Growing up, my family took many long, summer road trips. I was rarely excited for them, but they were packed with memories — the obvious ones like the interesting places we visited, but also the funny stories like getting turned round in the not-so-great part of town (this was in the 90s before smartphones and apps).
It's typical for road trip memories to surface when my family is together. They are welcomed with roaring laughter and another story to quickly proceed it. In these moments, I always feel grateful for my family.
My family of five will be taking a road trip later this summer. Although it will be a lot of windshield time, we have the opportunity to make it memorable. Unlike the 90s, nowadays we have several electronics to keep us entertained. Particularly, streaming services coupled with AirPods can isolate us from our surroundings for countless hour. I'm encouraging our children to bring along traditional books, summer workbooks and drawing materials so that we can also stay connected and in communication while we pass the time. Snacks usually help, too.
There will be times during the journey when it's in everyone's best interest to do their own thing with limited interaction. I hope those instances are far and few between. I plan to incorporate a few games to get fun conversations started. One is a family trivia game where we keep score. When I was young, my family kept track of the different state license plates we would see along the interstate. I'd like to turn that into a game — when you spot a new plate you have to share a fact about the state to earn points. When we reach our destination, we add up the points to declare the winner!
I'm really hoping this road trip is fun, but more importantly, I hope we come away with memories that will become family lore!