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Family Travel Adventure in the USA

As the plane puttered out of lax and we lifted high out of the smog I allowed myself a momentary sob. Our one month-long US roadtrip with Jetlag & Mayhem was over. Not only were we returning to Hong Kong, but in five days we were going to pack up our life again and relocate to Singapore. 

What was originally a 2 week Florida trip morphed into a month’s journey to the Deep South after my husband changed jobs and earned some extra time off. In all, we had an amazing adventure, our travels taking us from St Augustine, to Savannah, Charleston, Georgia swamp, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Captiva and Sarasota. The key to an awesome roadtrip (and not spending the entire time fighting with your kids/partner) is in the planning. I’ve written extensively on the topic, including this post on how to plan the perfect trip.

We indulged in all sorts of holiday fun from relaxing days at the beach in Georgia to wandering around museums in South Carolina. And of course there was the mouse himself, Disney World, Orlando. The happiest place on earth? Quite possibly! I had huge hopes for this part of the trip, due to my own fond memories of visiting as a child. Needless to say all the parks including Epcot and Magic Kingdom did not disappoint.

I loved so many things about our trip. The best part was hanging out as a family of four. Unbridled time with Jetlag & mayhem. Connecting as a family at each mealtime, something we rarely do at home. Sharing in the joy of a Disney theme park together. Discovering a new pop tart flavour in Walmart.  Learning all about submarines and an aircraft carrier. We also used this trip to catch up with family and old friends. We pulled off an epic surprise for all the kids to meet their cousins in Orlando. We had a fun day in Miami to see one of my oldest friends. And an amazing catch up with friends from Tokyo whom we haven’t seen for over a decade.

It wouldn’t be a proper family holiday without the odd crossed word. The mad rush to drive to the airport in a crazy lightning storm, leaving us to catch a flight with moments to spare. Countless arguments over who gets to play on the iPhone. Fighting over which side of the bed to sleep on. For me, this is where airbnb rentals are key. Whilst I love the luxury of hotels and their facilities, nothing beats having two separate bedrooms, a living room and kitchen.

Which neatly brings me on to food and cooking on the road. Keeping kids healthy for a month in the US is tough. Airbnbs mean I can dole out a health-ish breakfast but once we’re out, most kids menus are not at all healthy. Why does everything come with fries and soft drinks?  Why are the portions ginormous? We soon realised (much to Jetlag & Mayhem’s dismay) that we only needed to order one kids meal between them. I would also try any opportunity to stuff them with fruit and vegetables (check out the salad accompaniments at the burger bar in Epcot!).  That said we did eat same amazing/unhealthy food on our travels. We try to make a pilgrimage to any restaurant was featured in Man Vs. Food. In Sarasota, we ate at Yoders’ Amish Village, the fried chicken did not disappoint!

We are huge fans of the US and hoping to return next year to check out the rest of Georgia and Tennessee! Please do send any tips my way.

If you’re thinking of planning your own family roadtrip to the USA, please do check out links to itineraries we have done over the past 8 years….

 

Chicago / Wisconsin Roadtrip

Louisiana With Kids

New Mexico With Kids

Colorado Roadtrip

Texas Roadtrip

 

 

2 comments

  1. MummyTravels

    Sounds like an absolutely amazing trip – although I agree about the portions and lack of veggies in a lot of places in the US. Good luck with the move to Singapore, looking forward to reading your posts from there. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  2. Sol Solntze

    Lovely overview of a trip – and what a wonderful thing to be able to do as a whole family. I’d love to road trip around the USA a bit. Very jealous!

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