Plan Family Trips with Everyone in Mind

I grew up with a mom who practically refused to fly and a dad who fortunately loved to drive. Our family took all our vacations by car. Long road trips together before car seats and seat belts were mandatory. Our parents would put us in the car at 4:00am lying down with blankets and start the trip with us still asleep. By the time we woke up hungry we had already been travelling for hours.
What I remember best about our trips is that my mom always planned for weeks. She would meticulously lay out each day but build in time for spontaneity. She always asked for our input and about what we wanted to do. I remember the summer we went to New England and I was obsessed with the Julia Roberts movie “Mystic Pizza”. We had no plans in Connecticut at all, but we made a day trip to Mystic just for me. And how we went to LL Bean in Maine because I had to have a flannel shirt bought IN Maine. And how my mom let us choose CATS on Broadway even though she is literally terrified of real cats. I remember how special each trip was because it was planned just for us.
As I grew up and had children of my own, I wanted them to enjoy similar family vacations. As they got older, I asked more and more about what they wanted as I was planning our trips. Our first big road trip was the summer they turned 6 and 9. We drove from Birmingham to Vermont. 23 hours with so much to see along the way! A favorite stop was Hershey, PA just to see the Hershey Kiss streetlights I told them about from my childhood. Our most successful trip to date was Sacramento to Denver- 9 states in 14 days. Our route was twisted and long due to my kids’ must-haves for the trip. My oldest just had to see “big” trees in CA and my youngest had to go to Mount Rushmore, so those became our start and end points with all the major National Parks in between. The trip was so fabulous because we all had input into what we wanted. And we simply enjoyed each other’s company away from everyday stress. We played a lot of car bingo and the license plate game!
When planning a trip for your family, whether it is just the two of you, or a multi-generational trip of 20, always take into account everyone. You may have to compromise and do something one day that is not your favorite, but you will see how happy that makes the other people and you realize it is worth it. Plus the anticipation is even greater and the excitement grows as you wait for your turn. Every vacation is different and no two families’ trips are alike. Always plan with YOUR family in mind and make sure everyone gets a say in what you do.

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