True story. I sat down to write a very thorough post about practical summer travel trips for families with kids. Then after spending 24-hours typing and deleting and brooding, and typing and deleting some more, I realized, to heck with it. It’s vacation time baby!! Why am I working so hard?
Summer travel comes in so many flavors – camping, visiting relatives, road trips to the beach, air travel, and even staycations – each with its very own set of challenges. But what all travel shares in common is to have an experience that brings excitement and happiness. And while there is no shortage of tips on what to pack and how to prepare, nothing beats the occasional ability to embrace the unconventional.
With that in mind, I present to you, three ways in which you can add a twist to your summer travels that is guaranteed to be talked about for years!
1. Rent A Convertible
I drive a minivan myself and even though I love my mom mobile, “exciting” is the last word I’d use to describe it. So why not change things up for a day or two? Whether you are visiting a new town or staying put in your own, head to your car rental facility and ask for a sweet little convertible. You can check out this article if you are wondering just which convertibles are car seat friendly! I am not saying that moving the car seats will be fun or easy, but boy, will the pay off be good when you are driving with the top down and the wind blowing through your and your kids’ hair. You don’t even need a destination. It will truly be the journey that counts and makes the memories!
2. Bust out the Camcorders
Smartphones are so freaking smart these days that no one needs to purchase a camcorder to make films anymore. But I promise you, that you (if not you then the grandparents) definitely have one or two camcorders from a bygone era, hanging out in a deep closet in the attic. Charge those puppies up and hand them to your littles to make a film about whatever. Let them spend the day acting, directing, and having fun. Documentaries, comedies, action dramas, all are welcome. There is something about its old technology and bulkiness that makes a camcorder cool and retro I think. You don’t even have to fear that the little kids will mess it up, because they are easy to use for one, and even if they did mess it up, so what? It’s not like you were using it or anything. At the end of the day, pop some popcorn and have a film festival to see the fruits of their labor.
3. Turn a “No” into a “Yes”
My 5-year old daughter often suggests ice cream for breakfast when I make the mistake of asking her what she wants. I also have other rules like don’t jump on beds, don’t bring rocks and sticks inside, don’t eat dinner on the couch, don’t this, don’t that! As a parent I think we need these rules to keep them safe and keep our sanity on a daily basis, BUT, going back to that ice cream thing, what’s the harm really? I’ve tried this trick a few times before where I allow them to break a small rule temporarily. So my last bit of advice to add a twist to your travel is to agree to something you usually wouldn’t. The payoff is pretty magical. I’ve seen their eyes widen as their brain tries to make sense of what mom just agreed to.
So that’s it my friends. A short and sweet way to add some magic to your summer travel plans. I hope you give one or all of them a try. And for those who are looking for, let’s just say a more practical list of advice, I will try and get to that in the near future too. In the meantime, just remember that traveling with kids, especially young ones, will never be easy no matter how much you prepare. The only trick is to stick with it no matter what and then they will come around to loving it too!