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DREAMING OF THE ROAD A TRIP-PLANNING GUIDE FROM AMERICAN FAMILY INSURANCE


SO YOU’RE GOING ON A ROAD TRIP ...

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Road trips are a quintessential part of the American Dream. They’re all about freedom – the freedom to travel where you want,

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WHAT’S INSIDE? MEMORY

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Prepare Your Ride for the Road Secure the Home Front ‘Appy’ Trails! What Are You Packing?

when you want, on

Songs for the Road

your own terms and

Make a Game of It

with the people you care about.

Eating Smart on the Go

That’s why we’re

Steer Clear of Road Trip Potholes

supporting your pursuit of happiness on the open road with this free road trip travel guide. In it, you’ll find tips and resources to fulfill your road trip dreams in a fun, safe and

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Safety Tips for Your Road Trip A Drive Down Memory Lane All tips within this book are based on generally accepted best practices. Traffic laws vary by city, state and country.

money-saving manner.

American Family Insurance coverage is subject to terms

So what are you waiting for?

and conditions and varies by state. Your American Family

Your road trip dream is out

agent can help explain your individual coverage details.

there. Go get it. We’ll protect it.

American Family Insurance

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PREPARE YOUR RIDE FOR THE ROAD

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motorcycle or sub-compact, use these pre-trip tips to

Confirm your windshield wipers, lights and turn signals

Replace your air freshener! After a few days in the

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Whether you’re traveling by motor home, sports car, ensure your ride serves you well.

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car, even with the sweetest

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people, you could have some sour smells to cover up – especially if you’re traveling with pets. Program your destinations

are working properly. Check your air filter and all fluids (oil, coolant, transmission, power steering and windshield washer) replacing and replenishing as necessary. Ensure your tires have good treads and are properly inflated, and that the spare is easily accessible – along with a lug wrench and jack.

into your GPS before you leave, but be sure to have an up-to-date road map as well. Bonus Travel Tip: GPS devices are great for taking you from point A to where you want to be, but don’t let your navigational unit lead robbers to your house. Instead of storing your

Keep your proof of insurance in the glove compartment

home address in your GPS, use that of a nearby business

(and your title safely stored at home). Put your

or landmark. That way, if your device gets in the wrong

registration in your purse or wallet.

hands while you’re out of town, the location of your

If you’re planning an exceptionally long trip, know when

unoccupied dwelling remains a secret.

your next oil change is due. You may need to get one on the road. Load your cell phone with important emergency numbers – and make sure you have your charger.

WHAT ARE YOU PACKING?

Hint: A charger that plugs into

Have a first-aid kit handy for any

your car’s accessory port is

minor bumps or bruises that occur

great to have in case your phone

along the way. Be sure to stash it

batteries run low during the day.

in an easily accessible spot. What Are You Packing? >>

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SECURE THE HOME FRONT home look lived-in while you’re away.

it might be, refrain from announcing your travel plans on Facebook or other social media. And,

Tell your local police when you’ll be gone. They may

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Don’t advertise your temporarily empty house. Make your

As tempting as

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make an extra effort to drive by your house on patrol.

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If you have a security alarm, leave the code (and your key) with someone you trust – and be sure to give that person’s contact information to the police and security alarm company. Inform your neighborhood watch program that you’ll be away.

wait until you return before posting pictures of your most memorable road trip moments. Stop your mail, newspaper and any other deliveries.

A DRIVE DOWN MEMORY LANE “My best road trip was when my daughter and I drove to and from Tennessee. I initially wasn’t sure how the nine

Have a friend or trusted neighbor check your house

hour (each way) trip would go, but in the end the driving

while you’re away.

was almost as fun as the actual stay. Filled with chatter, music and snack breaks, I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Put several lights on timers throughout your house. Hire someone to mow your lawn (or, if traveling in the

A Drive Down Memory Lane >>

winter, shovel your driveway and sidewalk). Ask a trusted neighbor to park their car in your driveway.

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‘APPY’ TRAILS!

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Smartphone and tablet applications can optimize your road trip and make it more enjoyable. Here are some app categories to consider. Navigation Apps: Look for features like live traffic

STRANDED?

