Friday, July 16, 2010

2-Day Count Down to the 2010 American Family Summer Roadtrip - U.S. Travel With Kids

by Janis Brett Elspas

It's our annual summer road trip vacation count down.  Less than TWO days from today our family's U.S. car trip, departing from Southern California for points east of the Golden State with my 4 teens aboard (triplets, age 13, plus big brother, 14) is scheduled to begin.

The fact that as mom I'll be on my own with the FOUR TEENS above for the first 2 weeks, before I pick up Hubbie at a midwest airport for the return two week trip home, may scare some less intrepid parents.  But don't worry, we've done this all before many times as you will learn in this post.  So, I hope this trip is as thrilling for you to read about as much as it is for my family to experience and for me to journal about.

We've been doing these extended family car vacations every summer since all four kids were in diapers at once.  This rather unconventional mode of holiday travel is an effort to pass on the tradition to my own kids that my father started with the multi-week summer auto trips he took me and my siblings on when we were kids in the 1960s.   As you might think from our family's well-used map of the U.S.A. pictured below, in the past five years alone my hubbie, kids and I have averaged between 4000 - 5000 miles per summer driving the Interstates and back roads of America.  With a different route each year, we've accumulated some pretty awesome memories and good stories which are destined to last a lifetime for each of us.

What's different about this trip is that it will be the first time that this mom (also known as MommyBlogExpert) will be blogging about it along the way.   You'll have a lot to look forward to as I'll be posting regularly about insider sightseeing tips discovered and the experiences we have, as well as tell you about our lodging and eating while on the road exploring over the next month.  As we travel, we'll also be testing and reviewing a variety of products and services that we will be carrying with us that are enhancing our old-fashioned 2010 American Family Summer Roadtrip in some way -- by making it easier or more affordable, fun, educational, and/or more meaningful.  Our summer trip stories will continue on into the fall after we return, too, because I expect that there just won't be enough time to share even half of everything I'll be able to tell you about.
Since we have such an awesome time on these travels and expect lots of other families might too, I started to think.  It seems like I'm not the only one who recalls them with such fondness -- there are so many other baby boomers that remember fun car trips with their own families in the 50s and 60s.  So, the question begs: Why is it that road trips have fallen out of favor anyway?  This is partly due to a change in mores and culture here in the states beginning in the 1970s as well as to the increasing convenience of airplane travel.  That's not even to mention the high price of gas or the plummeting number of quality time hours that parents and kids spend together today as compared to several decades past. Pics of our kids hiking in Montana (above) and Huckleberry picking in northern Idaho (below) last summer.

By blogging about this road trip I hope to do my part to reignite America's family road trip tradition.    Ultimately, the goal is to show how a car trip in the Internet age rises above simply being a summer vacation, soaring to new heights that tighten the bonds between children (from babies through teens) and their parents while creating lifetime experiences that cannot be imprinted in our hearts, souls, and minds in any other way.

Join us for the ride via this blog, as we pack and set off for this exciting family adventure.  You can also keep track of us by following on Twitter where I'll be tweeting travel-related tips as we discover them using the Twitter hash tag #USfamilyroadtrip , as well as tweeting photos that my kids and I take during the trip.    I look forward to all your comments about our travel experiences!

FTC Disclosure:  MommyBlogExpert did not receive any payment or other compensation associated with this post.  See complete FTC Disclosure information that appears at the bottom of MommyBlogExpert's main page and at the bottom of every individual post on this blog, including this one.         

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