What was a typical vacation when you were a child? Did your family go to unusual places, like tropical places in winter? Or were they like mine where your vacation came once/year, in summer, and we only went where the family car could take us?
I am trying to figure out if you came from a traveling family, or one like mine where I was the sole adventurer...
We were a family of 7, so long vacations were impossible because of cost. but we use to go to the beach almost every sunday in the summer.
We live in montreal which is about 60 miles to the US border. We would go Plattsburgh beach in NY and at night to the border Drive inn, because back then drive ins were against the law in Quebec.
We only vacationed once every 2 years when I was young and it was always by car. We lived in Upstate NY and would go to the beach in NH.
Now my Aunt was the traveler. She cruised, went to Europe, a six week around the world with stops in the Pacific and Africa. She would not take these trips every year but about every 3 or 4 years. The only place she went by herself and not with friends was Europe, but did have friends in Holland that she would stay with and travel around with them. She never married and lived with my Grandmother and if my Aunt did not have a big trip planned then the 2 of them would vacation someplace they could get to by car within a day or 2.
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For about 10 or so years, we would rent the same cottage right on the sand at Hampton Beach, NH for 2 weeks in July. We were always there for my birthday which was cool. It was always the same weeks so we had friends that were also there the same time. (think Wonder Years tv show).
Our second 2 weeks vacation consisted of driving somewhere. These trips were great and comical at the same time. Two parents, four kids, lots of luggage, a cooler for breakfast and lunch food all stuffed into our blue Ford Falcon station wagon. It was a real treat pulling over on the side of a highway and watching my mom make sandwiches. (tuna, peanut butter and jelly, cold cuts etc) We would sit and watch the traffic while we ate. Dinner would usually consists of McDonalds or McDonalds type places. As a treat, one night each week of the vacation we would eat at a "nice" restaurant. The hotels we stayed in weren't the finest but they were always clean, had enough room for all of us, were rated at least 3 stars in tourbooks and ALWAYS had a pool.
These vacations are memories that I will treasure forever.
We were poor and didn't get to travel. My summer vacation was playing sandlot baseball all summer. I was very envious of those who were able to tell of their vacations when school started back up in the fall and we had to tell what we did for summer vacation.
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Packing the car with food "just in case!" - extra water because we had to cross the desert from Phoenix to California. In a good year we went to Disneyland. Usually it was just a week or so in San Diego.
But also - the I-10 between phoenix and the Colorado river was last stretch of that entire highway to be completed in abbout 1982. I was almost 30 before you could drive from Phoenix to LA without going on 2-lane road, and you still have to to get from PHX to San Diego.
Now, my parents did travel some without us kids: Hawaii, New Orleans. But these days travel is much bigger in people's lives than it used to be.
I don't think we EVER took our entire family flying anywhere when I was child. It just never happened.
I have 2 brothers and a sister and we had some incredibly generous grandparents who liked to spend summers at the Jersey shore (Seaside Park) and rented the same house for something like 15 summers. Our parents would come down the shore on the weekends and as their schedules allowed. Looking back those were some of the best days ever...lots of beach time, lots of low paying summer jobs and lots of great memories.
I also remember being about 6 or 7 and our grandparents taking the 4 of us kids to Boston to spend a few weeks with my aunt and her 5 kids.....loved taking the trolley to the Red Sox games and getting ice cream at Brighams.
Our grandparents also took us to see Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops at Symphony Hall....very cool!
Paul, we never flew anywhere as a family. I didn't fly until I was in high school.....also didn't stay in a hotel until I was 17! My kids look at me like I'm crazy when they hear this stuff.
We lived in Arkansas and most of our vacations were trips to the Florida panhandle where my mother had a brother that we stayed with. Once we took the train and the employees went on strike at midnight and left us at a station in the middle of nowhere. We made it to Florida somehow. Most of the time my mom and I just drove down (well she drove). My dad always had to work so usually it was just the two of us. We both now live here.
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Growing up we went to Orlando or St. John's VI in the winter and summer was at Hampton beach in NH (my grandmother owned 3 cottages there) Cheryl, I was right behind the Ashworth Hotel. I also went to camp for anywhere between a month and 9 weeks (loved it).
We take my son to Myrtle Beach to see my in-laws.
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Many drives from NY to Florida, several trips to resorts at Lake George, Cruise on Greek Line: Olympia, Queen Anna Maria, Chandris Line: Amerikanis, Flagship Line: Sea Venture, Summers at the beach house on Fire Island... Long Weekends at Catskill Game Farm..... memories......
Mine were pretty much just like yours, a driving trip up to Wisconsin, some great memories. I did get a trip once to New England with my grandparents and Canada with my grandmother. Funny, when you think back on childhood memories, you do remember the vacations. There were certainly no cruises, those were for rich people.
We had a "camp" in NH near Newfound Lake in NH. My father bought the land and built the camp out of scrap wood from packing crates and pallets that he brought home from his job. In those days he worked for Ford Motors in Sommerville MA. That was in 1953. It had running water but cold only and the kitchen sink had a hand pump. The bathroom was outside behind a stand of pines. We drove up there most weekends from May till past Labor Day. We always spent 2 weeks in Eastport Maine visiting my grandparents too.
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When I was young (from first memory to around eight) there were few "vacations" but many outings to go fishing. It was one of the nice things of living in a farming area with nearby lakes.
When we moved to the "city" we then did summer vacations. Those were in a 19' foot Pathfinder travel trailer. I loved that thing but I can imagine now how cramped it was with two adults and three kids in it. But it had a bathroom. We went all over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Colorado and Missouri. Mom and Dad in the front seat and my two brothers and me in the back. We didn't need no stinking seat belts. We'd just turn the back of the station wagon into one giant bed.