Stranded? Not for Long with This Auto Policy Option

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With American Family’s Emergency Roadside Service [[[http://www.amfam.com/products/auto/auto-emergency-roadside-service.asp]]], all you need to do is call and we’ll With American Family’s Emergency Roadside Service, all you send help. Talk to an American Family agent today about need do is call and we’ll send help. Talk to an American Family thistoroad trip-protecting coverage.

NOT FOR LONG WITH THIS AUTO POLICY OPTION

agent today about this road trip-protecting coverage.

updates; hospital and pharmacy locations; and map-caching capability. Restaurant and Hotel Locators: Some cool food and lodging apps include reviews, pricing, coupons and discount info, as well as real-time room and

Have Fun, But Be Safe – Never use apps while driving.

table availability.

Additionally, consider apps that lock your smartphone or

Gas and Service Station Finders: Good gas and

remove sensitive data in case your device ends up in the

service station apps detail pricing options,

Delegate these responsibilities to a passenger.

wrong hands.

Navigation Apps: Magellan RoadMate

restroom availability (and cleanliness!) and user reviews.

USA, Google Maps, Garmin USA, Mapquest.* Restaurant and Hotel Locators:

Sites, Activities and

TripAdvisor, Meal Ticket, Hotel Tonight,

Event Listings: Get the most out of the

UrbanSpoon, MapsBuddy.* Gas and Service Stations Finders:

destinations you’re

Gas Buddy, GasBook, Fuel Finder,

visiting with apps

RepairPal, Yelp.*

offering rich and timely information about your surroundings.

Sites, Activities and Event Listings: Around Me, Roadside America, Goby, Budget Travel’s Ultimate Road Trips.*

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*American Family Insurance does not endorse or assume responsibility for the use of any apps referenced here.

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WHAT ARE YOU PACKING?

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Make your trip safe, comfortable and fun by storing the right cargo. Have a first-aid kit handy for any minor bumps or bruises that occur along the way. Be sure to stash it in an easily accessible spot. Always bring a container of sunscreen. It can keep you from getting burned when you stop for an impromptu picnic or hike. Wet wipes are great for cleaning sticky fingers and

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Keep a pair of sunglasses at arm’s reach –

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especially if you’re in the driver’s seat. Avoid arguments over the temperature. Throw in an extra blanket or sweatshirt in case the AC gets cranked up too high. Keep over-the-counter medicines for headaches and upset stomachs readily accessible. Regional foods may look and taste great, but if you’re not used to them, they could have adverse effects on your system.

wiping away dirt blown up from dusty roads. Plastic grocery bags are a great way to consolidate garbage so it can be easily removed at every rest stop. They also work great for dirty laundry.

A DRIVE DOWN MEMORY LANE “I have many fond memories of the August vacations with my family, sleeping in a camper and cooking on a camp stove. Two of the best trips were with my dad to the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore. Lots of great memories, now that dad has passed away.” A Drive Down Memory Lane >>

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SONGS FOR THE ROAD

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No matter where you’re heading or what your musical tastes, the right tunes can set the pace for a great trip. Not sure what to add to your road trip playlist? These suggestions will get you started: Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen I Can’t Drive 55, Sammy Hagar While we love this tune, please operate your own wheels within the legally posted speed limit!

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Drive My Car, The Beatles Soak Up the Sun, Sheryl Crow Ridin’ the Storm Out, REO Speedwagon Mexico, Jimmy Buffett Truckin’, Grateful Dead I’ve Been Everywhere, Johnny Cash Life Is a Highway, Rascal Flatts Freeway of Love, Aretha Franklin ___________________________

Radar Love, Golden Earring East Bound and Down, Jerry Reed Low Rider, War

That’s right, fill in the blank. Music is a personal choice, so be sure to take along the tunes – or podcasts and audio books – that make you

Country Roads, John Denver

happy and relaxed. After all, this is your road trip.

