Giveaway! Share Your Family Memories For A Chance To Win Cool Stuff From Hyatt, Hertz And More.

Summer was always a time of great memories for me as a kid.  As I got older and entered the work force, summer was just a hotter drive to and from work and a lot less traffic in the DC area.  It took having kids to really remember how great summer can be.  I’ve teamed up with MommyPoints and Points, Miles & Martinis to serve up a great summer giveaway to help you make your own fun memories this year.

But first, I wanted to share a few of my memories.  We grew up as the poor family in a rich town where everyone had memberships to the local country club and yacht club.  We certainly didn’t have a yacht and I never really understood why it was called a country club if it was right there in our city.  For us, a little shack on the Jersey Shore was our getaway.  Even though it was old and small, my father spent years fixing it up to make it a great place to spend summers.

Sure, the drive from New York to South Jersey could be trying at times but the Jersey Shore has so many memories for me as a kid.  Riding the roller coaster at Seaside Heights.  The Log Flume.  Water Works, the local water park.  Banging on the pay phones so they spit out quarters for us to play video games (sorry about that, AT&T).  Riding our bikes everywhere.  Swimming and surfing.

Heading out on the morning of the 5th of July to collect all the fireworks left behind by people the night before, enough to fill up buckets and buckets.  Being a teenage pyro wizard the next few nights until those buckets were empty.  The perfect sub sandwich from Ebby’s deli (extra oil and vinegar, of course).  Crabbing with my dad and sister in the early morning, complete with a box of Hostess donuts.  Doesn’t everyone finish a whole box of donuts in the morning when they go crabbing?

Watching movies on the big screen on the beach.  Yeah, summer as a kid was pretty darn awesome.

Those are a good chunk of my memories, though I suppose I could spend the rest of the day writing down everything that engaged us as kids.  But, now it’s your turn, and for prizes.  Share your summer travel memories (either now or when you were a kid) for a chance to win a summer prize package.  What are the particulars, you ask?

What Can I Win?  Hyatt and Hertz were nice enough to sponsor this giveaway.  One winner will walk away with all of the following:

So, first, from Hyatt, a free night at any Hyatt House, valid through 12/31/2014.  Hyatt House is a great product for families for a number of reasons.  My biggest reason for enjoying the chain is that all the properties are either new or recently renovated.  I have yet to have a bad room at a Hyatt House.  You can get multiple bedrooms attached to a kitchen and living area which makes family travel super easy.  And, they’ve rolled out some new changes, including a complimentary omelet station to go with a pretty good free breakfast already.

Hyatt House also generally offers reasonable prices for families.  I frequently see Hyatt House rates in big markets that are more affordable than full service properties and generally speaking it’s not much more money to add on a second bedroom to make sure you have plenty of family space to spread out.  Hyatt House is my first choice of extended stay brands in any market I travel to, and I sometimes choose it over full service properties because I know my room will be clean and new and the service will be consistent every time.

A Chance


I’m sure the winner will be able to put this to good use.  And, to go with that, Hertz is throwing in 1200 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points.  That’s enough points for 2 free weekend days and it’s halfway to a free weekly rental.  Not too shabby.  I wrote recently about some of the better values you can find in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account, so you can count me as a fan.  Hertz also brought a couple of new items to my attention that they’re rolling out.  And, while I generally don’t find new product announcements all that exciting, I see value in both of these new items for families:

·         Looking for the closest, safest beach? Hertz has partnered with Waterkeeper Alliance to offer the first-ever “Waterkeeper Swim Guide,” accessible to customers via the in-car Hertz NeverLost GPS unit. The “Waterkeeper Swim Guide” is a new data source that will tell users where beaches are located, which are safe for swimming, and what’s unique about each beach. 


·         Looking to apps to help you explore? Hertz is also expanding its NeverLost My Explore™ mobile app to include five new city guides for the following locations: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Napa. The app allows users to maximize their travel experience in or out of the car with customized voice narratives and text descriptions for must-see sites, tours, shopping, neighborhoods, favorites and restaurants.

o    Additional notable features of the NeverLost My Explore app include augmented reality to turn a camera phone into a live map at the touch of a screen to show surrounding attractions, map view to let users find their way by car, foot, or public transportation, live weather updates for help pre-planning activities, social media integration so users can share travel adventures using Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, and free download codes to integrate seamlessly with any NeverLost® GPS device.

o    NOTE: The first My Explore™ app is available for download for free; additional city guides are available for $0.99 each.

I’m actually interested to try out the My Explore app.  I’m one of those old-fashioned guys who like to buy a Fodor’s or Frommer’s guide for a city I’m traveling to.  But, those don’t necessarily translate well to my iPhone.  So, I’ll definitely be giving My Explore a try.

Lastly, I’m also throwing in an airline club pass, valid for a one-person, one-time trip to an airline club.

A pretty decent prize for someone this summer!

How to Enter:   Just leave a comment on this thread with your favorite travel memory.  As I said before, it can be from recently or your deep past.  It doesn’t have to be very detailed, but keep in mind that your idea might help someone else plan the perfect summer vacation.

I’m teaming up with MommyPoints and Points, Miles & Martinis for this giveaway, which means you actually have 3 chances to win.  You can enter on each of our blogs once a day until 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, June 8, 2013 for a chance to win.  You need to be 18 to enter, and if this type of contest is illegal where you live, well, you can’t enter.

All of my decisions are final and there’s no compensation of any kind from Hyatt or Hertz for this giveaway.  But, they happen to be my favorite hotel chain and rental car company, so I couldn’t be happier giving away free stuff from and telling people they make my travel experience easier every time I travel.

Don’t forget, you can enter 3 times a day.  Leave a comment about summer travel on my blog and at Points, Miles & Martinis and  MommyPoints.  Good luck!


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    1. HeavenlyJane, I know I got myself in trouble a couple times with my father asking that one!

  1. Best ever: On top of the Jungfrau (mountain range) in Switzerland with my father in 1998; he’s 82 now and will never go again, but that was the trip of a lifetime!

  2. My favorite recent memory is driving along the Croatian countryside in a rental car with the top down. We stopped at the Plitvice Lakes National Park and it was amazing!

  3. Summer vacation to the French Riviera. We rented a beach house on the shores of Nice and ate French cuisine for 10 days and explored France and Monaco b

  4. Definitely our summer in Destin a few years back. Work sent me down there for 6 weeks and we were able to all go. Had an awesome condo near the beach, the weather was great, it was crowded as all heck, and I surprised my wife with a 10th anniversary present!

  5. n the 70′s, our family would head out on a roadtrip in the station wagon with the rear window open and all the kids bouncing around. Can you imagine no seat belt use or car seats? Just us kids in the back waving at every car that went by and asking trucks to honk with hand gestures!

    Our kids still get the Jersey Shore experience as my husband’s family lives 5 miles from Seaside Heights. We’re looking forward to seeing the new boardwalk but it’ll be sad to see how much destruction there was.

    1. Michelle, our family still has a house down the shore. We were lucky to avoid major damage. I’ve been very hesitant to go see the damage. A lot of memories ruined….

  6. Every Disney vacation we take is always on the top of my list! It may not be the best value for points redemption, but the memories are priceless!

  7. My very first trip abroad started as a month studying French at the Sorbonne. Well, I returned 18 months later after traveling all over Europe and North Africa and working at a Paris radio station. Not too shabby for my first abroad experience. I was hooked and have had the travel bug ever since. 70 countries and counting.

  8. Our favorite family vacation (kids were 13, 10, 8) was when we flew from IAD to Billings , Montana. Picked up a rental car to drive to a dude ranch about 30 miles north of Yellowstone. Between trail rides, flyfishing in the Gallatin River, overnight pack ride into Yellowstone, gymkanna (games on horseback) and a square dance – it was one of the most memorable family vacations. The ranch was the 9 Quarter Circle Ranch

    1. travel4nana, sounds like a ton of fun. I have Yellowstone on our list. Thinking about renting an RV and driving around the Midwest for a couple weeks to knock off a bunch of items, Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore included.

    1. NC, I learned to surf on the Jersey Shore. Tried it again a number of years ago on vacation and failed miserably. 🙂

  9. My favorite travel memory is sitting in an infinity pool at a resort in the Philippines, just quietly watching planes fly past in the distance.

  10. My favorite memory was going to the beach with my friends in a convertible with the top down. We thought we were special!

    1. Ralph, first trip to Clearwater Beach was last year for our family. We stayed at Sheraton Sand Key last time. I think we’ll try the Hyatt next time. Loved the aquarium and getting to meet Winter, the dolphin.

    1. Jimmy, I never got to experience summer camp except for one week as a boy scout. Always the Jersey Shore for me.

  11. My trip last summer on points to meet up with my wife in London and to continue on to Portland, Oregon to visit family and friends was fantastic! Business Elite in Delta’s 767-400 was a sweet ride.

    1. TravelingBen, I’m always a fan of elite travel! Where did that trip start? London to Portland is a long trek.

  12. My favorite summer memory is camping in the Pisgah National Forest near Asheville, NC. Close to my childhood home and such simple, pure family fun

    1. Bonnie, my wife loves camping so I’m sure she can relate. On the other hand, I consider a hotel without room service to be “camping”.

    1. Mike, watching your daughter dance in the parade must have been awesome! We love the Disney parades. I can’t imagine how proud I’d be to watch our kids be a part of the parade.

    1. Debra’s the second person to mention an infinity pool, coupled with one of my favorite travel utilities, the swim-up bar!

  13. Favorite was driving from Boston to Washington D.C. during a blizzard (of course, we made it there safely though, or else it wouldn’t be a favorite)

  14. My childhood memory was also of going to the Jersey shore and riding the roller coaster at Seaside Heights.

    1. Daniel, those were great memories. Skee ball, great pizza on the boardwalk and the miniature golf course on the roof tops also come to mind.

  15. One of my favorite summer memories was a camping trip to Nova Scotia with my aunt and uncle and cousins in the summer before heading off to college. We drove through the middle of the night to catch the early ferry from Bar Harbor.

    1. Linda, I remember that ferry well (to Yarmouth). It was called the Cat! We were sorry to see it go. Where did you go to in Nova Scotia.

  16. Favorite vacation memory……a relaxing day spent with my son renting a cabana for a day at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, watching the beach, the surfers, sipping lemonade, knapping and being a total bum.

  17. My favorite summer travel memory was traveling to spend time with my grandmother on the beaches of Montauk. It’s bittersweet to be there without her now, but the memories are only sweet.

    1. Raymond, it is bitter sweet to have memories of vacation with our loved ones. I had friends that took me to Montauk years ago. Haven’t been back in ages.

  18. My latest favorite summer travel memory is hiking the 4 day classic Inca Trail with my 10 year old, 13 year old, and husband as well as spending 4 days in the Amazon Jungle. We would love to go back to Peru someday. What a beautiful country and the food was amazing!

  19. Stopping in Hong Kong on my honeymoon on the way back to the US from Thailand. I added 2 days in HK after 8 days in Thailand, on a whim because the main idea was to put feet in the sand, and it ended up being the best part of an amazing trip. It broke up some of the travel, but mainly it was my best travel memory because of the city, the sights, the food, the people, and the accommodations. .

    1. Djw, sounds like a great honeymoon memory! My wife had never been out of the country when we got married so we started with “training wheels international” travel for our honeymoon in Cancun.

  20. last year when two of my friends from Europe came to visit and we took a three week road trip up the coast of California. Big Sur might be my favorite place in the US because of the trip

    1. Marc, Big Sur! I’ve somehow missed this on all my California trips even though I’ve always wanted to go.

  21. My favorite memory is running across the bridge from the Floating Mosque to the Bombay seaface during a monsoon.

    1. Elena, we just had that memory with our son this year. I don’t think he’s quite old enough to remember but be sure enjoyed it!

  22. A favorite memory is going on vacation with my family to Cancun. This was the last trip my Dad took before he passed away

    1. Jon, I’m glad to hear you have fond memories of vacations with your dad even though he’s no longer with you. I, too, have great memories of a family vacation in Cancun.

  23. We were pretty broke growing up but my favorite memories were going to the beach and body surfing the waves since we lives less than an hour from the beach in south Florida.

    1. Ken, we were pretty poor, too. I had to settle for the less glamorous Jersey Shore beaches with smaller waves but we still did plenty of body surfing.

  24. One favorite was boogie boarding nearly every summer in Ocean City, NJ with my siblings, Dad, and sometimes even Mom,

    1. Rachel, we used to make day trips to Ocean City from up by Seaside. We always used to come back with hermit crab cages and a new pet!

  25. My favorite recent memory was heading up to the Kalalau lookout viewpoint in Kauai. The air up there is refreshingly sweet and the views are truly breathtaking. Make sure you stop by if you get a chance!

    1. Chris, flown in and out of Pensacola airport to visit family but never spent any time there. Worth it to stay there for our family in the future?

    1. Emily, did you guys camp or stay in a cabin? We do a lake trip every year (though in a much smaller lake) and always stay in a cabin. Pontoon boat and a couple coolers full of beer, wine and food.

  26. My kids loved South Dakota–rock climbing, buffalo, caves, the Badlands and Mt Rushmore…we will be back!

  27. Driving through the California central valley heading south in the summer. No air conditioning, no iPod, no walkman no nothing. Watching the world go by outside the window. Going to McDonalds (a rare treat). Asking “how much longer?” Fighting with my sister about seat space. Getting to grandma’s house and eating ice cream. Seemed ordinary at the time, even boring, but looking back on it, it was a great family adventure.

    1. Paul, sounds an awful lot like my summers. Seemed pretty normal at the time, but awful special now. Though, I think we had air conditioning in the car. 🙂

  28. Definitely not my best, but most memorable is our road trip from Utah to California to visit my grandparents. The air conditioning broke down in the middle of the desert. Longest, hottest ride of my life!

    1. Nancy, I’ve done the drive through Utah. I couldn’t imagine doing it during summer with no air conditioning. Ugh!

  29. My favorite travel memory is every year going to Disneyland with my parents and we would always go in July. It s was awesome.

    1. Sy, my wife and I were literally talking about this at dinner last night. We look forward to the annual Disney trip with our kids like you wouldn’t believe. We have friends that avoid Disney like the plague and I can’t figure out why. We have some pretty great memories.

