The American Family Vacation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ah, the family vacation. It’s a time-honored tradition that goes back generations. There’s just something about packing up the car and hitting the open road that is so special. Whether you’re going to visit grandma and grandpa in Florida or checking out the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, there’s nothing quite like a good old-fashioned American family road trip. But what if your family is a little…less than perfect? What if things start to go wrong? Well, let’s just say that the good, the bad, and the ugly can all be part of a typical family vacation.

The good can be things like finally getting to spend some quality time with your family. Maybe you don’t get to see them as often as you’d like, so a vacation is a perfect opportunity to catch up and bond. Or maybe you just love being around them and enjoy their company. Either way, it’s always nice to be able to spend some uninterrupted time with the people you love.

The bad might be things like fighting in the car or getting lost. Maybe tempers start to flare after being cooped up together for too long. Or maybe you make a wrong turn and end up spending an hour or two extra on the road. These are all potential problems that can occur during a family vacation. But even though they’re not ideal, they’re still part of the experience.

And then there’s the ugly. This is the stuff that no one wants to talk about. Maybe someone gets sick or has an accident. Maybe you get into a fight and someone says something they can never take back. These are the moments that can really test a family’s bond. But even though they’re tough, you always come out of them stronger.

Growing up in a family that never flew, and I mean anywhere, road trips were our thing. Some might say it’s the reason I grew up with this wanderlust to always be in a car driving across every state I can imagine. I have had my share of the good, the bad, and the ugly involved in every family aspect of family vacation. Usually, it’s Dad who won’t play anything besides the ’80s on 8 with Nina Blackwood or my sister reading and yelling at anyone who god forbid said a word. Oh, and we all knew every road sign from Missouri to wherever it was going because our dad would read each one word for word until we reached our destination. Mom always kept quiet for the most part, until U2 or Bon Jovi came on. Family vacation road trips are a time-honored tradition that I see dying. Rest assured when the day comes that I have a family I will be sure to take them on our version of a family road trip.

So what does it all mean? I guess it just means that a family vacation is never perfect. There will always be highs and lows, but that’s just part of the fun. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about spending time with the people you love – warts and all. So next time you’re planning a trip, remember that the good, the bad, and the ugly are all part of the package. And embrace it, because that’s what makes a family vacation so special.

Please be sure to share your funny and wacky family vacation experiences in the comments below.

By: Dallas Coleman

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