Navigating the Family Road Trip

Navigating the Family Road Trip

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who

cherishes the time-honored tradition of the family road trip, complete with

sing-a-longs and car games, you’re not alone. Despite rising gas prices,

people are taking even more road trips now than they did growing up, and

where do they want to go next? According to Rand McNally’s “Great American

Road Trip Survey,” American families want to go to a Disney theme park

followed by a national park. While on their way, most would choose to have

Chevy Chase keep them company and pass the time by looking at the passing


To celebrate its 150th anniversary and the long-standing tradition of the

family road trip, Rand McNally, America’s largest commercial maker of

national and local maps, street guides and atlases, conducted the “Great

American Road Trip Survey.” The survey polled nearly 4,000 consumers from

all 50 states, as well as celebrity road trippers such as Jamie Lee Curtis

and Doris Roberts to find out what America thinks about the family road

trip. Respondents shared their “road trip” must-haves and top places to

visit while on the road.

“For 150 years, Americans have trusted Rand McNally products to help them

navigate millions of family road trips,” said Rob Apatoff, CEO, Rand

McNally. “Capturing America’s love of the family road trip in this survey

was such an entertaining way for us to mark this milestone.”

Rand McNally Survey Highlights:

– 96 percent of respondents have taken at least one road trip in their


– 40 percent of childhood road trips lasted a week

– 76 percent of respondents usually take a road trip for their vacation

– Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California ranked

No. 1 as ideal destinations for parents and children

– Asked what celebrity they would most like to share the family road

trip with, Chevy Chase was voted No. 1

– Top two in-transit pastimes? Looking at passing sights (67 percent)

and playing games (63 percent)

– Top road trip disagreements? Personal space/seating arrangements

(54 percent) and when to stop for breaks (27 percent)

– Best stop for a bathroom break? Restaurants

– Best places to stop for the night? Hotels and motels (56 percent)

followed by bunking with family and friends (54 percent)

– Who navigated? Mom (47 percent) followed by dad (41 percent)

– Best food for the road? Potato chips, candy and cookies

Other highlights from the national “Great American Road Trip Survey”


On the Road Again

– Most Americans have taken a road trip with kids (86 percent)

– Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in California

rank supreme as destinations parents want to take their children on

a family vacation (39 percent)

He Said, She Said

– Opposites attract as women would prefer to ride with Brad Pitt while

men would choose Jennifer Aniston

– More men found gas stations provide suitable restrooms on the road

than women

– For women, visiting a relative’s home is their No. 1 road trip

destination when they are traveling without children. Men preferred

national parks

Democrats, Republicans and Independents Agree…

– Members of each party would campaign to visit their ideal vacation

spot — Walt Disney World Resort in Florida or Disneyland Resort in


– Chevy Chase would be their top celebrity candidate to share a road trip

– No secret about it — restaurants offer the best bathrooms on the road

The Age Old Question

– Jennifer Aniston, Ben Stiller and Jessica Simpson claimed top rank as

the most popular celebrities to take a road trip with for 18 to 28

year olds

– The young and the young at heart (aged 18 to 49) agreed on Disney as

the ideal vacation spot

Road Trip Scrap Book

– Road trip memories fell into a few main categories:

– Accidentally leaving a loved one behind at a rest stop

– Being chased by animals or attacked by bugs

– Desperately needing to use the restroom or getting car sick

– Getting lost

– Cars breaking down, running out of gas, or receiving speeding


– Torturing siblings

Celebs Hit the Road

Actresses Jamie Lee Curtis, Doris Roberts, Leah Remini and Patricia

Richardson and singer Mark McGrath were happy to share their family road

trip memories.

Television mom Doris Roberts agreed with popular opinion, saying she would

most like to head to a Disney theme park, but Jamie Lee Curtis would rather

spend her time in the second most popular destination, a national park.

Mark McGrath could lead a band of celebrities, including Leah Remini and

Patricia Richardson, on a trip to their shared ideal destination — the

ocean, lake or beach.

“Marie Barone” aka Doris Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis once again agreed

with popular opinion, saying playing games was their favorite way to pass

time in the car. Mark McGrath favored playing games and reading, leaving

the singing to Patricia Richardson who named games, reading and singing as

her top three road trip activities.

Like her opinionated character Carrie Heffernan, Leah Remini spent a lot of

time arguing, as she usually passed time in the car by bickering with her

siblings. Jamie Lee Curtis, Mark McGrath, Leah Remini and Doris Roberts

said choosing a radio station most commonly disrupted the harmony of their

past road trips. Like most consumers, Patricia Richardson was too

concerned with fighting for her personal space to decide between classical

or top 40.

About Rand McNally & Company

Rand McNally is North America’s largest commercial maker of national and

local maps, street guides and atlases. The company’s print and electronic

products include America’s No. 1 Road Atlas, The Thomas Guide® map books,

custom-made wall maps on the Web, wireless navigation solutions and online

maps, directions and trip planning at .

Celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2006, Rand McNally offers the most

trusted tools to discover, map and navigate your world. The company leads

the way with innovative products and services for the consumer, business,

education and commercial transportation markets. For more information,

visit or call (800) 333-0136.

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Tricia Ryan

Leslie Albensi

Joanna DiNizio

Coyne Public Relations