Discovering the secrets of Oregon’s coast with the kids

Oregon’s cool and mysterious coast isn’t a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of place. Only repeated visits allow you to discover why it’s one of America’s most underrated destinations. Read more “Discovering the secrets of Oregon’s coast with the kids”

As summer draws to a close, a primer on beating the post-vacation blues

Welcome back.

What’s that? You didn’t want to come home? You might have a touch of the post-vacation blues. Read more “As summer draws to a close, a primer on beating the post-vacation blues”

How to find the best shoes for your summer trip

It’s often the most overlooked travel accessory — an afterthought to your itinerary that barely registers on your packing list. Read more “How to find the best shoes for your summer trip”

And now, a few words from the kids …

Greetings from Chattanooga, Tenn., our first stopover on our month-long road trip out to Oregon.

We spent yesterday packing, cleaning the house, and making this video (above) about how we pulled everything together. Aren narrates.

And today after we checked in at the Holiday Inn Express, Iden shared his road trip “rules.” We’re still laughing!

I hope you have as much fun watching these videos as we did making them.

Remember, you can always follow our family travel adventure at Away is Home.

Safe travels!

Ridiculous or not? Going out of your way to avoid planes

We’re a nation of drivers, no doubt about it.

Don’t believe me? During the first five months of the year, Americans flew 321 billion miles. They drove 1.1 trillion miles. (It’s not a perfect comparison, since these are calculated slightly differently, but you get the idea.)

Last holiday weekend, less than eight percent of travelers flew to their destination. Almost 9 out of 10 drove.

You might not arrive at that conclusion from reading most travel blogs or magazines, but it’s true. For all the fretting we do about the indignities of flying, we sure don’t do very much of it.

All of which made me wonder: How far would you go to avoid a plane?
Read more “Ridiculous or not? Going out of your way to avoid planes”

Road trip update: What would you drive across the country?

I am not allowed to show you any pictures of our 2007 Honda Accord.

But imagine, if you will, what a high-mileage vehicle that regularly shuttles three high-energy kids between school, music lessons and play dates looks like, and you’ll have a good idea.

If Mater from the Pixar film Cars comes to mind … well, you’re not that far off.

Our car has been loved to death. There are candy wrappers and empty water bottles strewn across the back seat, and I can’t remember the last time it was washed. Right now, it looks like it survived a riot in London. It’s embarrassing. Which is why Kari won’t let me show you the car.
Read more “Road trip update: What would you drive across the country?”

Can this trip be saved? “We just had the worst vacation ever!”

Craig and Jamie Talley just had the worst vacation ever. Their words, not mine. I’ve seen a lot of bad trips, and as far as “worst vacations” go, this one’s right up there with the worst of ’em.

Among the highlights: Crossed wires with their online travel agent, surly service (if you can even call it that), substandard facilities, extra expenses and ultimately, and early departure. Like, four days early.

Do they deserve a full refund?

The Talleys think they do. I think they deserve something.

What do you think? Can this trip be saved?
Read more “Can this trip be saved? “We just had the worst vacation ever!””