In the last several years, we’ve tried to make family travel a priority in our budget. After many years of road trips consisting only of visiting relatives, we realized that trips and vacations add so much to our family experience. Not only that, but it amazed us how much natural learning took place just by venturing out on trips.
I think that one of the reasons that we put off taking vacations for so long was because neither Eric nor I came from families that took many family vacations. We both have special memories of trips to visit family, as well as a few other trips that were specifically vacations. But family trips just weren’t something we did a lot.
In fact, in a funny twist, my parents have taken a vacation every year they’ve been married, but they mostly just didn’t take us along. Now, in their defense, we were a blended family and they were newlyweds. But, as much fun as the thought of a vacation with just Eric and I sounds, we have a different family dynamic with our kids, and it’s hard for us to imagine taking a big vacation without them.
Just like we have done with our kids, a lot of our traveling when I was growing up was to visit family. It doesn’t sound as exciting as a fancy vacation, but those trips were filled with lots of fun and memories. Oh, and those trips were filled with cassette tapes, Walkman radios, the alphabet game with road signs, and activity books for the ride, of course.
Here we were on a trip to Northern Minnesota, along with my grandparents, in the late 1970’s. This was me and my Grandpa (“Papa”):
And here is what it looked like, more than 30 years later, when I went on another fall trip into a wooded area, but this time when I was one of the grown ups and these were the kids:
Once we finally started taking trips and vacations with our kids, we found that we just wanted to do more. We have taken camping trips, as well as many vacations to Florida (some to see the Mouse, and some for beach side stays in condos). Not that every moment of a trip is a gem, but we have grown to cherish the trips we take with our kids, even if our kids don’t cherish every moment:
While our family trip style is very different from the way our parents handled it, one thing can’t help but be the same: special memories are formed through travel that are hard to get any other way. There is just something about getting away from the normal routine and setting out on an adventure with your family.
It’s something that we have found that we can’t help but crave. In the every day grind of life, it’s easy to lose perspective. For us, travel sometimes helps us bring back that focus.
One of my favorite memories that touches my heart each time I remember it was from one late night at Disney World. It had been a long day, and I looked at Eric, who appeared to be upset and a bit withdrawn. When I asked him what was wrong, however, I realized that it was not what it seemed. Instead, his eyes watered and he had a catch in his throat as he watched our kids walking in front of us. He said that it had just struck him how quickly our kids were growing up, and how perfect this moment together was. It had just overwhelmed him.
I suspect that’s another thing that hasn’t changed about family travel. Kids now may have iPads instead of the pads of word searches of my youth, and they may wile away travel hours with Angry Birds instead of Tic Tac Toe with a sibling, but family travel is still about those moments. Those are the moments of family togetherness that help bring a clear focus on the really important things in life.
There’s no better vehicle to bring the family together than the Chevy Traverse. With seating for up to 81., everyone in the family can join in on the fun. A 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety2. helps keep everyone safe on your journey to find new roads, no matter where, or how far, it takes you. And best-in-class maximum cargo space makes packing for family road trips, or hauling around children’s sporting equipment, a breeze. With all these great features and more, there’s no question the Chevy Traverse is the ultimate family vehicle. Learn more at http://www.chevrolet.com/traverse-mid-size-suv.html.
- Standard on LS and 1LT. Available on 2LT. LTZ seats 7.
- Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.SaferCar.gov).
|Angie, a domestically challenged nerd and mom of three very fun kids, is the founder of Real Life at Home, the combined home of the former sites Many Little Blessings, The Homeschool Classroom, Catholic Printables Online, and Catholic Mothers Online. Angie also listens to music every chance she gets, writes eBooks, loves Pinterest, begrudgingly uses Google+, and occasionally sleeps.|
Join 20,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year