Family Travel: Retro Road Trips

Considering a "staycation" this year? Don't let gas prices put a crimp in your family travel creativity. Go retro! Consider an overnight road trip to some of the kitchy, goofy, even downright weird destinations like the Snake Farm, within a one tank range of your house. Daddy Clay and Daddy Brad offer some great suggestions for fun family vacations and weekend getaways that parents and kids are sure to love. Brought to you by Graco's Ready for the Road Ahead campaign. DadLabs Ep. 365.

DADDY BRAD: Gas prices have you thinking about a staycation this summer?

DADDY CLAY: With a little short-range planning, it’s still very possible to have a memorable retro-road trip with the family.

DADDY BRAD: That’s why this week we are coming to you from the world famous Snake Farm in New Branfels, Texas.

DADDY CLAY: This special episode is brought to by Graco’s Ready for the Road Ahead.

DADDY BRAD: Retro-Road trips rule!

DADDY CLAY: You know, sometimes, as parents, I think we get trapped into thinking that only Disney-level entertainment is family friendly and nothing less that a waterpark is a reasonable destination. That it isn’t family fun unless a character breakfast is involved.

DADDY BRAD: More modest destinations near you may be just as rewarding to you as a family. And a lot easier on the wallet, not to mention your carbon footprint.

DADDY CLAY: Our first road trip suggestion is the one tank rule.

DADDY BRAD: Pick an itinerary that doesn’t require you to drive farther than you can get on one tank of gas. Our minivans get about 300 miles on a tank, that gives us a radius of about 150 miles from Austin.

DADDY CLAY: This keeps you from over-driving, and over-scheduling. We think that for a two day, one night trip, you should have just about 2-3 attractions total for the whole trip. But how to find cool, off the beaten path attractions near you? We asked travel author and columnist Gerald McLeod.

DADDY BRAD: Go retro. Think of something offbeat, funky, maybe even a little sketchy.

DADDY CLAY: It’s good for kids to get a little of the authentic, kitchy, hilarious, even odd in their lives.

DADDY BRAD This does not apply to the hotel, however.

DADDY CLAY: Although an overnight stay is huge. All you need is a pool.

DADDY BRAD: But how are you going to get there?

DADDY CLAY: Did you know that you can rent a GPS system for a weekend? As anyone here at DadLabs will tell you, I get lost a lot. Couldn’t find my butt if it had a bell on it. And I get stressed when I get lost, and if my family is with me, they get stressed. I finally got tired of my son asking me if I know where I’m going, so I sprung for the GPS. Maybe you’ve got a better set of direction, you don’t need one every day, but for a road trip, these things can really cut down on stress. Go to GPS for rent dot com, you can get one of these for about 6 bucks a day. The kids love to participate, to follow the progress on the map -- might even be educational. One note: if you are planning a Saturday departure, you should have your order in by the previous Monday. When you’re done, slap a return label on there and ship it back.

DADDY BRAD: Get out early on the first day, get to the Snake Farm right when it opens, then find a spot for a picnic lunch. Saves on a little cash and keeps with your retro theme. Pack the lunch, Dad! Here’s a great way to go -- mini sandwiches. Get a baguette, sliced, some turkey, ham and cheese cut to size and let the kids make their own. And what’s more summer than watermelon? Don’t want to haul this big boy around? How about this seedless mini-melons? Throw in some frozen yogurts and juice bags and you don’t even need ice. Perfect post Snake Farm snack.

DADDY CLAY: If want more tips and safety suggestions, please visit the Ready for the Road Ahead site.

DADDY BRAD: This week we have a special giveaway, thanks to the folks at Graco, we’re honoring our service men and women. Two of the members of the dadlabs community are currently serving their country in the military, so thanks and congrats to Hunter and Chester, you boys have some brand new Graco car seats coming your way.

DADDY CLAY: If you want to be eligible for our weekly giveaways and promotions, just head on over to dadlabs dot com, go to our community, create a profile and join in the conversation going on over there.

DADDY BRAD: That’s all for us this week in the lab.
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