Road trip Season Hits Overdrive July Fourth -- Tips from Author and Travel Expert Teresa Bruce

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The summer road trip season is here – find out why one expert traveler says, “just unplug and drive.” Interview the author of the new travel memoir “The Drive: Searching for Lost Memories on the Pan-American Highway” for road-tested tips and a ride-along blog with photos and video.

Americans celebrate Independence Day with the most independent form of travel: road trips. The author of new travel memoir THE DRIVE: SEARCHING FOR LOST MEMORIES ON THE PAN AMERICAN HIGHWAY has seven tips for creating memories on the road.

With no GPS, Wi-Fi or backup plan, Teresa Bruce’s year-long drive down the longest road in the world -- to the tip of Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina -- should have been a disaster. Instead, it was a life-changing adventure and inspiration for a new travel memoir.

“A quit-the-job/sell-the-house trip through Latin America with an old dog in the back seat? Everyone thought I was crazy,” Bruce says. “At the same time, they wanted to hide in my suitcase, which was actually a vintage 1968 truck camper.”

It was far from “glamping;” the ultimate road trip connected the capitals of beautiful and often war-torn countries, across barricaded, flooded and wide open roads. So what advice can she share with readers who dream of getting away from it all?


1. Unplug. Even outdated, physical maps are better for long-distance planning and orientation than GPS or directions-from-Siri. If you do get lost, consider it a chance to connect with locals and truly experience the miles between milestones.

2. Slow down. Pick fewer destinations and follow scenic, less direct routes instead of flooring it through an overly-ambitious itinerary. A road trip is a journey not a race.

3. Take along kids, or better yet a dog. Bruce was seven on her first Pan-American road trip and traveling with kids was like having a diplomatic passport. Thirty years later, lifting her arthritic old dog out of the backseat of a truck gave her a VIP backstage pass into the heart of every place she stopped.

4. Take this pledge: if anyone in the vehicle gets a bad feeling about a place, drive away without complaining, second guessing or belittling. Instinct is the best insurance policy and respecting it shows you respect each other.

5. Say yes to connection. As soon as you announce your route, friends or family will tell you to “look someone up” they once knew. Do, even if it feels awkward. Strangers become lifelong friends when you show an interest in their town, their food, their culture. And you become an ambassador.

6. Forget reservations: all kinds. Part of the fun of driving is stopping when you want, where you want, for as long as you want. Cherish the idiosyncrasies of restaurants, campgrounds motels you discover at random. It’s a road trip; if you guess wrong you’ll have other chances to eat and sleep.

7. Save on-line searches for novels and audiobooks set where you’re headed. There’s nothing like listening to Upton Sinclair’s “Oil!” as you barrel along Route 66 in Southern California, or Salman Rushdie’s “The Jaguar Smile” dodging potholes on Nicaragua’s portion of the Pan-American Highway.


Link to Bruce’s interactive blog – and virtually ride-along on a recreation of her 16,000-mile road trip through Latin America. Daily posts of photos, videos and discussions inspire would-be adventurers and encourage fellow travelers to share their stories.

Bruce is a critically acclaimed author with a popular TEDx talk. As a former broadcast journalist with a master’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism, she is an engaging interview source. The late, best- selling novelist Pat Conroy predicted Bruce will be “one of the next great American writers” and her first book was 2014 IBPA’s Best Autobiography.


To schedule an interview with Teresa Bruce for a summer road trip feature contact Hachette Book Group publicist Michael.Giarratano(at) high-rez images to link to your publication’s website or social media platform, please visit, tweet the author @writerteresa or email the book’s photographer at garygeboy(at)

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Teresa Bruce
since: 02/2010
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The Drive - by Teresa Bruce
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