On the Road Again, Willie Nelson California Dreamin’, The Mamas and the Papas Take the Long Way Home, Supertramp Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes, Jimmy Buffett

WHAT ARE YOU PACKING? Wet wipes are great for cleaning sticky fingers and wiping away dirt blown up from dusty roads.

Born To Be Wild, Steppenwolf

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What Are You Packing? >>

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MAKE A GAME OF IT

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A road trip’s allure includes the constantly changing scenery. But if the view starts to get monotonous for young riders, keep them entertained with these good old-fashioned road trip games. License Plates by State (a team activity): See if you can spot license plates from every state as well as regions outside the U.S. Be sure to write them down so you don’t lose track.

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I Spy: Have one person call out something

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interesting they see (e.g., “I spy a handlebar mustache.”). The first passenger to spot the item wins the round. Alphabet Game (a group activity): Beginning with “A” and working through the alphabet, find items beginning with each letter. If you finish a round quickly, start over – but don’t repeat any of the words you’ve already used! Road Sign Bingo: Make, download or purchase bingo cards with images of objects commonly – or perhaps rarely – found along the road. The first person to spot every item on their card wins.

¡ADIOS, ESTADOS UNIDOS! (GOOD-BYE, UNITED STATES) If Mexico is your road trip destination, make sure you’re covered when driving south of the U.S. border. An American Family agent can help you obtain Mexico Auto Insurance. Who Am I? One player picks a person (real or fictional) while the others take turns asking yesor-no questions to determine the mystery being’s identity. Whichever player’s question results in the correct answer (e.g., “Is it George Washington?”)

Pulling a boat across the border? We can help you get Mexico Boat Insurance, too! American Family Mutual Insurance Company, American Standard Insurance Company of Ohio, American Standard Insurance Company of Wisconsin - 6000 American Pkwy. Madison WI 53783

gets to pick the next character.

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EATING SMART ON THE GO

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healthy options in your car.

Assorted fruit and prewashed carrots, celery or snap

Part of the road trip experience is finding unique spots to

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If you like to crunch and munch while you travel, keep

Trail mix is nutritious and kids love it.

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enjoy a meal. It’s a perfect way to absorb local culture and

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create great memories. Ask the locals for dining recommendations. Check websites devoted specifically to road trip dining and regional eats.

peas typically stay fresh in coolers. Freeze water bottles to keep your cooler cool. After they’ve thawed, you’ll have refreshingly chilled drinks to quench your thirst. Crackers and peanut butter are great energy boosters that are filling, too. Bring paper towels, wipes and grocery bags for handling spills and garbage.

WHAT ARE YOU PACKING? Be adventurous – try dishes that aren’t available back

Keep over-the-counter medicines for headaches and upset

home.

stomachs readily accessible.

Don’t order large portions. Lighter, balanced meals

Regional foods may look and

are better for you, and can help you avoid becoming

taste great, but if you’re not used

drowsy behind the wheel.

to them, they could have adverse

To save money, split your order with a traveling

effects on your system.

companion.

What Are You Packing? >>

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STEER CLEAR OF ROAD TRIP POTHOLES

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When you stay focused on the highway and all it holds, you

Watch for deer, rodents, birds and other creatures on

SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR ROAD TRIP MEMORY

The great American road trip is an adventure to treasure. keep the good times – and your wheels – rolling.

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While you’re soaking up the local atmosphere, don’t lose sight of personal safety. If you carry cash, don’t keep it all in one place. Split it into several small amounts “hidden” in different pieces of luggage.

road trips of their own. Let aggressive

Use a credit or debit card to avoid carrying lots of cash.

drivers pass. Road

If you pay the balance in full, you may avoid interest

rage is an uninvited

charges.

guest on any road trip. Feeling drowsy? Don’t drive! Perhaps your traveling companion can take the wheel. Or, better yet, pull over and

If you take prescription medications, be sure to bring enough for the duration of your vacation. If leaving your car unattended – like at a hotel or when going for a walk through town – conceal any contents that might tempt a thief. Never leave children or pets unattended in a car. In the

discover an area attraction – maybe even one that

summer, the inside of a vehicle can reach dangerous

serves coffee.

temperatures in a matter of minutes.

Keep an eye on the gas gauge. Running out of gas

When driving long distances, stop every few hours to

in unfamiliar territory is not the type of adventure you

stand up, walk around and stretch your legs. It’s good

want.

for your mind and body alike.

Enlist a co-navigator to control the GPS, radio and any other technology that would take your eyes off the road, even momentarily.

WHAT ARE YOU PACKING? Keep a pair of sunglasses at arm’s reach – especially if you’re in the driver’s seat. What Are You Packing? >>

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A DRIVE DOWN MEMORY LANE

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We asked for your favorite memories and received an the entire stretch of Route 66! Here are just some of the submissions that came our way. ‘Hippopalooza’ Celebrates Sisterhood Twice a year, Tisa and her sister drive more than a thousand miles to visit their aunt in Florida. Because her sister’s favorite animal is the hippopotamus, they’ve named their biannual adventure Hippopalooza. They even take along a mascot – a stuffed hippo named Jessica. “We’ve tried flying,” says Tisa, “but we always go back to driving because we relish the time we spend together on the road.”

Connecting in the Country

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Road trips are as unique as those who pursue them. abundance of fun and fulfilling tales – enough to cover

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“One bright spring day, I took my mother, stricken with Alzheimer’s, on a ride in the country. As the scenery rolled by, she turned and smiled at me and, for that brief moment, I had her back again. She has passed, but the memory will be with me always.” Last Day of School, First Day of Adventure Jessica’s favorite road trip occurred during her childhood. Instead of taking the bus home, she and her sister were picked up by their parents on the last day of school. On the way home, the family car abruptly turned onto the highway, and the girls’ parents announced the family was embarking on a fun-filled trip to Branson, Mo. “They already had packed our bags and snacks,” says Jessica. “It was a great surprise!” Lasting Memory of Mom and Dad “I packed up my mom and dad and drove them to Gulf

RENTAL REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE KEEPS YOU ROLLING Having an accident can be stressful enough. Don’t let outof-pocket rental car expenses add to your anxiety. American Family Insurance Auto Rental Reimbursement Coverage pays for a rental vehicle when your car is being repaired due to a covered loss. Talk to an agent today.

Shores after dad had a massive stroke. It was their last trip together. I’ve got pictures of them on the beach holding hands. Best memory ever!” Life Is the Ultimate Road Trip As a single father, John made a point of taking his two daughters on road trips, including one that was especially memorable. On the way home to Colorado from Texas, they spontaneously pulled over, studied a road atlas, and resolved to take an entirely different route – one that was continued on page 21

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indirect, yet full of surprises. They saw SeaWorld, visited

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and had an amazing trip all by myself!” Kim exclaims. Best

trinket shops, and cruised along scenic stretches near the

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Rio Grande. But the best part was an impromptu nighttime stop to gaze upward at the Milky Way. “The thing that my kids and I remember the most after all these years is the opportunity we had to just talk about ‘stuff’ out there in the dark, quiet night where even the faintest crackle of

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of all, she got to do whatever she wanted, from visiting

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shops that looked interesting to her, to taking in the scenic architecture unique to Santa Fe. “It was beautiful,” she says. D.C. Dream Fulfilled

civilization through the AM radio couldn’t reach us,” John

“My favorite road trip memory was being one of the family

recalls. “Life is the ultimate road trip. Make each moment of

members that got to take my mother on her lifelong dream

it one to remember.”

[trip] to Washington, D.C. We lost our mother this past year to

Holy Hundred!

Alzheimer’s, but she got to see

“Coming from Pennsylvania, it was very wet when I observed three nuns on the side of road with a flat tire. I stopped to help and while I was changing their flat tire, my children were playing in the grass and found a hundred dollar bill, and offered it to the nuns.”

her dream before she died.” Road Trip as a Rite of Passage Frivolity definitely was in the air when Jason, his wife and some

$1,000 in Six Weeks

friends began a road trip from

“When I was 11 years old my mother took my sister and

London, England, and headed

me on a road trip across the Eastern U.S. We left home

south. “When we arrived at

with $1,000 and a plan to travel until the money ran out.

