One of our team members wrote about a recent family vacation in Nashville:
My kids have been traveling since they were quite young. In fact, my oldest son was boarding his first plane at three months of age. My daughter was only eight weeks old for her first flight. I don’t think my youngest son was on a plane until he was much older. By that point, we were driving everywhere we went for family vacations.
While they may be seasoned travelers at this point, I still have my doubts when it comes to cooperation for family trips I plan. After all, three kids agreeing with the adults on every family vacation adventure is quite difficult!
A few years ago, my husband and I decided we were going to take the kids down to Nashville. And we were driving the entire 18 hours each way! At the time, we had a minivan, but it was old. We knew it couldn’t survive the journey. So, we piled all the food and luggage into his small five-seat SUV with all three kids in the backseat.
We left at three o’clock in the morning with hopes the kids would fall back to sleep for a few hours. Right after we got on the highway, we had success with all three sleeping teenagers in the back seat! However, I knew my luck wouldn’t hold out and I was waiting for the…
“Mom, they’re touching me”
“Dad, they’re breathing on me”
“Mom, he looked at me funny”
Surprisingly though, none of this happened!
They all listened to music, played games, watched movies, and enjoyed talking to each other!
We arrived at our hotel at nine o’clock that night. After putting things in the room, ventured out to find a place to eat.
The next week was spent wandering around Nashville. We toured the Ryman, Grand Ole Opry, Country Music Hall of Fame, and Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. We walked from the bus stop area all the way over to the park where the Parthenon is located. One day, we even stopped inside the Tennessee Museum before boarding the bus back to our hotel.
Towards the end of our trip, we went over to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. I was prepared for tons of eye rolling and groans. I mean, what kid wants to do something historical while on vacation??! We grabbed our audio guide and started to walk around. To my surprise, my kids were engaged during the audio tour.
My husband and I listened to Andrew Jackson’s and his wife’s parts of the audio. The kids were happy listening to the President’s pet parrot, Poll. The same information was relayed, but it was done in a way the kids had fun while listening to it.
I didn’t need to listen to anyone ask if it was time to go yet. Or anything else that kids normally do when they are bored.
I am happy to report that our trip to Nashville came off without a hitch. Everyone survived, and they all talk about the fun they had to this day. Yes, we had our disagreements at times. Yes, the kids did mumble and grumble occasionally. But for the most part, we acted like we were one happy family!
We even survived the drive home. Although, we didn’t leave until six in the morning and arrived home at midnight. I thought there would be more disagreements on the way home, because the kids were tired of each other at that point. But it was a repeat of the way down.
If you are worried about traveling with your kids, or simply don’t want to deal with the typical teenage groans, don’t be! Our kids step up to the plate when we need them to. So, embrace this time with them and enjoy as many family vacations as you can!
You will find there are numerous US destinations perfect for multigenerational vacations.
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