Planning a Unique Family Vacation #AlamoDriveHappy

What makes a family vacation unique? Is it flying to an exotic location, baking up special homemade snacks for the road, giving back to a community you visit through voluntourism, or creating a travel scrapbook when you get home? I think it’s fair to say that all of these things can make for a unique family vacation.

The key to planning a unique family vacation is finding destinations and activities that will appeal to your family’s passions. For example, my son has long been interested with fossils. It’s something that his Grandpa Terry got him interested in from a very young age. I would love to take my son on a dinosaur digging and fossil finding trip one day. That would be such a special and unique vacation for us!

Planning a Unique Vacation - Sea Lions in San Francisco

Both of my nieces are animal lovers, so we make an effort to see local wildlife, and visit zoos and aquariums whenever we travel. The sea lions in San Francisco pictured above are a real hit with my family. What would make a vacation unique for them? I would love to take them to Costa Rica for a volunteer vacation to help save the sea turtles. They are nearly old enough to do something like this, so I better start planning.

Need a little help planning your own unique vacation?

You might recall that I am one of five Moms on the Alamo Chief Travel Moms Council. It’s a real honor to partner with Alamo Rent-A-Car and talk about something I am very passionate about – family travel. Throughout the summer we are putting together some amazing #AlamoDriveHappy boxes which include items personally selected by each Chief Travel Mom. We are pleased to share the newest Alamo Drive Happy Box to help inspire your next unique vacation!

Planning a Unique Family Vacation

What’s inside the Alamo Drive Happy box?

About a Mom – @aboutamom
ALEX DIY Duct Tape Tote
Angela (that’s me) says: “Making a Duct Tape Tote Bag is a fun family vacation activity that lets kids create a one-of-a-kind travel tote to use while on vacation, and to bring home souvenirs and treasures.”

A Nut In A Nutshell – @blueviolet
Crayola Color Wonder Mini Stow and Go
Liz says: “Let the kids use their imagination and creativity to create drawings inspired by your vacation destination on this travel drawing kit Everyone can share in the fun of making an original family travel masterpiece!”

Dear Crissy – @crissy
Chamilia Charm Bangle
Crissy says: “Commemorate the moments that make your journeys unique by adding special charms to this bracelet – remember the best moments from your family vacations!”

The Divine Miss Mommy – @stacieinatlanta
Kindle Paperwhite
Stacie says: “Download games to heighten the vacation experience, like Road Trip Bingo or a Nature Scavenger hunt – it will make the unique things you see that much more special.”

The Rebel Chick – @therebelchick
Polaroid 300 Instant Camera
Jennifer says: “Your kids will get more excited to snap photos of the amazing things you see on your trip and you can easily put together a special collage at the end of the journey!”

Alamo Drive Happy Box - Planning a Unique Vacation

I am just loving everything that is in this newest box! I am flying to Nashville with my son this weekend and will for sure be bringing the Polaroid Camera and Kindle with us.

Then next week I am taking my nieces to Atlanta for a weekend of fun at Stone Mountain and Six Flags. We’ll for sure be using the duct tape tote to bring home souvenirs and the girls can keep busy in the car and get creative with the Crayola Color Wander set. The Chamilia Charm Bangle is super cute and Maddie can’t wait to add some special beads to it. I’ll need to pick up a second bracelet for Becca… and maybe one for me and one for Grandma too.

Need some inspiration for your next vacation?

I’ve partnered with two of my fellow Alamo Chief Travel Moms to create a fun and inspiring Unique Vacation Pinterest Board! Our Pinterest board is full of travel related products, destinations, and ideas all to inspire a unique family vacation. Please check it out and repin to your own travel boards!

Follow Jennifer Quillen’s board #AlamoDriveHappy: A Unique Vacation on Pinterest.

Want to win a Drive Happy Box of your own?

It’s simple to win one! We’re giving 4 away! Just create your own “#AlamoDriveHappy: A Unique Vacation” board by re-pinning some of our ideas and your own to create a unique vacation for your family. If you create a Pinboard, you might win one of four #AlamoDriveHappy Boxes! To enter, share a link to your Pinboard on Twitter using #AlamoDriveHappy and tag @TheRebelChick , @StacieinAtlanta and @AboutaMom – we’ll pick a winder at random! Contest is open to U.S. and ends on June 6, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. I cannot wait to see what you come up with!

