Family Travel Traditions :: The Ones We Treasure the Most

My kids have traveled across the United States and beyond. Alaska, Canada, Martinique, California, New York are just some of the destinations that have been checked off of our family map.

But none of these compare to Destin, Florida. None of them can compete specifically with the same ole condo and spot on the beach that my family has been visiting for as long as I can remember. My boys love to travel, but I feel like the trip that they cherish the most is our annual beach trip with my parents and my sisters and their families.

Our annual trip to Destin

In the 1980’s, there were just a handful of condominiums along Highway 98. There was the Winn Dixie, the Lighthouse Restaurant, Alvin’s Island, the man at the Greek restaurant who my great aunt and Maw-Maw fondly called Baklava because they couldn’t remember his name. And there was the Walmart that seemed SO far away because nothing was developed between Destin and Walmart at that time. I grew up visiting Destin, and now my children are doing the exact same trip.

The place we stay is nothing fancy, but it is as close to the beach as you can get and in a quiet spot. The sand is white and sugary and the water is a beautiful blue. The days are lazy and the conversations are hilarious! This is our opportunity for the cousins hang out together without the hustle and bustle of a holiday or the distractions that come along with our more fast paced trips. Sleep in, relax on the beach, jump waves, build a sandcastle, stay up too late, repeat! My sisters and I enjoyed this time with our grandmother and now our children are doing the same.

The traditions matter the most in our children’s over scheduled lives.

When my grandmother and her sister were alive, we didn’t even realize we were starting traditions for generations to come. We made s’mores in the oven and laughed at my grandmother trying to eat marshmallow after removing her dentures! The s’mores are still very much a part of the trip and we think of her every time. These are the little things that make the difference. The memories and stories passed down from one generation to the next. 

On a recent trip to a beautiful Wyoming lodge, I was visiting with the property manager, Adam, about his business. He said that his clientele has shifted in recent years. In the past, families would rent the lodge for their annual trip so he had a good bit of repeat visitors. He enjoyed getting to know them well and watching the kids grow. Now it seems that the millennial generation is doing less of this type of travel where they visit the same place annually. They want to vacation to a different spot each year. I have to admit, I am one of those. I want to experience it all with my kids before they are out of the house. Adam made me realize that we are one of the lucky few and that my kids are wise.

Our annual family beach trip, to the same place and doing a whole lot of nothing, is our travel tradition that ranks #1 in my boys’ hearts.

Marissa Prejean
Marissa is the proud mom of three blue-eyed boys. She graduated from Loyola University New Orleans and spent her early career years in public accounting and pharmaceutical sales. She traded in her full-time corporate gig to stay home with her boys until the baby started school full time. Never expecting to work again, Marissa’s love for family vacations planted the seed to turn her hobby into a vacation planning service. Thanks to this world full of internet overwhelm and automated processes, old fashioned customer service served her well. She quickly grew her company, Castles and Cruises Travel Company, into a full service travel agency specializing in Disney and family travel. You will also find her chauffeuring children, volunteering at school, playing tennis, shopping a good sale, and drinking lots of coffee!


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