Are we there yet?: the joys of family travel

Today I stumbled on an article about traveling as a family. Actually, I stumbled on two.

The Importance of Family Travel by Lisa Belkin
Why Family Travel is a Great Investment by Jeanette Kaplun

Seems like it’s a hot topic today so I’ll throw in my two cents.

I can’t say that I even remember the first time my parents took my little sister and I somewhere outside of our state–although I can say with near certainty that it was probably Disney World. Since then we’ve been back to Disney, but we’ve also taken road trips to other states, we’ve traveled overseas to Europe, chartered a sailboat in the British Virgin Islands, and sailed our own boat to smaller islands off the coast of New England–among other adventures.

I remember some of the years we complained that we were missing so-and-so’s party back home. I remember the times we whined about the long drives. The times fought in the backseat over the music. The times we fought on the boat over a Yahtzee game. And the “we can turn this car around right now!”s.

But looking back, I am beginning to appreciate how much those family trips have meant to me.

We have always been a busy family. Both of my parents work full-time and my sister and I have an addiction to time-consuming commitments like dance, theater and Girl Scouts. These vacations weren’t just personal escapes from our individually busy schedules, they were rare moments when we got to spend days on end together. To go from life at home, where we each operated on separate dinner schedules–rarely eating together during the week, to life on vacation, where all you did was spend time together, was necessary for us. It brought us together. It made us laugh and we got to learn more about each other.

Aside from the family bonding, there was the added element of appreciating where you came from, the world around you, and the people in it. And for that I am forever grateful. That thirst for knowledge and understanding that began with family travel is what drives me today. And I know it will be what drives me in the future.

Looking back, I honestly don’t know what we were whining about.


What are your thoughts on family travel? Best and worst family traveling memories?

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