Mode of Transportation

A recent conversation in our household has been that of the type of vehicle we’ll be taking on an upcoming road trip. We love road trips. There’s something about getting into the car and settling in with your travel blanket and pillow, turning up the music loud enough to enjoy, and driving to a special destination.

This year, we’re going to take a southernly route from Indiana to Gulf Shores, Alabama. There a things about this trip that we’re looking forward to –because we’ve taken it before. Hubby is eager to get his hands on a “big gulp” of sweet tea, something he misses since we moved so far north there aren’t any roads to travel on. Our daughter has her snack money set aside to purchase Gardetto’s and Combos. She’s also put on the agenda: “Show Gwen what a Kroger is” because her friend, Gwen is traveling with us this year and has never been to (or heard of) a Kroger.

Along with planning for the treats we’ll get along the way, we’re excited in general about the idea of driving along that last stretch of road before we get to the sand. In the past, we’ve gotten that far and found ourselves irritable and cranky from lack of sleep and too much driving. We learned a few years back that it’s better for everyone involved if we stop half way there and sleep.

With all this on our minds, we’ve been discussing the mode of transportation. It’s a big thing to consider since we no longer own a car and will be renting one for the drive. This year, our kids have grown…as kids tend to do and we’ll be traveling with four of them, including Gwen. And while we all love one another’s company, we know the value of getting some space periodically and having a spot to curl up in and call our own on a drive like this one is going to be.

The kids’ request: a 15 passenger van.

I can’t say I blame them as we used to own one and it made drives across town easy, so we know from experience that a vehicle of this size would serve us well on a cross country journey.

But they’re so expensive to rent these days. The cost of a van this size would double what we plan to spend on the alternative…

A minivan.

Yeah, I know. It’ll be a rather cozy drive in a minivan.

 Renting a minivan has its advantages too, though. For starters, think of how much easier it will be to pass that bag of Gardetto’s around instead of hollering two bench seats back and having to walk the snack food up to the person requesting them. Nice, right? And that big gulp of iced tea –well…who am I kidding? Hubby does not like to share his iced tea and I prefer it to be unsweet.

To be honest, I’m glad we’re renting a minivan. Saving that money is going to pay off in spades when we get to the beach. More shopping, more seafood, more fun activities…you can’t go wrong there, I don’t think.

Isn’t that what traveling as a family is all about? Sitting close, sharing snacks, and jamming to the radio? All so that later, we can use the money we saved by choosing a smaller rental car to have more fun together. Yeah…that sounds right.

In fact, when we have our vacation committee meeting this weekend with the family members and Gwen, I’m going to have this blog post at the ready to ward off any final complaints or attempts at overthrowing the parental government.

Who’s with me? Isn’t saving money on the necessities worth it when you can use the extra cash to have some good old fashioned family fun?

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