Folkestone’s docks, we threw

Six weeks later we returned with a priceless education and

caution to the wind and hopped

memories to last a lifetime.”

on a ferry to France,” Jason

You Can Go Your Own Way

says. “We got lost, laughed, had lunch – moules frites in the Pays

Kim’s decision to make a solo road trip to Santa Fe, N.M.,

Conquis.” It was memorable

turned out to be a memorable, rewarding adventure. “I met

in other ways, too. “We also

a lot of kind, interesting people, ate a lot of delicious foods,

announced to our friends who we were traveling with that continued on page 23

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we were pregnant with our first child and wanted them to

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be godparents. Good times.”

Jeff and his friends consumed energy drinks, devoured

Nebraska, we found the America we were looking for. One

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Meeting the ‘Mayor’ of Terlingua On a spring break road trip from Iowa to southern Texas,

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bucolic small town after another greeted us with fresh pie

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and characters. Ten days, many memories.” Life as a ‘Road Scholar’ By the time Renee was 12, she had traveled coast to coast

homemade tamales and logged seemingly countless

with her family, first in a station wagon, then in a used RV.

miles. But a true high point was meeting Clay Henry, Sr.,

Each road trip proved to be a rich learning experience. On

a high-ranking official of Terlingua, Texas, population 58.

a trip to the East Coast, she read the entire “Little House

“There he was, standing on a shelf with a beer bottle in

on the Prairie” series. Nestled in the family’s RV on a trip

his mouth,” recounts Jeff, describing a pose Henry had

out West, she took in the scenery while spending quality

assumed for years and years. You

time with her family. “We watched the West roll by while

see, Clay Henry was not a human.

playing endless hours of ‘Life’ and ‘Monopoly,’” Renee

He was a stuffed, beer-guzzling goat,

recalls. “It’s hard to say where I learned more – on the way

once voted mayor of the small town.

to each spot, or once we arrived.”

Modern Day Explorers

The Peak of Adventure

“Two years ago I rode on a

“In July 2012, my wife of 32 years and I took a three-week

motorcycle trip for the ages. We

driving trip from Kansas to Alaska and back. We saw

followed the Lewis and Clark Trail

mountains (including Denali) for each of the 21 days. What

from St. Louis to Oregon. We

a gorgeous 8,000-mile trip. Next time we do it, we plan to

traveled 7,000 miles in 22 days and

take six weeks.”

took in both historic and scenic sites in 12 different states.” Fulfillment in the Nation’s Center

Big Horn Cattle Roundup “We were driving in the Big Horn Mountains after a fall snowstorm. The scenery was breathtaking, but the memory

“Recently, my family purchased

is of seeing an old fashioned cattle roundup with cowboys

a vintage Airstream travel trailer

herding cattle on horseback. That is a piece of Americana

and headed west for adventure. In

you don’t see every day.” continued on page 25

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The Last Road Trip Together

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For a number of years, Therese enjoyed backpacking

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though, the two decided to embark on a less strenuous their journey east, they stopped in scenic Mackinac Island and encountered a band of friendly bikers who persuaded them to visit Traverse City, Mich., on their way back home

Around the Nation in 80 Days

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vacations in Wyoming with her fiancé, Danny. In time, but equally fun vacation: a road trip to Niagara Falls. On

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“Visiting 26 states, driving 10,000 miles in 80 days – America the beautiful she truly is. From the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, our beautiful national parks, the Badlands, western prairie and grand mountain ranges, and, most importantly, the American people.” Delectable Drive-In Dining

to Wisconsin. When Therese and Danny reached their

When Amy was growing up, every

destination, they took full advantage of everything Niagara

summer vacation included a trip “down

Falls had to offer, including helicopter rides and the famous

home” to visit relatives in southern

whirlpool jet tours. “It was unforgettable!” says Therese.

Illinois. Being from Chicago, this was a

“After leaving Niagara Falls we headed to Traverse City

great adventure for her and her siblings.

and got there just in time for their HUGE parade …. I was

“Every trip included a stop at the ‘Dog

very thankful to those bikers for recommending this side

‘n Suds’ drive-in where they clipped a

trip.” Sadly, it was the last trip Therese took with Danny

tray loaded with burgers and root beers to the car window,”

before he passed away.

