I just saw a brilliant commercial by Disney. First off, the background music is "Good Life", which is a great travel inspiration song anyway. The theme of the commercial was that some people recognize that there's only a short window of time to make family memories, for kids to "meet their heroes". Presumably, those people go to Disney in a timely fashion.
My parents never took me to Disney as a kid. I'm not gonna lie; it's still kind of a sore spot. In fact, to date, I have only been to Disney for one day. At least it was the Magic Kingdom, right?
Furthermore, I have still never been on a plane with my parents. None of our family trips were extravagent or exotic or far away. Maybe that's one of the things that makes me appreciate New England so much....there were so many places to see and go within driving distance. Most of my family vacation memories are from Cape Cod, New Hampshire, New York, and Newport, Rhode Island. And despite the lack of mouse ears or princesses, I wouldn't trade those trips for anything.
What was truly great about the Disney commercial is that it got me thinking about my childhood memories and how so many of them come from those family vacations. So their pitch is spot on. To this day, when we get together for family events we still talk about those memories. Like the time we saw a water snake on while walking through some sea grass and my mother pretty much pushed me out of the way to run. Or the time we went to the White Mountains for my brother's high school leaf project and his friends tried to steal my cousins kittens by tucking them in their football jackets. Or the April school vacation that I got chicken pox while we were down the Cape and my mom put concealer makeup on me and took me to the movies anyway.
As a person who values travel and worries about doing all I can now before I have kids, a take away from this for me was that the trips don't have to be to really different places to be awesome. And that it's usually the unplanned, small moments that stay with you years later. That's really comforting to me.