Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Road Trip!

Are there two greater words for adventure than Road Trip? Whether it be an epic journey or an epic disaster, the potential for great memories is a given.

As the saying goes, every journey begins with but a single step. So here are 10 of my best steps to having a memorable journey with the family.

1) Maps! Homegrown or commercial, learning navigational skills, geography and even how to fold them, can be valuable tools and lessons for any journey. Go beyond "turn right" from your GPS and take a giant leap for mankind. Read a map!

2) You've got the map, now let each person choose one stop along the way. Whether it be to stop and smell the best chili in the Southwest or a vista potty break, the trip can be more enjoyable with frequent stops.

3) Pack Rats are allowed to pack their own goodie bag. This can range from food stuffs to video games. You may want to limit the size of the pack or have a contest for the most interesting things packed into the pack. Winner gets "shot-gun!" for a leg of the trip!

4) All goodie bags must have one item to share with your traveling companions. This can be a game or food stuff - but everyone must be able to play or eat at the same time.

5) Create your own postcards. Take digital photos of the group at different stops. Find a local Walmart, Costco, Target...any major chain to download photos and make prints. Most shops have creative options or slip it in an envelope after everyone has signed it. Date it and send it to grandparents, friends with a Wish You Were Here message!

6) Travelers Blogs keep those not on the journey up to date. These can take the form of a computer blog (stopping at an internet cafe or wifi hotel) or a written journal. Each person should take a day to journal. If they are too young to write, do it for them but use their words.

7) Interviews can be exciting and informative. Assign your reporting crew to interview different people along the way. Interviews can range from the fellow at the gas station, the hotel clerk, park ranger or a ride operator at an amusement park. Reporters may need help so have a list of questions ready for them to choose.

8) Autographs are a fun souvenir to collect. Like the old souvenir stamps on trunks, you can find fun scrapping ways to display the autographs from random people you meet. A napkin, a receipt or ticket stub can be a fun thing to collect when it is signed by a "not-so-famous-yet" person along the way. A great addition to the photo album.

9) Hunt and gather wherever you go. Put together bundles of bits and pieces you find along the way. A twig from a nature hike, a straw wrapper at the burger joint, sea shells, rocks, moss, tickets...doesn't matter. Bundle them and in the winter months, burn them in a campfire or fireplace as a way to start a conversation about where you found them and the memories of the trip.

10) What was the best part of your trip and the worst is a fun way to debrief after any road trip. It makes planning the next trip easier and brings lots of giggles in hind sight.

Road trips are a fun way to bring families together and just get the conversation going. We traveled across country with 5 siblings, 1 grandma and my parents in a station wagon and the funniest memory was the diapers flying off the top of luggage rack. Now that is a disaster - over 45 years later we still laugh about it. Even my 80 year old parents!

Share your favorite traveling tips with families at TwitterMoms. That's what a wise grandma would do!

1 comment:

Travelin'Oma said...

These are great ideas. I love the reminder that maps are still important even in these days of GPS.