• 12 Travel Tips from the Past

    Road-trip wisdom from early 1900s motorists Effie Gladding, Emily Post and Beatrice Larned Massey

    • Keep fruit in the car. Oranges and pears quench the thirst better than water.

    • Get off the main road.

    • After driving day after day, there’s no bed too soft and no bathroom too luxurious. Economize in other ways, not on good food and comfortable lodgings.

    • Carry a picnic basket/hamper stocke.d with such basics as “pepper, mustard, sweet-and-sour pickles, or a relish, orange marmalade, or a fruit jam.” (Massey)

    • Bring favorite snacks from home. “Neither [low-calorie] brittle bread nor [low-carb] Proto Puffs had ever been heard of west of New York. Nothing but good, rich, fat-producing bread and butter to be had, to say nothing of chocolate. Our waistbands getting tighter every day.” (Post)

    • Avoid following a strict schedule.

    • Expect problems — and remember: “It is your misadventures that afterward become your most treasured memories.” (Post)

    • Don’t travel after sunset. You won’t see the landscape. 


    • Wear khaki breeches and ship petticoats ahead to your destination. (Massey)

    • Stop on a whim. If you see an intriguing café, go in.

    • Pause to take in the view.

    • Eat local. “Never have we tasted such a watermelon [it] has just come from the field, and is fresh and delicious.” (Gladding)

    • Avoid making snap judgments. “Unless you can stay in a city long enough to know some of its people, to learn something about its atmosphere and personality, your opinion of it is as valueless as your opinion of a play would be, after seeing only the posters on the outside of the theater.”


    Pulled from the Washington Post’s Article “How America’s open road inspired three women of the 1910s” that was shared at the 2017 National Lincoln Highway Conference in Denison, Iowa by President Kay Shelton. 

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