As school draws to an end for summer, you may be thinking of plans for a family vacation. My teen boys are already talking about places they would like to visit. Our discussion led me to reflect on a family trip we took several years ago. Here’s the story.
While on a road trip, we stopped at a rest area to stretch. I was the only one to exit the car. Upon my return, I was greeted by steam eminating from inside the car. No we didn’t have cat trouble. It was 78 degrees and humid outside, but my family had the heat blaring as though it was below zero.
In planning for our trip, I prepared for the elements of weather. Little did I know that I would experience various weather conditions INSIDE of the car. I have discovered that when traveling with family you have to be prepared for anything.
Some of the late shows are known for giving a top 10 list for various situations. Here’s my top five list of things you need to know before traveling with family.
#5 You have the right to remain silent – when the kids are yelling and screaming and you want to scream too…take a break remain silent and count to 10.
#4 Anything you say can be held against you – when the kids want something and you tell them “maybe later” they will keep asking you by saying, “you said later.”
#3 You have the right to representation during the kids negotiating for something they want. When my kids wanted cereal for dinner their argument was, “Mini Wheats helps 11% of children do well in school and Captain Crunch helps get your day started.” Good try. My solution is to pack a variety of snacks and double team the kids with reasons why they should have something else.
#2 Don’t give up all of your rights – the kids don’t have to have everything go their way, but if they’re older (tweens/teens) let them have input on some aspect of the trip. If they’d rather spend extra time at the pool rather than something else you have planned, so be it.
#1 A family road trip is not a life sentence – with proper planning a road trip can be entertaining and a great bonding experience. We left the house armed with music CD’s, books on CD and puzzle books. On the next trip we may need to limit the number of carry-ons due to space restrictions.
When it comes to family time together, poet Maya Angelou’s book title sums it up best,
Wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now. Through extreme temperatures inside and outside of
the car, my journey with the family will be a memorable one.
Can you take the heat of a road trip?