Lots of readers wrote in via email, or on our facebook page, to share stories of family road trips! Parents and kids around the world enjoy driving vacations as a way to explore as a family, spend quality time together bonding, and to see more of the country they’re in. Here are some of the stories we heard:
On the Road with Kids
Kathy (via facebook): My 3 & 5 year old sons and I are on 3 wk road trip. We’ve had such fun getting our National Parks Passport stamped!!
Linda (via facebook): We’ll be taking a two day drive from Norway to Hungary in a couple of weeks. But then again we’ve only got three kids, and no dogs ;).
Sarah (via facebook): We drive from MA to OH to visit family every summer. This year I’m not sure what to expect from my 2 year old-usually-great-travelle
Lucy (via facebook): We are going to Florida with our 4 kids… 😀 I think it will take 18 ours from TX. Wish me good luck!
“Be Bilingual” (via facebook): We are in southern France and planning to drive to Paris for a week.
Jaci wrote to us to share her experience driving from Moorhead, MN to Rapid City, South Dakota- a 9 hour drive with a toddler, while she was 8 months pregnant!
There are so many memories! My 4.5 year old still remembers each and every waterfall that we stopped to visit, and he can name all of the Presidents on Mt. Rushmore. I think our overall favorite memory is from our stop at Custer State Park. They have a very large herd of buffalo and at the time we were there (mid-October) there was an unusually large amount of snow. Due to that, our van had a solid layer of salt on it from the roads. We stopped to view the buffalo herd when several wandered over and began to lick the van! Several made an entire trip around it.
Jaci’s advice to other traveling families is to take into consideration the different needs of each family member. Some children do very well for long periods in the car, others can’t stand it. If you have a road trip newbie in the car, make sure to be lenient and plan for everything to take longer than expected!
Maureen told us about a 1300 miles round trip, she took with her 2 girls (ages 5 and 8), her grandma, and her boyfriend from St Paul, MN to Branson, Mo, via Kansas City. Maureen survived the trip with no video games or DVDs:
We had an audio book of Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, and we all laughed. Tim Curry reads it and each book is an entire vocabulary lesson. We made references and jokes the whole trip. Ours was a pilgrimage to 2 Titanic exhibits, so we pretended our car was the lifeboat and had plenty of Titanic imaginary play.
Without stopping much, they played many car games and activities such as finding different state license plates, competitive alphabet games, a lot of coloring, some sewing and some sleeping.
Our trip plan was hatched in the winter when Nina (8) was reading about the Titanic and said, “Mommy, where’s Branson?” Her book included info on the Titanic museum in Branson. On the trip we visited family, saw two Titanic exhibits, the Harry S Truman presidential library and museum, and the free Money Museum at the KC Federal Reserve. I explained Harry Truman as the president from the time of the American Girl doll “Molly” who is my daughter Bridget’s favorite (age 5).
Maureen says, “I would still like to take them to Disney some day (ordinary family trip), but this historical and political trip was a ton of fun! It was the perfect trip… and the ratio of 3 adults to 2 kids made it all very easy.”
Thanks for sharing your stories! If you’d got a family travel story to share, drop me a note in the comments, or on facebook:). I love to learn from other parents!