Mike (Who fondly remembers when Dad tried to teach me how to swim but I fought my way out of the bag)
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The first summer vacation I remember, I was 8 yrs old and our family went to Ogunquit Maine in a tiny cottage for a week. That was the beginning of my love affair with the sea, and I learned how to swim in the ocean!
My next vacation was 7 years later, when we went to visit my mother's sister in California. What I remember most was being car sick all along the coast highway from San Francisco to L.A., and then getting violently ill on the Teacup ride at Disneyland! I spent the rest of the day in the infirmary...
I also remember a few trips to Burlington and Plattsburgh, one for shopping, and one for the beach. I particularly remember a motel in Burlington, with a drive-in movie across the street (as Earl said earlier, drive-ins were illegal in Quebec at the time). I saw my first drive-in movie there (Planet of the Apes!)
As for cruising, never even heard of it, until the Love Boat on tv, and certainly never dreamed I'd ever be on one!
We never used seat belts either! And us four kids were generally in the station wagon with the windows rolled up (in winter) with mom and dad BOTH SMOKING! In summer time we knew they were smoking when the butts they would fling out the front windows would come flying back in the back windows! YUCK!
my family was very poor and vacation was not a term used in our household..we only took one family vacation and that was a driving trip from upstate new york to detroit michigan in 1961 so my parents could attend the national VFW convention
my dad would always say to my mother that when he retired they would do all those neat things and visit all the places she always wanted to go..he died of pancreatic cancer at age 52
the lesson I learned was not to wait until you retire..travel while you have your health and can afford it
One other road trip I remember was in the summer of 1970. I was the last child at home and we took a trip to Pagosa Springs, Colorado. At that time there were 2 motels (only 1 of which had a swimming pool) and 1 hotel in town. When we got to town, the 2 motels were full, so we stayed in the Pagosa Springs Hotel. All night long, I remember the neon sign outside our window, flashing, "POOL, POOL, POOL" in bright red neon! And you could hear the pool hall below us, until 1:00 a.m. These are sweet memories.
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As a kid we would get in the car and drive to Maine for a couple of nights each summer. The first night we would always eat at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey's Island, ME - we would stay near Bath or Brunswick, then go to Reid State Park the next day. The second day we would usually spend poking around Boothbay Harbor. My parents were into antiquing - so that would take up a lot of time. I learned real young to bring lots of books to read while waiting for them.
One summer we took a longer trip and took the ferry to Nova Scotia, then drove back home through New Brunswick.
My grandmother travelled quite a bit - visiting her children. Her trips always seemed so exciting - I think I got my wanderlust from her.
I'm with venice on this one! If you consider going to my aunts house in Pennsylvania once a year a vacation then yes we took vacations. This is why, even though we work alot, I take 4-5 mini vacations a year and try to give my kids some nice experiences/memories. I also tend to spend more than I should for a better experience probably to make up for the vacations I never had. The first real family vacation I took with my immediate family wasn't until I was 21yo to disneyworld. Sad huh!
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When I was a kid we spent the last two weeks in August in Ocean City, NJ. We always stayed in the same beachside apartment. I still have quite an affinity for the town, got married there and lived there the first two years of our marriage. We are still just a 5 minute (tourists permitting ) drive from there.
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we grew up very poor, but I did not know how poor we were untill I went to college and alot of my classmate's went on spring break to either florida or mexico and I spent my spring break at home working in the supermarket to earn tuition money
my classmates would come back with their tans and pictures and stories and ask me how I spent my spring break. When my son was on his annual leave from the USAFA, I made sure I treated him to a well deserve break, which usually was a cruise with his then GF now wife
I was very lucky in that I went to the Netherlands almost every summer and from there we travelled all over Europe. We also knew most of the carribean by the time I was ten, and a good part of the states, and into the middle east as well. I did alot of travel before children, just basically continued the way I had grown up, seeing as many places as I could, I love history, so I love travel. With my son, we also have done most of Western Europe, a great deal of the carribean, the states, all of Eastern Canada, Alberta, and we also did alot of camping as he really liked that. We started to cruise a few years ago as it was a change from the usual . We have planned over the next 12 months year an 11 day cruise, a trip to the maritimes and a land trip to the carribean .
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Great replies, everyone ansd a lot of recurring themes. Seems we only had one regular cruiser, who lived in NY City back when the major cruise lines were based there (before the advent of Florida cruising).
It sure sounds like New Hampshire and Vermont got very crowded during the summer, and the overflow went to Maine or Jersey ;-0
Not a lot West Coasters in this crowd, are there?
I did remember my first ship-like experince, the ferry to catalina from somewhere (not sure, I was only six). There wasn't much to do there at the time, we only stayed a few hours.
Seems all of us drove in cars every summer, but we all lived more simply then, didn't we? Think about it. We had one TV, in the family room. Probably had a combo hi-fi set for LPs and radio. No computers, video-game sets, dvd players, HDTVs with surround sound, cable TV.
Some of us bought tape-decks for our cars, and sometimes home systems so we could record our own tapes.
A lot of vacations were "camping".
But also - when you think of what a value cruising can be for a family vacation these days (if you choose to make it so) it isn't much different.
I see a 1 week Alaska cruise for $499 pp, with 3 & 4th in the same cabin for $99 apiece. That is about $1200 for 4 people, 1 week. Of course there are other costs, but costs can be managed.
Or the recently ended Costa sale, $449 pp with an upgrade to oceanview and kids sail free. You can't beat that. You just have to get them in the car and DRIVE to Florida, just like the good old days, except now we have seatbelts.
PS: I remember when my dad had seatbelts installed in the Valiant and the Dodge Dart