After logging more than 30,000 road miles and the equivalent of four months away from home over the course of seven years, it’s not surprising that many of my fondest family memories are all related to family getaways.
As Hispanic families we celebrate Día del Niño (the International Day of Children), we look forward to another summer of travel memories. Here are four family vacation moments with my children that I treasure most:
Opening the doors to the Magic Kingdom
In 2011, Disney Parks partnered with my family for a 44-day summer family roundtrip, taking us from the Magic Kingdom to Alaska. The most magical moment was at the very start when our family officially opened Walt Disney World. We had the unique opportunity to stand alongside all the Disney characters atop a special platform that featured a train entrance by Mickey and friends, fireworks and a large crowd of fans who all had to be wondering, “Who is that family that’s helping Mickey open the park?”
Helicoptering into a glacier
During this same trip, we took a breathtaking helicopter ride trip to a glacier. Atop that glacier, we were mesmerized by the size of the frozen body of ice and the purity of the waters that we tasted dating back thousands of years. My son and I even went planking on the glacier.
Going to the rodeo
Last summer, we traveled to Colorado and Utah for an 11-day road trip that was so rushed we often felt we endured it more than we enjoyed it. However, there was one major exception: an unexpected, last minute visit to a Utah rodeo where three of my four kids were able to participate in the rodeo as riders of mutton and calves. Briani, then 6, Elena, then 10, and Jonathan, then 14, all rode their hearts out and were promptly and publicly ejected by the muttons and calves they rode – an experience I don’t think any of us could forget!
Getting stuck in the Mojave Desert
In a scene straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation, my wife, kids and I accidentally got stuck in the Mojave Desert for half a day. The problem all started when I asked my wife to go off-roading in our vehicle for special video footage that I wanted to shoot for my blog. Things went south quickly, as our car immediately got stuck in soft desert sand it was not meant for, and of course, we were in the middle of nowhere. Four hours and an emergency police ride for our family later, we rescued our rental vehicle with a giant tow truck.
I could go on and on about the adventures we’ve had on all the great family vacations we’ve been on, but the thing I cherish the most is that these are the types of memories that make families grow closer and stronger. That’s the real reason our family is one that loves to travel.
What are your summer family vacation ideas? Get a head start with these great travel planning resources: