Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Little Road Trip Handbook

The Little Road Trip Handbook
by Erin McHugh
192 pages
Travel & Reference
(May 5, 2009)

The Little Road Trip Handbook is packed with ideas for your very next road trip! There are so many sections in the handbook to rave about. If you have ever been on a road trip you will know that generally the trip is not the fun part, but McHugh argues that it really should be the fun part. That the, " American Road Trip isn't just a pastime it's a birthright, a necessity, a rite of passage, and even in the teeth of spiraling fuel costs, it's a way of life" (p. x introduction). It is made perfectly to fit in your glove box, as it is a smaller sized book. But don't let that lead you to believe it isn't filled from front to back with tips, tricks and plans, because it most certainly is. This little amazing book packs the punch that it promises! If you tick with it you will get from point A to point B in perfect harmony with your surroundings and so much better prepared than the last time.

Because there is so much in it that I would like any potential travelers to see, I am going to post the chapters to give an idea of what I am so excited about:

Part One: Pre-Ignition Check
1. It's All About the Car
2. What are you packing
3. 10 Things You Must Never Bring On A Road Trip
4. Saving the Benjamins (and Lincolns and Washingtons too)
5. The Ultimate Road Trip Music, Movies, and Books
6. What Is (And Isn't ) A Road Trip

Part Two: Trippers: Choosing Your Dream Team
7. The Interview
8. Tripmates and Their Positions
9. Road Trip Etiquette
10. The Frequent Tripping reward Points Program

Part Thee: Road Rules
11. The 10 Commandments of the Road
12. Expenses
13. Take it to the Limit (But No More!!)
14. Foolish Laws from the 50 States

Part Four: Roadside Attractions
15. As Long as We're Out

Part Five: Tips for Trippers
16. Road Games
17. On the Radio
18. Excuses, Excuses!
19. Worst Case Trip Scenarios (and How to Solve Them)
20. The 10 Classic Road Trip Cars of All Time
21. 10 Things You Should Never Pay For

Part Six: End of the Road
22. Home Again

How do I feel about this book? The only thing that I am annoyed at is that McHugh didn't publish it while I was in high school. It would have saved me so much grief. Growing up we traveled A LOT. We traveled for so many reasons, one that my mom is from Southern Jersey and my dad is from Oregon, and two that we were missionaries. I can most certainly agree with Erin McHugh that the journey should be part of the trip, and a fun part at that, because so much of the trip is actually the travel. So, anyway we traveled across the country from Oregon to New Jersey 4 whole whopping round trips-of-a-lot (yes, so that does make 8 times across the US!). Two of the times that were the worst of all, my dad had to fly over to get there sooner and My mom, my little brother and I got to make the trip alone. We did it in a little Toyota Tercel hatchback from the 80's with a u-haul trailer. Oh, if you are confused by why that would be difficult: imagine a little short lady that can barely see over the steering wheel and is also a bad (very distracted) driver. And to top it off we brought our dog. Miserable.

So you see (imagine me holding up a brand new shinny copy of The Little Road Trip Handbook that you see above and gesturing to it like only Vanna could) if we had had this book, we would have known what we were in for, not only because my mother wanted to stop at every historical monument (such as: the first sidewalk, the biggest pancake, the smallest mountain) that there was a road sign for but because we violated the rules of the journey. If my brother and I would have had this book then, we would have known to leave mom behind, ditch the pooch and make the trip ourselves!!! Oh, that would have been a joy! But because we broke rules 1 and 3 of the "10 Things You Must Never Bring On A Road Trip" we are scared for life. Where were you when we needed you, McHugh?!?!

However even if McHugh wasn't around then, she is now and so is The Little Road Trip Handbook, no worries I'll live another road trip the right way (and hopefully another one down to Book Group Expo in October)! And McHugh, it is good for you I am not the type to hold grudges. Even if I were, I don't think I could after reading and loving The Little Road Trip Handbook. A must own for anyone who loves to make the rubber meet the road.

Do you have a fun/horrid road trip story to share? I'd love to commiserate with you! What about a road trip you dream about but have never been on? I dream of so many....most of them in a VW van. Now that I have The Little Road Trip Handbook all I need is that van.


About the Author:

Erin McHugh started her wanderlust Road Tripping years as a college student in a variety of fast cars. Eventually she turned to the working life and publishing industry, where she has held a number of executive positions. Finding she could keep her opinions to herself no longer, Erin turned to writing; she has published more than a dozen books on a wide variety of subjects, and also appears frequently in Time Out New York. She lives in Manhattan and South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, a road trip of 203 miles, door to door.
- from Sterling Publishing


Anonymous said...

This sounds great. I wish I had this book too. I never had a horrid road trip, but they could have been better if well organized. It's not too late, I can still make use of this book. I guess some parts of the book could be US related. But I think they could be applied to all places?

Anonymous said...

This sounds perfect for us; we love to take road trips. And I love the cover!

Ti said...