Amy says. “It was awesome!”

Keep It Short and Sweet

Moseying in the Lone Star State

Sometimes, short road trips on less-traveled routes are

One day, Dorothy’s husband called and asked her to book

the best way to see America. Just ask Britt, who recently

a flight to “somewhere warm.” Taking advantage of a one-

avoided traveling on the interstate from Madison to River

day sale on inexpensive flights, she arranged a trip to

Falls, Wis., choosing state and county highways instead.

Houston, where they rented a car and began a memorable

As a result, she discovered affordable antique stores,

road trip on back roads through small towns toward

historic hotels with great food and live music, creameries

Galveston. They visited cafés, antique shops and, best of

offering lip-smacking cheeses, and other attractions.

all, “sale barns” where livestock and agriculture products

“We finally arrived – six hours later – in time for dinner

are sold. “Sale barns are like the old-time general stores, in

with friends,” says Britt. “It was an easy but entertaining

that everyone stops and stares at the newcomer,” Dorothy

getaway.”

explains. “Then, once you get introduced, everyone talks continued on page 27

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to you.” There were some haunting moments, too: she and

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Custer National Battlefield, Yellowstone National Park and

her husband also saw areas ravaged by Hurricane Ike,

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which made the entire trip unforgettable. Spontaneous Fun on the Road For Travis and his wife, the best plan is no plan when it comes to road trips. “No agenda – we simply go and stop,

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Glacier National Park. I did all the driving and my dad kept

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a journal of everything he saw, which I never knew until after his passing years later.” Building Friendship Mile by Mile Back in 2010, Karyn and three coworkers took a road trip

eat and sleep when we

across Washington state to explore wine country. “It was a

want,” he says. On one

long but gorgeous and fun drive, as we took turns blasting

of their journeys, they

‘girly’ music and keeping a quote book of all the funny

started from Portland,

comments we made,” she says. The threesome created

Ore., and “hopscotched”

“wine passports” that were signed by each winery owner,

south through the Sierra

as a clever keepsake from the trip. They even brought

Nevada mountains.

a cutout picture of their boss, so he could be in a few

Their journey took them

pictures along the way. “It was such a fantastic, memorable

to Crater Lake National

trip; it strengthened our friendship even more,” Karyn says.

Park, Mount Shasta, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National

VIP Treatment at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Park, Mammoth Lakes

Paulette has had a few memorable trips, but the one that

and other breathtakingly

really stands out is when she went to the White House. As

scenic spots. “A couple of

the owner of a chimney sweeping business, her husband

my favorite memories were

was among a group of chimney sweeps invited to clean

watching the sunset from atop a 3,000-foot cliff at Yosemite

chimneys at the White House when President Clinton was

on Glacier Point, and rowing in complete solitude on one of

in office. A couple years later, Paulette, her husband and

the alpine lakes in a vintage wooden boat,” recalls Travis.

their three daughters returned, and received a private tour

“It was a great trip!”

of the Oval Office, stood in the Rose Garden, and viewed

Discovering the Lost Chronicles “I took my mom and dad out to see Mount Rushmore,

the south lawn from the Truman Balcony. “We also got to see other areas that the public is not allowed to view,” says Paulette. “It was a great experience for all of us.” continued on page 29

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Friends and Family on Two Wheels

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“My favorite road trip memory consisted of a six-week-long

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friend, then to Savannah, Ga., to see the house I lived in granddaughter.”

No Need for Gift Wrap

MEMORY

cross-country motorcycle trip to Florida to see a retired 40 years ago, and then to Charleston, S.C., to visit my

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“I surprised my parents by driving over 1,000 miles to show up at their 60th anniversary party. I was out of work, so I slept in rest areas along the way. I had a great time, no problems. That road trip was my anniversary present to them.”

Born to Be Wild – and Free!

