An old-fashioned family road trip: 12 tips

At this exact moment, thousands of parents are thinking about hitting the highway for a family road trip this summer. Destination? Anywhere but here. It’s an exciting prospect for kids, but it’s also fraught with difficulties, including sudden back-seat fights and frequent retreats to the iPod Zone. Mark Sedenquist offers 12 tips for some old-fashioned fun.

The art of the road-trip picnic

A picnic in the backyard is easy. When you run out of hot dogs or spill ketchup on your pants, you just step back into the house. A road-trip picnic is a different story. If you don’t plan ahead, you might find yourself slicing the cheese with your credit card. Mark Sedenquist shares a few pointers.

Rolling solo

Some road trips are made for company; the bigger the crowd, the better. But sometimes what you want is the chance to leave family and friends behind. Mark Sedenquist writes about the joys of “rolling solo,” and offers some practical advice.

Rover and Rosie hit the road: 10 tips

Next time you’re on a road trip and pull into a rest stop, check out the animal companions. In his years on the highways, Mark Sedenquist has seen quite a collection of dogs, cats, birds, ferrets and snakes — even a hamster or two. Pets are great travel pals, but they need special handling. Here are 10 tips for the road.

Spring break? Road trip!

Spring breaks and road trips were just made for each other, and thousands of campus-weary kids are climbing into their getaway cars at this very moment. They all think their road trip will be wonderful and cheap. Wonderful? Probably. Cheap? Not necessarily. A cheap road trip takes a little planning.

All washed up

Every motorist who has ever driven 400 sweaty miles has looked longingly at the truck stops and wondered the same thing: Can I use those showers, or not? Fifteen years ago, the answer would have been “No way,” but times have changed. Now that truck stops have morphed into “travel plazas,” there may be a hot shower for you by the side of the road.

Three degrees of decision

Sometimes a road trip is an accident waiting to happen. There are just so many things beyond the driver’s control: tornados, blizzards, hotel fires, food poisoning — you name it. But that doesn’t bother our road trip columnist, Mark Sedenquist. In his years of traveling, Mark has found that one bad decision seldom ruins a trip. But the second or third one can really ruin your day — or lead to something much, much worse.

7 winter driving cautions

Mark SedenquistHave you ever done this? Locked yourself out of the house in your bathrobe? Left the tub running while you chatted too long with a friend? Well, winter driving is no different. You may think you know what you’re doing, but you have to think ahead, or you’ll end up in some ridiculous — and perhaps dangerous — situation. Herewith, seven cautionary tales.

Getting there in time for turkey

The roads are jammed, the kids are squabbling, the weather is sleety and the pumpkin pie is going cold in the trunk. Ah, yes, it’s the annual Thanksgiving road trip. Is there anything you can do to make this pilgrimage more bearable? Yes, there is.

God bless the 20-hour road trip

What to do when the blahs set in, with no relief in sight till the holidays? Do you take to your bed and moan? Heavens, no, man! Get a grip! The cure for the blahs is a road trip. Twenty hours is all it takes to restore body and soul, and no one will even know you were gone.