Fall break is here, school is out, and you might be listening to the sound of your little (or not so little) ones in the back seat on the way to a vacation destination. When I’m steering our vehicle down the interstate with our four children, I have flashbacks to when I was young, wondering if we would ever get there. It feels like yesterday that the Hawaii license plate would never be spotted, playing the punch bug/slug bug game would eventually get you in trouble, and the mission was to get every semi-truck we passed to honk their bellowing horn.

Now that I’m the one behind the wheel, I hear myself saying the same things I promised I would never say to my own children…

“Leave your sister alone!”

“We just stopped to go to the bathroom 20 minutes ago.”

“Get your feet off the back of my seat!”

“Do not cross this line with your hands, feet, breath, or any object you are touching.”

Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us there is a time for everything. If you don’t have a Bible on you, sing the song Turn, Turn, Turn (the song writer copied the scripture almost word for word).

So my dear captain and co-captain of your vacation vehicle….this is your time!

To help you strive for the positive attributes of time and seasons (from Eccl 3) while on the road, here are a few ideas to make the drive a little more peaceful and not so reliant on a battery powered device.

Go old school.
Here is a quick list of many of the travel games from your childhood. You may get an eye roll or two, but push on through. There is sure to be one that will connect with them.

Try something new.
When you are finished giving your “life before the Internet speech” to motivate them to do something other than technology (again), try these ideas on for size. It is a long list of options with a creative kick. The window markers idea is a new one we are going to try this week.

Don’t forget the teenagers.
Remember that a fifteen-year-old will need a different set of ideas than a five-year-old. Here is a list of suggestions to get you started.

Look into their heart.
Road trips are the perfect place for meaningful conversations. Once the initial excitement has worn off and all the devices need to be recharged, ask some heart focused questions that will help you move closer together.

Remember, it is less about where you are going and more about who you are with. May the ride there and back be filled with laughter, love, and peace. Those are the best souvenirs a family can bring back from any vacation.