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Family Vacation – Driving to Your Summer Destination

Updated on June 1, 2013

Making the Most of a Car Trip

I wrote this lens for my first RocketSquids challenge, which was to write a Summer Travel lens. When I first looked at the subject and suggestions for this lens I started to think about the places my family had visited growing up and which destinations were my favorites, but then I realized the memories that I cherished the most were on the car rides to our vacations. We didn't have the extra cash to afford taking trips by plane, so my family always drove the car to our summer destination and when we did go on vacation it usually was a very long trip. However, my parents made sure that this time in the car was part of the vacation, so I always looked forward to ghe road trip. I wanted to share these ways to enjoy the car ride, so other families can have fun together on their drive.

Photo Credit: morguefile.com

Photo credit: morguefile.com
Photo credit: morguefile.com

Get Comfortable

It is important for everyone in the car to be as comfortable as possible. It can relieve stress and allow everyone to feel at ease during the journey. When my family would go on trips we would always keep blankets and pillows out where they were easy to reach, so we could each get comfy.

My family was also really good about rearranging seats if need be, as I had slight carsickness I would usually sit in the passenger seat most of the ride. Adjust the chairs if you need to or bring something the family can prop theirs legs up on, just make sure not to risk safety for comfort. If you have young ones make sure they are as comfortable as they possible can be in their perspective car or booster seats.

Photo credit: morguefile.com
Photo credit: morguefile.com

Create Traditions

Whenever my family goes on a trip, the first thing they always do is say a prayer before hitting the road. Then, it is off to the gas station to fill up the car with fuel for the journey while everyone picks out their favorite snacks and drinks. My favorite snack to get, which I only ate on car trips, was beef jerky and butterfingers with some kind creamy soda. Every time I eat any of those things now it brings back great memories.

It is also tradition in our family for the person in the front passenger seat to be the "copilot." The copilot has responsibility of making sure the pilot is staying awake, driving well, keeping extra eyes on the road, giving the pilot what they need (i.e. opening snacks, taking the cap off a drink, finding the map), as well as controlling air, temperature, and music. Now that I am married, in my own family, the copilot has been designated to also control the GPS.

Another tradition I loved was when we drove through tunnels we would all roll down the windows and shout, while the driver honked the horn, all the way through to the end. We would always try to spot wild life during out car trips too and if we saw a bald eagle my parents would always give each other high five because they felt it was good luck to see them. I've heard of other families doing similar things like these and I feel it makes the experience so much better and I guarantee your children will remember these moments forever.

Must Have Items

Some traditional items for our family trips.

Photo credit: cksinfo.com
Photo credit: cksinfo.com

Take Time to Talk

All too often, in this day and age especially, it seems members of the family hardly every communicate anymore. There are a lot of distractions and every day tasks that usually tend to get in the way. When you are on a car drive there is no better time to talk as a family. You can create the perfect setting to give each other your full attention; if you are on a true vacation there should not be any work to do in the car, technology can be turned off and put away for a while, and there is no where anyone can venture off to. Ask questions, find out likes and dislikes, share stories, reminisce, express dreams and goals, etc. I learned a lot about the members of my family, especially my parents, during our talks while we were on the road to our summer destination. We also used that time as an opportunity to have spiritual discussions, which were never harsh or argumentative, simply great conversation. You would be surprised at how much your family can reconnect during a car trip.

Photo credit: clker.com
Photo credit: clker.com

Get Your Groove On

Sharing music is another great way of learning about one another. I loved to record tapes, now you can burn cds or download to an mp3 player and plug it in, with various songs the family might enjoy and bring them on trips. At the present time, with my own family, we plug in our ipod and each member of our family has their own play list that we intermittently listen to throughout the drive. It can be a blast to pick at least one song you can all dance to, get silly, or bust a move and sing together!

Road Trip Moment - "Crazy Train"

Great family rock session!

Photo credit: pdclipart.org
Photo credit: pdclipart.org

Reading Material

There are some books that can be nice to read together or some of the family might want to take part of the drive to read to themselves. You don't need to bring a paperback with you with all of the technology we have now a days either and some even have the option to have the program read it aloud. My Mom would record books on tape for us to listen to, she would tell us when to turn the page and had us find objects on the pages and even leave us special messages to make us feel happy. There are books and electronics you can also do this with today and it is a great way to keep your children engaged during the ride.

Make your own travel bingo!
Make your own travel bingo!

Games

When my husband or I are noticing that it is getting a little too quiet in the car, we start to play 20 questions or the letters game. My Mom would love to play I Spy, which the little ones really enjoy. Although, I still love to play it as an adult because it is one of the things my family did to have fun. We also had travel bingo when I was really young. Any game that you play can be changed to fit the preferences of your family. Included are those games and others that can make the car ride a little more exciting.

