Thank you to Therap for making this amazing summer possible. Thank you to everyone who has read or commented. The fact that my writing is proving useful in some way, even to cause others mild amusement, is amazing for me! So thank you

EVERYBODY.

And now, some tricks and tips for the terrific traveler!

Driving a long way? Travel pillows are a must! Rental cars can have uncomfortable headrests. Travel pillows fix that instantly. They also turn a hard window or rough seatbelt into a comfortable place for a tired head to rest. Travel pillows are also small enough for easy storage, in cars, bags, or suitcases.

Headphones are amazing. In a cramped car, the smallest of noises can get annoying super quickly. Whether you’re bringing music, games, or computers, don’t forget to pack the headphones!

Family chain restaurants are usually perfect for lunch on the go. They’re formal enough for a comfy seat while you eat and good, cooked food, but are also informal enough for wrinkled traveling clothes and messy hair.

You’ve got your camera, CD player, computer, DVD player, that’s all great, but make sure that everything has batteries or is fully charged! Plug in all your electronics overnight so they will be ready to entertain on the next day’s drive, and always check your camera for memory space and battery life before going somewhere exciting.

Looking for a car ride movie to take up lots of time? The Lord of the Rings trilogy is not only three long – and excellent – movies. Each movie also has hours of incredibly amusing extras! Other great trilogies include Back to the Future and Indiana Jones.

Collect something! Find an item available in most places, then pick up one from each location you visit! For me, the item was thimbles, but yours could be rocks, snow globes, postcards, maps, key chains, or photos of license plates. If you collect something like rocks or leaves, make sure you label each one. Otherwise, you won’t know where it’s from. Your collection will help you remember each place you visited in a special way.

Follow signs. If they say keep to the path, keep to the path. If they say not to touch something, don’t touch it. Believe it or not, they’re there for a reason. If a sign seems particularly ridiculous, make sure you follow it strictly. It’s probably only there because someone did something foolish and got themselves hurt.

Keep a journal. You don’t have to write what you did every second of every day. Even if it’s just a word or two about something neat you saw, or a poem about something that seems completely irrelevant at the time, rereading it later will remind you where you were and what you were doing at the exact moment you wrote it. Your own words preserved are a great souvenir in themselves.

Send postcards! They may just seem like a minor annoyance to you, but the person who receives it will be very happy to know that you took the time to think of them in the midst of your adventures.

And finally, have fun. This is a vacation. Enjoy it! If that means emptying all the hotel room’s mini shampoo bottles into the Jacuzzi to make bubbles, or buying extra bags of food to feed the animals on the farm, just do it! Take the time to enjoy yourself. You’ll remember it happily when you’re stuck behind a desk – be it school or office – later on in the year.

Thank you very much for accompanying my family and me on our summer vacation. To those of you on Dad’s blog, I say farewell for now, and to those of you on my blog, fear not! My blogging days are not over yet…

-Iona-

NOTE: Iona’s posts appear courtesy of Broccoli