains, travel-hungry soldiers had their first taste of both internal travel during World War 2 and they wanted to see more of and show their kids the country they were first exposed to during the war.