Monday, November 14, 2011

Road Trips, Not What They Used to Be

When my own four kids were young part of planning any road trip was making the preparations needed to keep the kids occupied in the car. One of my favorite tricks was to purchase or make up small activities, special snacks, and toys. I would gift wrap them for each child. The gifts would be handed out on either a timed, mileage, or destination schedule. Good behavior was required between gifts to be rewarded with the next.

While the gift method was a sneaky way to curb restlessness and poor behavior in the back seats of the mini-van on my part it became a treasured road trip memory for my kids. One of my daughters who is the mother of four now feels that she is not doing something right if she doesn't have a boatload of stuff under her feet in her car when they are leaving on a road trip as I always did. She feels as though she isn't doing it right! Her husband has no idea what she is talking about.

Well, the difference from today to my kid's growing up years is all of the personal and shared electronic gadgets that can fit in the palm of your hand or easily installed in any car for shared viewing.  Kids can watch movies, play games, listen to the music of their choice, text friends, read digital books, take pictures and video, and more.

My husband and I have witnessed the difference that the electronic gadgets make in the confined space of a car with kids. It is pretty darn amazing and no gift wrap required! I know it is a trade off. Families today will miss out on much of the verbal, game playing, singing to pass the time interaction between family members that we had in days past but I do believe that families are arriving to their destinations with far less stress than before.

In today's vacation planning we must remember the electronic devices, the cables, the batteries, the chargers, the adapters, and whatever else is needed. There is a product available that is a portable usb charger battery that would be a great idea to have along too. It would be like having a little generator on board for your electronics. The moms and dads will love that it will recharge their smart phones, GPS devices, and i pads too. It seems there are ways to keep all ages digitally and electronically entertained, connected, and informed at home and on the road.

What effect do you think all of the at home and on the go technology will have on the family unit?

1 comment:

  1. Hard to know. Some families use their smart phones to escape into their individual worlds even while they are sitting at a meal together. Others use their phones to stay connected and communicating even when far apart. I guess there will always be wise parents and not-so-wise ones.