Togetherness is a Rented RV

Kathy and her husband have loved every mile of their

“We rented an RV to take the

motorcycle vacations. “We jump on the bike and decide

family cross country to see the

to head east, west, north or south and then just take turns

Badlands, Yellowstone and the

deciding right or left,” Kathy explains. “For us it’s the ride

Tetons, and to drive over Bear

and not the destination.”

Tooth Pass. The kids loved it. I loved spending the time with them

Travels with Bambi

and experiencing the openness

When Liz and her husband embark on road trips, they always go in style with their 19-foot Airstream “Bambi” travel trailer, in which they’ve logged more 35,000 miles.

together.” Beholding the Majesty of ‘Carhenge’

“We’ve actually had people follow us and stop and talk

On a road trip to Nebraska to visit a friend, Bill discovered

about the trailer, and tell us how they remember either

a somewhat bizarre attraction along the way: “Carhenge.”

seeing one like it, or how they actually camped in one as

As the name suggests, “Carhenge” is an artistic depiction

a kid,” she says. Whenever they see American Family’s

of the famed British prehistoric monument, except it is

television ad depicting a father and son pursuing their

constructed of old cars spray-painted gray to somewhat

dream of visiting all of America’s national parks in their

resemble the actual Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England. “It’s

Airstream, she and her husband always exclaim, “That’s

one of those things you must see to believe, and it’s just as

us!” Liz and her husband are on a quest to visit every

silly in person as it is in photographs,” says Bill. “If you’re

national park, too.

near Alliance, Neb., give it a look. It’s one of those things that make America interesting.” continued on page 31

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Getting It Right the Second Time

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wonderful experiences and plan to continue this travel for

The first time that Nina and a friend went on a road trip

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from Madison, Wis., to Phoenix, Ariz., they made the journey in two days. Aside from seeing some quirky sights along the way, such as a giraffe sticking its head out of a small shed, they didn’t really get the full “road trip” experience. The following year, however, Nina flew back down to Phoenix for a visit, and ended up taking an unforgettable road trip. Highlights included remarkable scenery in Sedona, Ariz., a whitewater rafting trip to a winery, a visit to the Grand Canyon, and a weekend stay in Las Vegas. “Now, that is a road trip worth taking!” says Nina.

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some years to come.”

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Making Music in Memphis “In 1981, our family traveled to Atlanta, Ga., to visit my sister. While driving through Memphis, Tenn., my sister stuck her trumpet out the window of our car and played a song, fulfilling her dream of playing in Memphis. A car next to us clapped and honked for her!” Lost and Found “My most special memory was a road trip to the UP of Michigan following my divorce. I got lost on the back roads after enjoying Silver Mountain, and by finding my way back

Top Down, Thumbs Up

I realized through faith that I am strong enough and I am

Every summer Orvin and his wife strike out on a twoweek road trip in their convertible, always with the top down (weather permitting) and wearing baseball caps. They have a general idea of where they’re headed, but make no reservations or firm plans. Instead, they use an iPad and travel websites for guidance. “Our goal is to stay off the interstates as much as possible, visit small towns, stop at roadside stands, avoid chain restaurants and see America!” Orvin explains. “We have had many

going to make it.” What’s ‘Bugging’ Mom? Back in the 1970s, Melinda’s parents took the family on a journey around the country – quite literally – from their home in Oregon out to the East Coast, down through the South and then northward back to Oregon. “My favorite memory of the road trip, though, stemmed from my father’s sense of humor and my mother’s fear of ... well, everything,” Melinda recalls. Specifically, an encounter with a large tarantula left a lasting impression on Melinda’s poor mom. Adding insult to injury, a dragonfly flew through the window and struck Melinda’s mother in the head while she was asleep, causing her to shriek in terror. “To this day, I continued on page 33

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GE A P T NEX

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cannot plan a long trip without wondering who will scream

US PAGE

attraction/trap we never got to see when taking similar trips

about every little thing, or where we will end up that was

MEMORY

unplanned, but worth the detour.”

E

Motorcycle Matrimony “Celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, we did a

OM GO H

as kids,” she says. “And yes, we dug Wall Drug.”