  30. My best summer travel memory is going to Mexico with my family and enjoying the sun and beach in Cancun.

  31. My favorite vacation memory was visiting an orphanage in Georgetown, Guyana…those kids were so much fun!

  32. Favorite summer travel experience was going with my extended family (parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and 7 cousins) to Europe for two weeks when I was 15.

    1. Tripswithtykes, I wish we had been able to travel to Europe as a teenager. Can’t wait to give our kids the gift of travel as they continue to grow up!

  33. I remember cooking everything that we packed with us over the fire – sandwiches, bananas, gummy worms. Sometimes we would eat them – mostly we just liked to play with fire. 🙂

  34. Celebrated our 20th anniversary in Las Vegas with our best friends. Dinner at the Eiffel Towel Restaurant over looking the Bellagio fountains. It was very romantic! Hey, I will make it to Paris one day, but this was just perfect!

    1. Kathy, I remember dining at the Eiffel Tower roughly 15 years ago. Makes me feel old thinking about it.

    1. Steve, we’ve done Venice, Rome, Florence, Naples and Sicily, but not Tuscany yet. Wow, when I look at that list we’ve covered a pretty good chunk of Italy.

  35. I have recently returned from a great weekend in Berlin – it is a great city and not half as expensive as Paris or Rome

    1. Uri, I enjoyed a brief stop in Munich but haven’t done Berlin yet. Didn’t realize it was an affordable travel city.

    1. Lesley, lived my entire adolescent life in the Northeast and never visited. Many people tell me I’m missing something special.

  36. In 1967 I spent a week in a nearly ghost town,-population 6 in winter, 16 in summer. At Warren’s Diggins, Idaho, Near Payette. We rented a one-room cabin, with an 1898 wood-burning stove, no electricity and a toilet a short walk away. I was unable to keep the stove lit so and were prepared to live a pioneer life. Fortunately we were “adopted” by the “neighbors.” They offered their home canned products, including bear, venison & goose,,plus a daily breakfast of sourdough pancakes. In exchange, we gave them our supermarket “luxury” foods including fresh fruit, spaghetti & canned tuna. We fished, hiked, gathered wild berries, panned for gold — a wonderful week in the west!

  37. My most memory summer trip is when I went to Hawaii for the first time and scuba diving for the first time!!! Planning on doing it again next year!

  38. My summer memories as a kid are similar to yours – roaming around York beach in Maine looking for cans to redeem for 5 cents a piece to get enough to play games in the arcades. Unfortunately, summer in Maine lasts about 2 months, so I have many more winter memories.

    1. Corey, I remember collecting cans and bottles in NY for the same thing! We used to have a store with automatic machines we’d ride our bike to and crush them all for money.

  39. Thanks to Frommer’s Day by Day guide, one of my most memorable moments was in Seattle – we bought a cup of iced coffee, donuts, and bought/flew a kite at the top of the hill in Gasworks Park with the city as a backdrop. It was the pinnacle of vacation for me 🙂

  40. I have a very vivid memory of 4th of July 1993 with my family in Niagra falls. I think it’s because I just remember the moon being the biggest I’ve EVER seen it….

    1. Fishing4Deals, where was your hangout on the Jersey Shore? We were exit 98, Chadwick Beach, just north of Seaside.

      1. We were in Wildwood — because of our interest in googie architecture, neon signs, and preservation of the classic motels. We stayed at the Shalimar which has been nicely updated. The Doo Wop Preservation League gives a great tour and has a nice museum, if you are ever in the area.

  41. My husband I and went to Hawaii for our 10 year anniversary…first time big vacation without the kids!! Highly recommend!

  42. When I was a kid used to go to a resort where they had horseback riding, bingo, and a “kids table” at dinner so that the kids could eat while the parents had a cocktail. Then they entertained us after dinner. The cottages were very primitive but clean, I’m sure, as my Mom was a clean freak.

    1. Nick, I’ve actually been to the Grand Canyon but got out-voted for spending a day to go down inside. Major bummer that I hope to rectify.

  43. Traveling by train to see grandma and grandpa in New Jersey! Big change from small southern city.

  44. My favorite family summer trip was a ‘Harry Potter’ inspired trip with my grandson who is interested in learning to golf. I booked a Viewliner Bedroom cabin on the Amtrak Silver Star 91 from Cary, NC to Winter Park, FL., packed a ‘Harry Potter’ inspired goodie bag, and off we went. My grandson was thrilled to be on the train, enjoyed the goodie bag filled with treats, games, and surprises, and a late night trek to the snack car. The evening dinner in the dining car was a fabulous steak dinner and breakfast the next morning was fresh strawberries atop a yummy stack of pancakes. We stayed with my sister whose home is on the 18th green of Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club in Orlando. My grandson got to learn the game of golf at the famous Bay Hill Country Club, drive the golf cart around the court, and enjoy the overnight train trip back home!