I have learned to appreciate road trips. My life is very hectic and my kids spend a lot of time in daycare (an unfortunate reality) and so when we hit the road as a family, it's always the best time together.

The discussions always amuse me and it's during those trips that I see how my kids have really grown. Their use of vocabulary, their little imaginations... what they do to occupy themselves in the car. It's priceless.

This would make a nice graduation gift.

Kailana said...

This is a fun idea for a book! I wish it was around when I was younger, too! I used to HATE road trips. lol Now, I drive, so it isn't as bad as it was.

Elizabeth said...

My best (worst?) road trip story:

I was 10 years old, and my sister was 6. My mom was 6 months pregnant with my brother, and NOT having ANY MORE of our shenanigans. We were driving from home (Iowa) to my aunt's (California) in a little Honda. We were somewhere hot, with no scenery. My sister and I were engaged in our 5,042nd fight of the day. My mom had HAD ENOUGH.

"Stop the car!" she screamed.
My dad stopped, shocked, and pulled over to the side of the road. "You two, get out!" My sister and I looked at each other. "I'm not kidding! Get out!" Slowly we opened our doors, and walked over by the ditch.


Now, they only drove up over a hill, far enough that we couldn't see them anymore, but I was pretty sure we were on our own. I had no idea how I was going to drag my pesky little sister all the way to California, especially since I had no idea how to get there. We walked up over the hill, and there they were.

We've never fought in the car since. =)

(sorry this is so long!)

Anonymous said...

i LOVE road trips and am picking up this book IMMEDIATELY. my hubs and i take a trip each summer ('07 was from NJ to CA and back, with stops in PA, IN, WI, SD, WY, MT, NV, CA, OK, MO, and more. '08 took us from NJ to TX with stops in TN, NOLA, TX, and more.)

this year we're heading north (hopefully it will be cooler.) niagara falls, toronto, and more.

Trish said...

Oh my! I NEED this book. :) We love taking roadtrips, although with work it gets tough to do the longer ones. My favorite was last fall when we flew up to New England and rented a car and drove all around Mass, Maine, and New Hampshire while the leaves were turning (we don't have that kind of fall here). Another favorite was when we drove from Texas out west--NM, CO, WY, UT, NV, CA, AZ. We stopped at some amazing places--the Royal Gorge Bridge in Colorado, Grandparents in Utah, Sister in Tahoe, Yosemite (at dark!! we didn't get to the park until after the sun set, but we had to keep driving), Sequoia NP which was amazing, Las Vegas, etc. Love love love road trips. I'll definitely have to check this one out.

Dawn - She is Too Fond of Books said...

Travelling with 4 kids is always an adventure, I bet this book would help me keep my sanity!

I laughed (out loud!) when I read your story of driving from Oregon to NJ. You listed who was travelling "and a dog. Miserable" ... I thought your dog was named Miserable! :)

Joanne said...

This looks like a must-have for our future jaunts! We travel by car a lot - I prefer flying but the hubs has often pointed out the many amazing sights you can see from a car. We often take off 3 or 4 times a year to Quebec and spur of the moment roadtrips are always fun! But finding the perfect book for my sons to read while driving is getting tough - usually they like Worst Case Scenario or Uncle John books which are entertaining for the entire family to read aloud. Last trip we took, the boys read from Max Brooks Zombie Survival Guide - we've never laughed so much :)
Thanks for the great review, we'll definitely stash this one in the glovebox :)

Jena said...

I love road trips! And I married a man who loves VW Westfalias, so we do road trips fairly frequently in our Westy (and we love the cover of this book).

The story I most love to tell (so you may already know it):

After nearly a year of being separated, my man & I were finally going to be reunited--and married! (This is back in late 2007.) To get some alone time with him before the wedding, I flew to Seattle to meet him so we could have a few days' road trip back to Ohio for our wedding. First, the day after we'd spent half a day trying to chase down snow chains (and eventually succeeding), we had a belt break in Oregon that took another half a day for my husband to fix (tow+finding belt).

Then, the next day, we had a catastrophic engine failure outside of Boise. Fortunately, we found a great shop to diagnose the problem and either rebuild or get a new engine for us, and in the meantime, because at that point we only had a few days to get to Ohio, the shop owner gave us the keys to his rebuilt '89 Audi & wished us luck. We (he, 'cause I can't drive stick) drove for 30 hours straight, stopping only for coffee, bathroom breaks, or a meal. Three times we stopped for a 30-60 minute nap. (It was too cold to sleep for long with the car off, and too expensive to let it idle.)

We got to Mom & Dad's at 1:30. Wedding at 5:30. I showered, and we were off again--R. insisted I keep my appt at the salon to get my hair done (though we had to call and reschedule--and they obligingly agreed to keep one stylist open for me as long as I wasn't picky about which stylist did my hair). And still we had to get our license, R. a new shirt, and meet with the pastor, and R. had to shower.

The only reason the wedding started 20 minutes late was because R. wanted to video the wedding for family & friends who weren't there (which was just about everyone, as it was a tiny wedding).