How do you plan a unique family vacation?

This blog post is brought to you through my partnership with Alamo.

Connect with Alamo: Web Site | Twitter | Facebook

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  1. The past two years our vacations have been the same (disney and san diego). While we go to disney every year and will keep doing so, I think we might replace SD with a new destination next year.

  2. These are definitely GREAT suggestions, especially the Kindle.

  3. I’ll admit we aren’t very creative with our vacations. I will have to try harder. Just take me to a warm place where I can swim and I am happy :)

  4. Love this post! I know for sure you will be able to capture some priceless memories with that cool camera. What a cool box, have fun!!

  5. We’ve taken our kids fossil hunting once (and diamond-hunting in Arkansas) and they loved it. Gets a little dirty, but once they find one they don’t care about the mess/heat/etc.

  6. What a great box. I hope you have a fun time on your vacation!

  7. I just got back from a trip with my 5 year old daughter – you are so right, it is very important to be prepared. I love the items included in the kit – stuff to keep the children entertained makes the world of difference.

  8. I would love to go on a unique once in a lifetime vacation this summer. The Crayola Color Wonder is perfect to keep kids busy and their minds active while enjoying their special adventure!

  9. What a neat kit. We’re trying to plan a family vacation for later this year, and will have to keep the kids busy/happy for 8 hours on the road. Fun times.

  10. Nice selection of items for traveling. We are headed on our mini vacation June 16th – we have mapped our road trip to take us to a ferry that crosses the Wisconsin River. Fun Trip!

  11. We are trying to figure out our next vacation destination, so thanks for the tips! There will definitely be a beach involved.

  12. Our family vacation, in the past have been very last minute. But this summer we are taking the kids to Universal Studios, and if we have time, we will be heading to Fort Lauderdale to take our daughter to see The Gator Boys!

    (That Polaroid camera looks neat!!)

  13. I’d love this box, especially the camera, it also means the kids can get a picture of you with them to remember it even more. Many family trips I’m not in pictures because I am the person with the camera.

  14. We recently had need to rent a car at Alamo and it was a great experience….I wish they had given us a happy box…I LOVE IT!!

  15. How freaking cool is that travel box!?

  16. I’m really looking forward to trying everything out in the box. It’s full of fun!

  17. I wasn’t sure at first what your photo was LOL but realized it was seals. I need some fun family vacation ideas we are tried of the amusement park thing.

  18. What a cute box!

  19. So cool, my son is all about road trips!!

  20. I really want that polariod camera! love it, I will need to try Alamo the next time we travel.

  21. I think new and exciting destinations is awesome. Planning a trip is fun.

  22. this yer we’ll be vacationing in Puerto Vallarta,last year was a month in Lebanon and a few year back was a month in Europe. other than Puerto Vallarta which I know well,I begin to plan the trip at the beginning of the year. But we do have to discuss the budget a year or 2 in advance.

  23. We just got back from a 2 week trip with the family, we try to make it as unique as possible, even when visiting a resort. I like to tour outside the resort and see what the region has to offer.

  24. Like many families this year we are planning a big road trip next month. Great products!!!

  25. I LOVE that goodie box!!

    We love road trip vacations full of learning and history.

  26. What a great idea for road trips! I think I would either invest in two more tablets for the boys to use/rotate during our long road trips to visit family… or an in car entertainment system (so they can watch movies) :)

  27. I would want to see the animals, too! What great suggestions in that kit!!! Makes me want to plan a vacation even more.

  28. It would be great to win one of these boxes for our travels this summer! I especially love the Polaroid 300 Instant Camera!

  29. A lot of research goes into it, by both my husband and myself. We each tend to pull up different ideas and then we run it by our daughter to get her input too.

  30. I WANT that camera! Going to have to enter – how long is the contest running?

  31. Jennifer says:

    we just wing it! its all about the adventure! this is a great pack! created a pinboard!

  32. what a fun box! I’ve heard great things about Alamo! I would love to try that Polaroid cam!

  33. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    There are alot of great ideas on your board! Can’t wait to try some out with the family this summer!
    Here is my board:

  34. All of the perfect things for a family road trip! That camera looks like a lot of fun!

  35. These look like great supplies. I like the coloring stuff for my 4 year old little boy that gets “bored” in the car.

  36. We don’t really take many true family vacations, so by default they’re all somewhat unique.

  37. We will be planning many of these ourselves. great goodies!

  38. Since my kiddos are beach bums, they are easy to please–just head to the beach and they are happy! Sounds like you have some great trips planed!

  39. Confession…we haven’t had a real family vacation in years! We just started planning one for August of this year. We will need to rent a car. Hopefully Alamo will be an option for us. Wish us luck, we’re a bit rusty on planning.

  40. We always bring our Kindle and Kobo on trips with us! It’s the only way to keep the kids entertained.

  41. We are headed to Disney in October and I think I may put together a fun box like this for my kids!

  42. The duct tape craft sounds fun!

    We really haven’t done any family vacations yet, but we are hoping to soon!

  43. We go for unique ideas too. My kids would love to go bird watching I think!!

    Also I will enter for sure. :)

  44. Great suggestions and just in time. Personally we are in the early stages of planning a vacation so this will come in handy. Thank you!

  45. Oh my goodness, what fun… We tend to drive everywhere for vacations as we live in the middle of Texas and it takes days to drive anywhere, lol… We always look for fun activities to keep the kids busy

  46. Wow that’s a lot of sea lions! We aren’t able to travel much so any vacation would be unique for us!

  47. Maria Oller says:

    Fun items to take with you on a vacation if I could plan something for me and my family is to take em all to Egypt and look for a new tomb or pyramid.

  48. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Travelling is so much fun. I like to go on spontaneous travels with my kids.

  49. I LOVE the Polaroid camera, and as we’re always on the go in the summer, I’d really like to get Gaby one. I didn’t even know they still made them. I love the Pinterest board you guys have. It’s filled with a lot of great ideas I hadn’t even thought of, to have Gaby try for longer road trips!

  50. Fantastic ideas!

  51. Usually we just pick a destination or activity we all want to try for the first time. the rest kinda falls into place. Love the kits!

  52. What a great prize! We live in New England and spend the whole summer road tripping it so I would love that polaroid! Great giveaway!

  53. I really want that Drive Happy Box! My daughter has been hounding me for one of those Polaroid cameras! I try to make each of our vacations unique and I think I do that by focusing on the interests of each person in my family and then being really creative as I try to do as much that appeals to that person as possible- on a budget. The budget is sometimes the hard part. :)

  54. What a cool box! I love everyone’s ideas!

  55. add a bag of snacks and sunglasses and I’m ready to go

  56. We’re hoping to do a long road trip this summer. A goodie box sounds like a great idea to put together and stock for the kids!

  57. I would love to get one of those cameras for my kids. We’re big on photography here in our family, as a hobby. Definitely checking out the Alamo for our summer vacation this year! Thanks!!

  58. We will be on a long roadtrip in a couple of weeks and I am already planning what to pack for the kiddo’s entertainment. Great ideas!

  59. This is awesome! What great ideas for little ones and families in general!

  60. Great post! I love that camera! I will have to look into one!

  61. My kids would definitely love this! Such great, artistic ideas in this post.

  62. The good ole San Fran sea lions. They are a definitely must see! I’ll have to check that camera out! Nice pics!

  63. I think what I am really looking forward w/ my kids as they age is going camping!! Just waiting for my son to be out of diapers.

  64. We plan unique vacations by planning ahead and like you mentioned, taking our kids interests into consideration.

  65. Wonderful suggestions! Now, I have some wonderful ideas to make my family road trips even more memorable and unique for years to come.

  66. Great suggestions! We are traveling later this year and renting from Alamo.

  67. We ALWAYS had Color Wonder supplies in our car when our daughter was younger. Those completely saved my sanity by keeping the back seat clean and her occupied on road trips.

  68. Wow..That had to be an experience. I’d love to see it myself. I am not that great at coming up with creative family vacation plans, but this looks like a great way to gain some ideas. Thanks for telling us about it.

  69. Those are some really fun items in that box! I want the polaroid camera and kindle!

  70. We’re just going to Myrtle Beach in a couple of weeks, but that’s a great box to have! I need another Kindle.

  71. What a great idea from Alamo! Gotta keep those kids busy on road trips for sure!

  72. I love this package! We’re getting ready to take a BIG road trip from MD to UT next month, so this would come in super handy! I had so much fun creating a pinterest board! :)

  73. Jo-Ann Brightman says:

    These are great suggestions and ideas on how to keep kids happy during a trip. The camera and Kindle should certainly help with that.

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