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Good Tunes, Good Friends, Good Times With adventure in their hearts and “awesome music” on the car stereo, Wendy and her best friend experienced the best

motorcycle cross-country ride from Arizona east to Virginia

road trip ever when they cruised to Las Vegas in a Honda

and back home, a total of about 6,000 miles! No mishaps,

Civic CRX. “We visited

and loads of fun for us 70-plus grandparents!”

Luxor, saw the Hoover Dam, stayed at Circus

Quality Quick Trips

Circus and climbed

“My favorite road trip was going to the grocery store with

mountains,” says Wendy,

my grandson to pick out what he wanted to bake. Today we

adding that going up

will be going again, making chocolate chip peanut butter

was much easier than

brownie cookies! Memories forever!”

getting back down. On the way home, the two

Reliving a Great Ride

19-year-olds ran out of

“As a young kid, I was fortunate to accompany my

money, and ended up

grandfather on a pair of motorcycle trips to the West Coast.

scrounging enough loose coins in the car to share a double

When I was a young adult I bought my first motorcycle and

cheeseburger meal. It was one of the best times of her life.

we retraced our trip from all those years before. It was the best road trip of my life.”

34 in 50 “Our trip of a lifetime – 10,700 miles in April through May of

Follow Your Nose

2013 – went through 34 states in 50 days, from Oregon to

It was “way back” in 1998, before GPS navigational

Texas, then over to Florida, up the East Coast to Boston,

devices became virtually ubiquitous, that Sandra and a

then Highway 20 all the way to the Oregon. It is a beautiful

friend threw a dart at a map on a wall, and resolved to

country.”

drive in that general direction. “We wound up in South Dakota, and along the way we stopped at every tourist continued on page 35

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Do Your Own Thing Several years ago, Victoria rented a car, purchased her

ME O H O

Madison, Wis., to Seattle, solo. Along the way, she grottos, three carousels, the world’s shortest and steepest scenic railroad, the world’s largest Cheeto, and Roslyn, Wash., the town where the TV show “Northern Exposure”

Taking a Living History Tour

MEMORY

first cell phone in case of emergencies and drove from experienced unique, beautiful and even bizarre sites: two

GE A P T NEX

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“Instead of handing my granddaughter my written memoirs, I drove her there instead – visiting my childhood home, schools, church and a lighthouse on Lake Michigan. Hearing stories from two 93-year-old aunts made the trip a joyous chapter written together!” Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

was filmed. “It was six days of me, the open road, lots of

After more than a year of careful planning, Jon, his wife

CDs and Gnarl the Gnome, who stood in for me in photos,”

and their daughter headed off to Prescott, Ariz., and then

she notes. “It was my all-time favorite road trip.”

traveled to the west end of the Grand Canyon, where they

The Road Is Filled with a Range of Emotions

would hike down to the breathtakingly beautiful Havasu Canyon. On the way, they travelled on old Route 66,

“We decided to take a break from work. My wife, two sons

passing through several small, nostalgic towns, including

and I drove from Missouri to the West Coast. We camped,

one named Seligman in Arizona. “We were surprised

hiked, biked, laughed, got angry, made up, and learned to

to learn this little town was the inspiration for Radiator

love and forgive each other.”

Springs, the town the Disney movie ‘Cars’ was based on,”

Summer Vacation ‘Pin the Tail’ Style

says Jon. “My 11-year old daughter was thrilled.” While they spent only a couple of hours there, it will always be a

“Grandpa would pull out a road map, close his eyes, point

memory Jon and his family cherish, largely because it was

to a spot, and that’s where our journey would be that

unexpected.

summer. Always a fun trip! We never knew what to expect.” Making Good on His Word “Not long ago my dad and I took a trip to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, where we hiked to what’s known as Bull Pasture. Upon reaching the peak, he told

Your road trip dream is out there. Go get it. We’ll protect it. American Family Insurance

me that after I was born he came here and in a guest book at the top, wrote that one day he’d bring me.”

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Dreaming of the Road: A Trip-Planning Guide from American Family Insurance  

Road trips are a quintessential part of the American Dream. They’re all about freedom – the freedom to travel where you want, when you want...

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