    1. Donna, that sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve always wanted to do an overnight trip on a train. We’ve considered the ride down to Florida from DC and a trans-Canada trek as well.

  45. One of my favorite summer travel memories is my annual visits to my summer house in South Carolina with my uncle and grandmother.

  46. On a private boat with my husband and kids to the Greek Islands. Our flight was in business class over the pond because of the knowledge that I gained through travel blogs.

  47. Favorite memory is taking my niece and nephew to Disney World two years ago. Their first time there… they thought it was magic.

    1. Amar, I can still remember the look in my daughter’s eyes when she walked into Disney World the first time!

  48. Sitting outside our B&B in Vermont with my then girlfriend (now wife!) on our first trip together, eating cheese, drinking wine and playing scrabble on a picnic mat – and then having the heavens open up on us and getting soaked!

    1. Eric, wine and cheese made up a significant part of a lot of dates/vacations with my wife back when she was my girlfriend.

  49. One of our best vacations was to France, to celebrate my daughter’s HS graduation and her completion of five years of French language studies. Not only did we have a great time, but my son, who spoke no French, came home vowing to learn a foreign language, which he did!

  50. I came from a big family without big means. The only way we were able to vacation was to camp. We cashed in all the Kroger version of green stamps to come up with sleeping bags, Coleman gear and the ultimate score were 2 “blue tents”. We’d load up a farm trailer with all the camping gear, then the roof rack was saved for 12 standard size beer boxes. Each person could pack whatever they wanted for the trip in their personal box. The extra boxrs stored towels, beach and bath.
    It was a modest vacation, but one we looked forward to ever year, as our trip was always to head north during “hay fever” season.

  51. I remember going fishing with my folks to Galveston, TX. Not exactly exotic, but precious memories nonetheless.

  52. Touching the wall of the Panama Canal during our transit. I like to find things that not everyone has done!

  53. Summers up at Mirror Lake, my cousin’s cottage up in the Canadian Shield in North Western Quebec. Canoeing to the Beaver Dam at the end of the lake, where we’d knock off a few sticks and by the time we came back from the end of the lake it would be repaired. Swimming laps of the lake to see how many miles we could swim in a week. Diving to the bottom (when my inner ear was a lot more flexible) to bring back mud to prove I made it. My cousin’s tippy canoe. Watching movies at the drive in (remember those?). Eating a “teen burger” at the A&W, where they hung the tray on your car’s window, with a big frosty root bear mug for each of us. Driving back home in the back of their van with the collected garbage from the weekend smelling up the place, sliding back and forth until we inevitably threw up. Good times!

  54. It would have to be the 5 summers we spent in a run-down bungalow in the Catskills. For a Brooklyn boy, being able to explore the forests and have some freedom and fresh air was unbelievable.

  55. Another favorite summer trip was the 4 months I spent in Indonesia and East Timor. Spend a month getting my PADI Dive Master certification and then went off island hoping and climbing volcanoes. Even learned some Indonesian as it has got to be the most basic language to learn.

  56. My favorite travel memory is a winter one – sitting on the beach in St. Thomas in February while reading about snowstorms back home. That’s why I ended up retiring to Florida!

  57. Trudging along up steep trails in Yosemite overnight, just to see that glorious sunrise atop Cloud’s Rest in the morning.

  58. My favorite travel memory is sitting in an infinity pool at a family-run resort in the Philippines, just quietly watching planes fly past in the distance.

      1. Samuel, yes you can. I’m going to be fairly liberal on defining once a day, just don’t want people going crazy.

  59. I still remember the “goodbye to Nova Scotia” that my family and I made along the NS’s eastern shore before leaving that beautiful province after 2.5 years. The beaches were so beautiful and clean (and relatively deserted)

  60. As simple as it may be, my favorite travel memory is watching my son chasing pigeons around the pond in Tuileries Garden in Paris.

  61. Favorite travel memory is exploring the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport with the kids and taking pictures with the signature boot at the entrance.

  62. One of my current best summer memories is returning back to Russia/Eastern Europe where I originally hailed from. St Pete during the White Nights season is spectacular. Visiting historic Kaliningrad and Kuronian Spit with it sandy dunes was another great memory a few years ago.

  63. My favorite memory is going to Ocean City, MD every summer. Was always looking forward to that week at the beach, the board walk and go carting.

  64. I loved when we went to Oregon. It was so peaceful and relaxing. I’d go again in a heartbeat and we even really want to move there.

  65. I have to say my absolute favorite summer travel memory was going to spend time with my grandmother on the beaches of Montauk. Every summer, it was the highlight. It’s bittersweet to be there without her now, but the memories are only sweet.

  66. last fall when two of my friends from Europe came to visit and we took a three week road trip up the coast of California. Big Sur might be my favorite place in the US because of the trip

  67. One of mine was when I was 6 or 7, and my Mom loaded us up in our 1957 Mercury (the one with the airplane hood ornament!) and jetted us off to my uncle’s Farmhouse in Missouri driving 75-95 all the way from Texas!

