This weekend is Labor Day. For many families this is the final weekend of summer. Even if school has started, this weekend tends to be the last chance to get out of town and get one last memory in. If you’re also like my family this means time spent in the car; the necessary evil of travel. Thankfully, my crew has found simple some ways to enjoy our road trips and hopefully you can, too.
Our major road trip life savers have not been the portable DVD player, the satellite radio, or even classic road games. We’ve learned to let the trip be part of the vacation.
Traveling by car allows for some truly unique pit stops. There’s hilarious “world’s largest _____” sites all over. Just this summer we detoured to see the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine.” My son was able to officially add twine to his list of roadside oddities, we got to hear the history of the landmark, and we got to get out of the car for a nice change of pace. Plus, we took a million pictures and laughed the entire time.
We’ve had so much fun turning to the resource of Roadside America while we’re traveling. We loaded the app and just search for fun places to stop from our current location. Thanks to the app we’ve been alerted to sights like “Jurassic Art,” a small town resident’s personal welded art display in his yard. We stopped to see the “World’s Largest Mennonite,” a limestone sculpture in a public park. And one of our all time favorites was a place called “Prairie Dog Town,” a farm of sorts with prairie dogs running wild and a collection of five-legged cows.
The app also points people to fantastic historical sights. I love that I can learn right along with my son about a significant piece of our country’s history. Plus, we get another chance to get out of the car and we have much to discuss once we’re back in the car and rolling down the road.
When the destination can be part of the vacation, traveling long hours in the car speed by. In fact, our last trip was so full of stops our only complaint was that we just didn’t have enough time to see everything along the way.
Since we like to challenge what a road trip looks like, we also make sure that includes eating while on the road. Many people just rely on the old faithful golden arches as they truck down the highway, but that won’t fly with us. We’ve had fun using the resource of Eat Well Guide. This site is an online directory that’s also available in app form for anyone in search of fresh, locally grown and sustainably-produced food in the U.S. and Canada. It also has a travel map option. If you plug in your start and finish destinations, the map will show you all your healthy options along the way so you can plan your trip on the fly.
Road trips don’t have to be a task, they can be fun if you can spare the extra time and be a little adventurous. Only stopping for a potty break and spending never-ending hours in a car with a gut full of fast food isn’t really fun for anyone. So keep you and your family happy this Labor Day weekend. Take some time, see America and make some great memories along the way.
August 30th, 2012