~ 20 Questions ~

The person who is taking their turn will need to think of a random thing and not tell anyone. Then, each person takes turns asking yes or no questions, so they can figure out what the person is thinking. Some variations include the answers maybe and sometimes. The very first questions we ask tend to be "Is it a person?", "Is it an animal?", "Can you eat it?" You only get 20 questions as a group, depending on how you like to play, so it makes you really have to think of good ones. If you don't guess the answer in those 20 questions, then the person who thought of it wins the round. You can make this game a little easier by picking a catagory or subject to stay within before hand.

~ The Letters Game ~

( AKA Alphabet Search )

Start with the letter "A" and find a word on a sign or billboard that has that letter in it and then shout out the word and letter. Repeat, working your way through the alphabet, finding new words as you go. No one else can use that same word or get the same letter from a different word on that sign. You can also only get one letter per sign or billboard per person, thus each letter that you find has to be from a different sign. The rules when we we play are that license plates, car signs, graffiti, and any writing that is not stationary does not count. The person who finds all the letters of the alphabet first wins!

~ I Spy ~

Each person takes a turn spotting something in the car or outside that is stationary, able to be seen for a long period of time, and that can be seen by the naked eye. Once you have picked out something, don't show or tell anyone what is and say something along the lines of, "I spy from the corner of my eye..." followed by a description such as, "that is blue." It helps to try to keep it simple and not give too much away. People will take turns guessing what it is and the person that guesses correctly gets the next turn.

Photo credit: 1.free-clipart.net
Photo credit: 1.free-clipart.net

Enjoy Your Ride

I hope that by sharing the things that brought my family closer and made car trips fun for us will also help your family during their drive to your summer get away. Car rides don't have to be boring, you can make great memories on the way to your destination. Above all, may you have a safe and relaxing vacation!

Take an Angel with You

“Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.”


Where do you like to take a car trip? Will you be driving to your summer vacation spot?

Driving to Your Summer Destination

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    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 4 years ago

      We go everywhere by car. Even if we fly somewhere, we rent a car and hop around. Our best trips happen when we rent a house for a week and use it as our home base, making day trips out. I recommend travelling in this manner if you want to create strong family bonds. Great topic for your writing.

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 4 years ago

      I can so relate to your lens. As a child, my family would take road trips. I've been to 46 states and never even been on a plane! Music, games, talking, joke books, and sleeping were all things we did to pass the time between destinations. I enjoyed your lens :-)

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @Teapixie LM: I truly have the best memories of our drives together on summer trips. Thank you for the comment!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @kburns421 lm: Thank you, I hope I brought back some great memories for you!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      I agree your creating a bond that will never be broken. Well done lens with plenty

      of suggestions and tips.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 4 years ago

      I love to travel, and travel with car is what I always did.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 4 years ago from Albany New York

      I love your lens....it brings back many memories. We were always on the road with our children when they were little. Your tips are very helpful and I like how you personalized your information. One RocketSquidd tip....Make a custom bio for this lens that inclulde your Title words "Family Vacation , Driving to Your Summer Destination" to tie in your key words. Keep up the good work!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @artbyrodriguez: Thank you for your angel blessing, comments, and tips! I appreciate the feedback.

    • kristalulabelle profile image

      Kristen 4 years ago from Wisconsin

      We used to play the Letter Game on car trips also! When we were younger, we just had to find objects that started with the letter, but as we got older we used the signs and billboards. Fantastic job on your lens!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @kristalulabelle: Isn't the Letters game a blast during car trips?!? Thank you for the complement!

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 4 years ago

      Great ideas for long car rides with kids. I always love to hear about family bonding time, there is nothing better. Thanks for sharing these great ideas.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. I liked reading all about your summer trips driving as a family.

      Afraid I never did any traveling in the summer, farming on a dairy farm, summer is always busy. Thanks for sharing. Blessed. Great job.

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm sure you had your own summer adventures just being on the farm. Thank you for your blessing and may you and yours be blessed as well!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @rallo-smith: Truly, and sometimes you don't really fully appreciate it until you become an adult and have your own family. I really miss those times with my mom and dad now and I hope our kids will enjoy those moments we have now.

    • aviwolfson profile image

      Avi Wolfson 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great lens, thanks for sharing!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @aviwolfson: Thank you fo reading and for such a nice comment!

    • profile image

      NC Shepherd 4 years ago

      I have fond memories of family road trips, too, and I still prefer driving to my destinations.

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @NC Shepherd: Me too - I just can't get comfortable while flying or on a train and you can usually only sit by one other person, so it doesn't make for good family bonding time. We do fly to far destination, but I prefer driving.

    • profile image

      myamya 4 years ago

      Excellent lens, great job!

    • Rymom28 profile image
      Author

      Rymom28 4 years ago

      @myamya: Thank you, I appreciate it!

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