  68. Quick win and out at Casino Royal in Monaco. Had a hard time cashing out since security gave me a hard time.

  69. Another favorite memory was taking my mom to hawaii. She said it was the best vacation she has had!

  70. A very memorable trip was when we travelled via motorhome through Germany, Switzerland, and northern Italy with our three young children. We took lots of photos so they could remember it all (in a way).

  71. For the last three summers, I spent time in the Italian Dolomites. It is some really spectacular scenery!

  72. Used to take baseball road trips with my dad…think I’m going to do that with my children someday.

  73. Summers up at Mirror Lake, my cousin’s cottage up in the Canadian Shield in North Western Quebec. Canoeing to the Beaver Dam at the end of the lake, where we’d knock off a few sticks and by the time we came back from the end of the lake it would be repaired. Swimming laps of the lake to see how many miles we could swim in a week. Diving to the bottom (when my inner ear was a lot more flexible) to bring back mud to prove I made it. My cousin’s tippy canoe. Watching movies at the drive in (remember those?). Eating a “teen burger” at the A&W, where they hung the tray on your car’s window, with a big frosty root bear mug for each of us. Driving back home in the back of their van with the collected garbage from the weekend smelling up the place, sliding back and forth until we inevitably threw up. Good times!

  74. getting ditched by a bus and having to hitchhike in Costa Rica. At least it made for a good story!

  75. Was traveling in Africa and Asia for a year so it was kind of like an 18 month summer. But when I got to Malawi I was running out of money. I got a hut in the village and my rent was 5 USD a month. I bathed in the lake and when I shaved my legs I had about 50 local kids just staring in awe. I got a job at a cafe so I had free food. It was all quite an experience. I was even called to court as a witness in a dispute. To be honest I didn’t miss the comforts of the developed world. It was quite an experience.

  76. Favorite travel memory is visiting Maine with friends and family. There’s no place like Vacationland!

  77. Nothing beats sitting in an infinity pool at a family-run resort in the Philippines, just quietly watching planes fly past in the distance and sipping on a cool, refreshing drink.

  78. Taking six weeks off of work to go beach hopping in South East Asia. Da Nang, Vietnam and El Nido, philippines are a must

  79. My favorite summer travel memory of all time is a bundle of memories, whenever I was traveling to spend time with my grandmother on the beaches of Montauk as a boy. It’s bittersweet to be there without her now, but the memories are only sweet.

  80. Our family used to head to the Alamo every summer and I used to dread it every year, but ended up having the best time!

  81. Trips to Vermont as a kid with my family. Seeing a moose in the shallow end of the lake. Catching garter snakes in the hay bales. Sneaking out the window in the early morning cuz we weren’t allowed to get up too early. Feeding squirrels by hand. Dragging behind my Dad’s boat on a round board and hanging on as we bounced over the wake whenever we went around a corner, progressing to water skiing and eventually single ski waterskiing. Spending all day in the water.

  82. It’s got to be road trips with my family. Listening to the same songs on a loop, fighting with my brothers, eating cold fried chicken that my mother packed, getting lost when my dad refused to ask for directions…

  83. Fav memory was jumping in the too cold pool in Hana, Hi on my 50th birthda, and boy being able to climb out!

  84. For me, my favorite summer travel memory is sitting in an infinity pool at a resort in the Philippines, just quietly watching planes fly past in the distance.

  85. Going to Paris with my best friends. I’m a flight attendant and got us bumped up to business first (this was years ago!) … those were the days!!!

  86. My fondest vacation memory has to be my honeymoon. All my husband told me was that we were going to Europe. We flew into Munich, then rented a car for the trip. We went to Switzerland, Austria, back to Germany where we spent Christmas in the Black Forest, France, Monocco and even went to Italy for lunch so that we could say we went to Italy. The travel agent my husband used had told all of the hotels along the way that it was our honeymoon so each one had Champagne on ice waiting for us upon our arrival! There is a story to tell about every city and town that we visited!

  87. Since I travel extensively for my work, my kids and I love taking advantage of the amazing activities available in our sweet home, Chicago! Love being a tourist in my own town!

  88. Climbing Mt. Mayon in the Philippines, a year after it erupted. One of the most beautiful views from the top

  89. My favorite summer travel memory of all time is traveling to spend time with my grandmother in Montauk as a boy. The beaches, the good times spent, meals by the water. It’s bittersweet to be there without her now, but the memories are only sweet.

  90. First a disclosure: This was not a summer trip but what a chunk of memories it provided.

    In the fall of 1954 my younger brother and I accompanied my mother and grandmother on a three-week train trip to attend the funeral of an uncle in a small town in Ontario Canada. We were in “drawing rooms” and “bedrooms” all the way, indescribably luxurious for two little boys.

