15 Signs Family Road Trips Are Nothing Like the 'Good Old Days'

Road trippingIt seems like now is the time when everyone is planning their big family road trip for 2013, my little family included. My husband and I have been debating whether we'll make a big drive with our daughter, not to mention where and when, and I have to admit I've been feeling nostalgic for the trips of my childhood. Nothing we've talked about even faintly resembles the way we road tripped when we were kids. And I know from road tripping!

Back in the early '90s, we'd take the family minivan (not-so-affectionately called the Dustbuster because of its portable-vacuum shape) to Cape Cod every summer. I'd keep the travel log, while my little brother kept me thisclose to tearing my hair out.

Giving you misty water-colored memories, isn't it? Let's take a road trip down memory lane, shall we?


1. Then: Our parents would end up hopelessly lost because they let us kids read the map.

  • Now: Who needs a map when you have GPS?

2. Then: License plate Bingo for the whole family.

  • Now: Mom, can I play another game on your phone?

3. Then: Everyone listened to the same tape in the tape deck -- whether you liked Dad's taste in music or not.

  • Now: Thank goodness all the kids have iPods.

4. Then: Moooooom, she's touching me!

  • Now: Mooooom, she won't share the DS!

5. Then: Taking a nap in the back of the station wagon and watching out the back window.

  • Now: You're not getting out of that booster seat until you're 12, young man!

6. Then: Can you smell the sea air through the windows yet, kid?

  • Now: Ah, air-conditioning, blissful air-conditioning.

7. Then: Lugging the big container of iced tea Mom mixed up the night before to save money. 

  • Now: Juice boxes for everyone! 

8. Then: Are we there yet?

  • Now: Is there enough time to finish watching Brave before we get there?

9. Then: Pee now kids, because you won't get the chance for another five hours!

  • Now: Oh look, another rest stop; we might as well go!

10. Then: Hiding Grandpa's radar detector under the dash.

  • Now: What do you mean this highway is actually 55?

11. Then: Consulting a travel agent and making hotel reservations for every stop along the way.

  • Now: Using your smartphone to find a good place to stay when you're tired of driving. Hey look, kids, I can even look up the closest playground right on my phone!

12. Then: Writing postcards to your friends back home

Now: Stop texting your friends! We're on a family vacation!

13. Then: Mom's fanny pack.

  • Now: Granny's fanny pack.

14. Then: Lining up your troll dolls in the rear window.

  • Now: Pulling the straightest line to hurl a bird at the pigs' fortress.

15. Then: Having to find a new radio station every hour or so when you drove out of range.

  • Now: The kids' station on satellite radio is a lifesaver.

What are you favorite road trip memories? Do any of them hold true for your trips with the family today?


Image by Jeanne Sager

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