“Some of my favorite memories with my family are taking road trips in the summer. Thanks to COVID-19, that may be the new way to travel for many. My love of road trips started because I wanted to see what the US had to offer, and because we are a family of five and couldn’t afford to fly all of us to our destination. The main reason our road trips started stemmed back from us living in London for three years.
Our family moved to London when our children were all under the age of four. Every day that we lived there was an adventure. On the weekends, we would search what was going on in the city and we set off to explore. We traveled a lot while we were there. We went to Ireland, Spain, the Canary Islands, Switzerland, Scotland, and France. We took advantage of the cheap airfare between countries. Luckily, we had a car while living there so we were also able to drive and see so much of beautiful England, such as the Cotswolds, Dorset, Bath, and Windsor, just to name a few places.
While traveling all through England and loving all that their beautiful country has to offer, we questioned ourselves why we never traveled the US like that as a family. We would rent a condo in Avalon, New Jersey with the kids prior to us moving to England. And while Avalon is beautiful, we wanted our kids to explore other states. Of course, we did take the kids to Disney one year, and they were lucky enough to visit Euro Disney (now Disneyland Paris) when we were in Paris.
When we moved back to the States, our summer vacations started with a map. Our family is not one to just sit on a beach. They like to explore as well. So if we were going for a beach vacation, we made sure there was a city to explore too. We went to Tybee Island, outside of Savannah. Such a beautiful beach to relax on and only a 25-minute drive to Savannah. Savannah has so much rich history to explore. One of our favorite days was a simple day. We purchased delicious sandwiches from Zunzi’s and sat under the gorgeous Southern Live Oak trees having a picnic.
Another location we visited was Isle of Palms, outside of Charleston and we loved it so much that we visited there another summer too. It was such a relaxing vacation. We rented a golf cart and explored the island, which was so much fun for the kids. I conquered my fear of heights (thanks to the amazing staff at Tidal Wave Water Sports) and went parasailing.
We then went into Charleston, took a horse-drawn carriage tour, and learned so much about Charleston’s history. And of course, whatever city that we go to, we eat… a lot! We love frequenting local restaurants and trying local food. My daughter and I usually veer off, leave the boys, and shop. King Street in Charleston was a lot of fun and we may have stayed a little too long at The Impeccable Pig.
We have rented a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and then drove to Nashville, where my mom’s family is from, and enjoyed the music, the food (loved Monell’s) and seeing family. We also have rented cabins in Virginia and West Virginia. We’ve stayed at a beautiful resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We’ve driven to Cooperstown, Canandaigua Lake, and Ithaca, all in New York. We’ve gone and stayed in hotels in New York City and saw musicals on Broadway.
A few more road trips we have done were based on where our son would travel. He is a musician, and in high school, he went on many tours with the School of Rock, a music school. We visited North Carolina, Atlanta, Virginia Beach, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, to name a few. Our favorite trip to watch him play was seeing him play at the music festival Lollapalooza in Chicago. My husband and I felt much cooler than we really are at that festival! I had never been to Chicago before that trip and what a town it is!
These are just some of the road trips we have taken, and so many memories have been made. We also have flown to California, Jamaica, and London with our kids. Everywhere we go, we learn something new, find another beautiful part of the US and have family time, and that is the most important part of our vacations. Spending time with the family. Making new memories. Laughing. Eating. Drinking. Having fun.
I can’t wait to pull out the map again and see where our next journey will be.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jodi Whoriskey, a travel agent at JZW Travel. Visit her website here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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