I credit a lot of my “worldlyness” (is that a word?) to traveling with my family every summer as a kid. There is so much to see throughout the United States. But what do kids really want to see?
So many kids these days would rather sit in front of the TV and play Playstation or watch a movie. Fortunately for them, portable DVD players/TV’s are readily available, and at a very reasonable price too! Hooking these up in the car for a summer family roadtrip (something I look back on now and cherish) is now very easy, and will keep the kids entertained for hours in the car, between the destinations you’re headed for.
I can recall one summer in particular growing up where, after spending a few weeks with my Uncle on Vancouver Island (at the K.O.A. Kampground on the Malahat), my parents and brother and I drove 1/2 way across Canada, through Banff National Park, and down through the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, Bryce and Zion in Utah, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona before making it back to San Diego. If you’re looking to stay within the National Parks, here’s a great site that has information historic and easy accommodation in or nearby many of the National Parks in America.
Like virtually every other kid out there, my brother and I had a bit of extra energy to burn off. Ok, so maybe that’s an understatement, but especially after spending hours in the car between destinations, we were already ready to explore and undertake hikes at a moments notice. These hikes, and getting of the beaten path, were really the best ways to see the National Parks of America, and the very best way for our parents to keep us on the edge of exhaustion (which, I’m sure, made the trip a bit more bearable for them)
Really, it’s not that hard to travel with kids. They’re very simple creatures! (Of course, I say this now, after tormenting my parents for YEARS!) While I’m sure it varies from kid to kid, the hikes, the reward trips to our favourite fast food joints, and the occasional gift for being well behaved kept us pretty much inline (oh, and for boys, the ability to stomp, break, poke, and to all in all explore along the way helps too) for the trip.
It took us a few weeks to cover all this ground, but was well worth it. As kids, my brother and I learned a lot. So did our parents. But that was more about my brother and I. Now, at 30 years of age, I look forward to doing this with my kids. Whenever that may be.