    We rode the old Overland Limited from San Francisco to Chicago. Bill was our waiter and it was the first time in my life (and still among the few times) that I ate lamb chops with little paper tassels on the end. We even had finger bowls.

    Later my father told me the joke about the two sailors on the train (there were sailor jokes back in the 50s). In the dining car one the first sailor asks the waiter what the finger bowls are for. The waiter explains their purpose is to allow you to rinse your fingers off after eating. The waiter leaves and the second sailor says to the first, “See – ask a silly question and get a silly answer.” (Those were the kinds of jokes parents told their children back in the 50s.)

    In the Chicago train station we had an eight-hour layover and my mother kept us close. One vignette stands out. We watched a man see his wife off with great affection and lots of hugs. About an hour later we saw the same man, who seemed to be acting funny. A bigger man in a three-piece suit and fedora hat went up to him and said something. The man laughed. The big man pulled something out of his pocket and showed it to him. The man made an ineffectual grab at it and the bigger man grabbed him by the arm, and then pulled him out of our sight.

    My mother explained to us that the first man was “drunk” and that a policeman had arrested him. Wow! After listening to Gangbusters on the radio we finally got to see the police in action.

    From Chicago we took another train to Toronto – all I remember is that it was supposed to be very fast – and yet another small train to a town near the St. Lawrence River (it wasn’t yet a Seaway). There a relative, Cousin Don, met us and took us to their home in Iroquois, a town later moved as part of the massive Seaway project.

    We stayed with them and also stayed one night on the nearby dairy farm of another distant relative. There Cousin Olive showed us how to use the chamber pot if needed (they still only had an outhouse), which of course I had to try (for number one only) the next morning.

    We two boys didn’t attend the actual funeral. We stayed for the afternoon with a nice lady who gave us the run of her house, which unfortunately led to another memory surrounding bodily functions. I’m still mortified all these years later that I opened the bathroom door and caught her sitting on the toilet. I closed the door and later apologized profusely (I was a polite kid) and recall that she was very nice about it. She didn’t have children and just wasn’t used to having to lock the door.

    Back in Toronto, we rode a Canadian Pacific train all the way to Vancouver. I remember getting a shock from the neon-light handrail whenever we walked up the stairs in the Vista-Dome car. I asked my mother if I could buy a coke downstairs in the bar area. She told me to ask the price. The man behind the little counter had an accent and it sounded like he was saying “five ten cents.” I finally realized he was saying “fifteen cents.” My mother told me that was too expensive (pop was a nickel back then) so I didn’t get my coke.

    From Vancouver we took the day-long ferry over to Victoria (no BC Ferries yet). I remember trying a pop machine (a nickel machine) that allowed you to mix the four varieties into a cup. I ended up with something undrinkable but drank it anyway. My parents trained us not to be wasteful, and I’m not surprised those machines aren’t still around.

    In Victoria, we stayed overnight on Halloween with old friends of my Canadian-born mother and went out trick-or-treating with just-purchased paper-mache Donald Duck masks and our raincoats. Weren’t we special! My mother’s friends had a coal furnace and gave us lumps of coal to take home with us – even back then there was show-and-tell in elementary schools and I later confirmed that real coal was a show-stopper in a California school.

    From Victoria we traveled onward to Seattle. All I remember is Pike Place Market and eating for the first time in my life a hot dog with raw onions on it one rainy morning. That’s still one of my personal favorites, even though my better half makes (and prefers) cooked onions.

    From there it was back down the coast to San Francisco, where my father picked us up at the train station. That experience hooked me on travel, even though I didn’t realize it at the time. Last year we finally took that long train trip on Amtrak that I’d been waiting to do ever since – Seattle to Sacramento to Chicago to New Orleans. Four consecutive nights on the train, no lamp chops with tassels, a claustrophobic upper bunk for me, and much bumpier road-beds than I recall in 1954.

    I still loved it, and every time I see a passenger train I’m ready to jump aboard. Ah, memory lane, or in my case memory tracks.

    1. Fredd, thanks for sharing such an awesome tale. I’m eager to take our kids on a trans-Canada rail trip. My wife and I have enjoyed Vancouver and Victoria, though with a slightly faster ferry boat than you had. 🙂

  91. There are so many, but my favorite recently is grabbing a mistake fare to Peru and traveling through the Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu alone, hiking up Wayna Picchu in the rain – and NOT falling 1000 meters to my death!

  92. We took our 3 year old son on an Amtrak train ride to Rock Springs, Wyoming because he was fascinated with trains. Great reminder that the joy is in the journey, not necessarily the destination.

  93. One of my best trips part 4:
    Another amazing trip was summer in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival in Feb so it was the southern hemisphere summer. I met amazing local friend and have been back several times since. Now a friend from Sydney is moving there and invited me to come visit him for Carnival 2014.

