Making Holiday Family Travel Memories

Alamo Travel Tips - Making Holiday Family Travel Memories - Alamo Chief Travel Mom Audrey Mclelland writes about travel during the holidays with family.

I’m excited to share that I’m a Chief Travel Mom with Alamo this year. I’m partnering with them throughout the year to inspire family travel, provide solutions to family travel issues that may arise, show how family travel can increase family bonding and celebrate the laughable moments of motherhood and family travel.

I’m excited to share with you about family holiday travel and how it’s been brought and sustained throughout my life. I love that Alamo has me thinking back in the day my family travel and how it has impacted who I am today.

Family travel has always been something that I’ve felt – throughout my life – has brought me closer and closer to my own family. As I’ve become a mom myself, I’ve seen the same bond grow through travel with my own little family, too.

There’s something very special about traveling with my family during the holidays. It’s actually something I look forward to the most throughout the year because I know it’s a time we’re all going to be together. There’s nothing like being together – all electronic devices away – without any interruptions.

Back in my day, going back to the 1980s when I was a child, my parents would always take me and my siblings on a holiday winter wonderland vacation. We would always go to New Hampshire, which was about a 4 hour drive from our house in Rhode Island. I’ll never forget those holiday trips with my family because there were SO MUCH FUN! I’m 1 of 4 kids, so it was always me and my sister and 2 brothers in the backseat trying to pass the time on our travels. There was no such thing as DVD players or TVs in cars. There was no such thing as cell phones or iPads. There was nothing but our imaginations. We would come up with songs/games and play rock/paper/scissors and tic-tac-toe (if one of us remembered to pack paper and crayons). We would ALWAYS do the countdown too, by hour, till we hit our hotel in New Hampshire. Since it was a tradition to go every year, it was something that we all kind of knew inside and out. When we got to New Hampshire – it was the same activities every year that we looked forward to doing – skiing at Loon Mountain, ice skating and sledding. It was the same every year and it was always amazing. Bonds were made on those long car rides. Memories were made on those vacations. Those memories left in impression, so much so… it was always a dream of mine to fulfill holiday travel traditions with my own family.

Travel for my parents, it was always important. Always. We didn’t have a ton of money growing up, but my parents made sure we would always go away together. It was such a beautiful part of our childhood.

Now, as a mom of 5… I have tried my hardest throughout the years to replicate my history within my own family’s.

Times are a bit different now when it comes to family travel.

There are iPads.
There are iPods.
There are smartphones.
There are e-readers.
There are portable DVDS.
There are car DVDs and TVs.

These are all things my 5 children have gotten to know throughout their life.

But… there’s something very special about being together on a family holiday vacation without the distraction of technology.

I’m trying to go back to the basics during family travel with my family.

Every winter we head to NYC for the famous Rockettes show! It’s been a family tradition for 12 years, started even before I had my oldest son William. We go with my entire family each year and it’s something that ALL of us look forward to every single year. It’s also a wonderful way for me and my siblings to share in a holiday family travel together, but include all of our families, too. My parents were so smart starting this so many years ago. Seeing the Rockettes with my family has always been for me… the true kick-off to the holiday season.

I love that in our holiday travel to NYC from Rhode Island, I have my sons and my (now) my daughter go back to the time of “my day” (along with my husband), how it was during my family travel.

We talk.
We laugh.
We play games.
We sing songs.
We tell stories.

We are a family together, enjoying each other and bonding with each other. They’re not connected and not looking down at iPad screens from the second we leave our driveway to the second we enter NYC. I don’t want that. I love that we’re all in the car together and that it’s a perfect time to be… just that, a family. Enjoying each other. Loving each other.

As we’re prepping to take our annual trip to NYC for the Rockettes and enjoy the sights this holiday season, I’m excited for my children. I know it’s a wonderful time for them that they get excited about and look forward to all year long.

Start a family travel tradition with your family this year.

Pick a destination. It doesn’t have to be far. Have it become the set destination each year… even if it’s just a day trip to a fun spot.

Enjoy your family.

In the modern day of so much information being at our fingertips, it’s a blessing to just get back to travel basics with your family, especially during a time of year when we’re giving thanks and counting blessings.


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About the Author

Audrey Mclelland

By: Audrey Mclelland, Alamo Chief Travel Mom and founder of

The Alamo Chief Travel Moms are a council of lifestyle bloggers and mothers who have partnered with Alamo Rent A Car to inspire and celebrate family travel while sharing their personal experiences and tips they’ve learned along the way.