There are four kids in my family, from 17 down to 6, and they aren’t so different when it comes to what they want when we hit the road. All 4 would say it’s their electronics that make the ride an easy one. From the Nintendo Gameboy to a portable DVD player to their cell phones loaded with apps, we are one tech lovin’ traveling family.
I already hear you judging. ‘Kids need to put the tech away and embrace the old school ways of travel’ (yes, I can hear your thoughts, right through your computer screen).
But here’s the thing. Old school travel stunk. At least it did for me.
I was one of 10 kids and we were packed in like sardines, grabbing spots anywhere we could fit in the car. Luckily, back then seat belts weren’t mandated or we would have never left the driveway.
But it was not fun. No part of the trip could be, other than maybe convincing the truckers to honk their horns as they passed or when we got to drive on our dad’s lap.
Beyond that, we were way too close and uncomfortable to arrive without an argument or two…or twenty. My mom was an expert at building the “invisible brick wall” between me and my sisters…you know the one, where you no longer could look at or speak to the other.
Threats were common, too, and I mean from the adults in the car, to the kids. “If you don’t stop pinching your brother, I’ll … “. Yeah, those threats rarely worked. We knew dad was never going to stop driving just to get out and punish us. And to be honest, what could be worst punishment than the roadtrip itself?
Dad only stopped for gas and food. You had to have a big bladder in my family if you were going to take a road trip because we only had bathroom breaks when we needed gas or food. He would pull over so I could throw up every now and then when the carsickness from reading would get to me. And that was it.
It was miserable.
So I have no problem making it more fun for my kids.
If watching a movie has them asking me fewer times “Are we there yet?”, I’ll be the first one to hit “play”. We have all kinds of car chargers and adaptors for plugs so that we can plug in any electrical device we bring along. I sometimes even surprise them with an extra gadget or two to make the trip a bit quicker for all of us.
I still don’t stop for much more than gas or food. My husband wasn’t raised in the same family and needs more bathroom breaks than I do, and that’s inevitably the first fight we have in the car. I always think he can wait until the next exit. He does not agree.
For me, the trip part is all about getting there…to that place where we’re going to have all kinds of fun seeing and doing things we’ve never done before. The traveling part is the price we have to pay for that experience.
Do you remember what it was like to travel as a kid? Do your kids have it better? Leave a comment below about what you liked best or least…and join us for the Twitter party sponsored by Omni Hotels about Traveling with Kids, next Monday night, 6/18, from 9-10pm EST, using the #TMOM hashtag.