Technology Friendly Family Travel Tips

I went on the ultimate American Road Trip.

Over 7000 miles, in a truck, husband and son in tow…and we came out alive on the other side.  From Virginia through the Midwest, across the Dakotas, through the land of every.single.national.park, down the Pacific Coast, and then finally back across the southwest and canyon country, the American south, and HOME.

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We lived.

Luckily, times are different than when I was Seven’s age, and vehicles are more comfortable.  Growing up, we traveled with my parents in the equivalent of the Family Truckster, my younger sister and I fighting over the backseat versus the back seat floor board. (Gahh, the HUMP) For entertainment we tried getting truckers to honk, or we listened to dad try fruitlessly to make sense on the CB radio.

Yes, the CB.  He was Shutterbug.  10-4, Over and Out.

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I’m still not sure why people talked in code.  It’s not like they weren’t all speaking English anyway, It would have been way easier than talking about bears a mile ahead or whatever the police code was at the time.  I’m sure the cops heard it all anyway.

Now, we have iPads and tablets and cell phones that do EVERYTHING.  From telling me how far to the nearest gas station, to being able to book a hotel on the fly, to directing me to the best barbeque restaurant Guy Fieri ever ate…we had an app for that.  Seven is quite the techie himself, and though we loved that he was was entertained and good back there in the backseat, we really wanted him to remember more than the fact that he watched the Lego Movie 47 times.

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So, we gave him some challenges.

Armed with a camera, we gave him a scavenger hunt of sorts to take photos of.  A waterfall.  A waffle.  A building made of corn, the tallest tree he could find.  A seal, the ocean, a bridge.  There were lots of things to keep him occupied and on the hunt.  While many of his photos were questionable (lol!) we loved the way he saw things from his young eyes.

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If you’ve planned a getaway, it’s a great way to keep your kids engaged.  Send them off with Point and Shoot digital cameras if they don’t have smartphones already (or tablets, even – so many have great cameras in them) and let them surprise you with the way they see our world.  Later on, you can easily print the pictures into a photo album so that they can share it with their friends and family.  It really makes them feel like their views are worthy of being appreciated.

Best Buy has lots of cameras available in all price ranges, and it’s worth it to give your kiddos a chance to make the trip their own.  If you need more ideas, Best Buy actually has some great ones that utilize technology – from Movie Nights to 5K Challenges (I want to do that!) – so check out their ideas!

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I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free in exchange for my post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.