  94. Driving from Calgary to Vancouver and stopping at the amazing Banff and Jasper National Parks!

  95. Getting up early in the morning to go on safari in Kenya. The sense of anticipation of what we might see next was amazing.

  96. One of my favorite memories was when we were camping on the beach at Long Key SP in Florida. We spent the day playing in the water, and that afternoon, in the perfect balmy weather, we sat on the hood of our convertible, watching the sea, eating a fresh and delicious pizza pie straight from the box.

  97. One of my fave childhood travel memories is [tent cabin] camping at Yosemite and sleeping with pots and lids in hand to bang in the middle of the night to keep the scary bears away!

  98. My favorite travel memory: trying to communicate with a Quecha woman in the middle of the Peruvian highlands, both of us engulfed in a herd of sheep.

  99. Favorite travel memory is sitting in an infinity pool at a resort in the Philippines, watching planes fly past in the distance.

  100. My absolute favorite summer travel memory is traveling to spend time with my grandmother in Montauk. I was just a boy then, and the beaches, the good times spent, meals by the water, it was all magic. It’s bittersweet to be there without her now, but the memories are only sweet.

  101. Playing cards with my cousin’s on a long flight to southeast Asia, in coach. Coach seats seem so spacious when you’re only six years old!

  102. My favorite travel memory is our annual August trips to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. We spent two weeks there every year!

  103. Snorkelling in Maui and getting a sunburn right below my shorts on my back because my shorts was too high when I applied sunblock.

  104. We didn’t travel much in the summer, but this July I have a dive trip to Roatan that I’m sure will be memorable!

  105. One of my best trips part 5:
    I went to Viet Nam after having traveled all over the world and been to places like Burma, Djibouti, Togo, and Timor Leste. I thought I had been off the beaten path. But I found in Viet Nam the children were just mezmorized by my light skin and hair. They treated me like I was another species. It was quite interesting. My friend and I ended up hiring a local who spoke no English to take us down the Mekong river. We slept in hammocks on the boat for 3 nights and when we were hungry the captain would yell out to see who had extra food available and wanted to make a small amount of money. So the boat would pull up to someone’s shack on the river and we would pay them 50 cents each for the food they prepared. This was 9 years ago so it’s not like it was decades ago. The whole experience was quite interesting.

  106. Going on my first trip to Europe with my Dad and getting upgraded to business class on Sabena Airlines. In case you don’t know Sabena…they went bankrupt in 2001. Most of their assets became Brussels Airlines in 2002.

  107. My favorite memory was driving to cali to visit family every summer rocking out to Bon Jovi with my mom the whole way

    1. Derick, I remember rocking out to Bon Jovi….at the Meadowlands back before all the really big fame. I guess that just makes me old.

  108. Exactly a month ago at a terrace cafe in the shade of the Brussels Grand Palace having a real Belgium waffle. One scoop of delicious, dripping home-made vanilla ice cream and two florets of real whipped cream covered the crisp waffle awaiting the pouring of the most delicious, decadent warm Belgium chocolate over it. Mouth watering heaven!

  109. Another memory was my first time to Disney land. I’ve been back at least 4 times and going again this year 🙂

  110. Trips to Vermont as a kid with my family. Seeing a moose in the shallow end of the lake. Catching garter snakes in the hay bales. Sneaking out the window in the early morning cuz we weren’t allowed to get up too early. Feeding squirrels by hand. Dragging behind my Dad’s boat on a round board and hanging on as we bounced over the wake whenever we went around a corner, progressing to water skiing and eventually single ski waterskiing. Spending all day in the water.

  111. The family’s trip to Europe this Summer! Excited to see my son learn there is more than Xbox in life.

  112. My favorite family travel memory is going on my first cruise with my boyfriend and his parents and we got engaged!!! Best time ever!

  113. Staying on the beach in San Diego until we shiver…then building a bonfire, cooking dinner and leaving late at night.

  114. My every “next” trip is the best family trip. The planning and anticipation can’t be beat.

  115. One of my favorite travel memories is when my wife and I sprinted through the streets of Playa del Carmen to try to catch the ferry in time (had a scuba appointment I didn’t want to miss!). It was our first international trip and everyone looked at us like we were crazy.

    One of many favorite travel memories!

  116. Going to the village of Obendorf Christmas Eve 1998; Obendorf’s chapel was where Silent Night was composed. Also (on the same trip) going to see the Barber of Seville performed at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre.

  117. High school trip when I was in Malaysia – Redang Island. BEST EVER! Cheap and beautiful. Look it up!

  118. my favorite memory was driving through the New England states and seeing a snow squall in the middle of the summer in a small town called Florida, MA.

  119. When I was a middle school & high school aged kid, I would spend the best part of my life at Girl Scout summer camp. I loved the independence from my folks, the feeling of responsibility I had for doing chores/kapers, and the fun of the activities.

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