Families are under siege. Parents are bombarded with 24-hour noise, scary economies and shrinking leisure time. Children are over-scheduled, over-stimulated and over-stressed. It’s all too easy to get lost in the chaos. Yet, with a little thought and some simple planning, there is a way for families to unplug, reconnect and build lasting memories.
For vacation planning of all shapes and sizes, Jeff Siegel reveals the secret to creating lasting family bonds in "RelationTrips: A Simple, Powerful Way to Bond with Your Loved One Through Personalized Road Trips" (Two for the Road Publishing). Part memoir, part guidebook RelationTrips is a heart-warming and practical manual for parents, guardians, aunts, uncles and anyone else seeking to enhance their relationship with a child. The book is available for order on Amazon and at www.MyRelationTrips.com.
RelationTrips explores why a road trip is the perfect mobile bonding vehicle and how to get started on the “road” to road trip transformation. Readers will discover how to plan and customize their RelationTrips including choosing a theme, creating an itinerary, designing a name and logo, developing games, researching side trips and documenting the trip to preserve lifelong memories.
The Road Trip Of A Lifetime
What began in 2000 as a spur-of-the-moment father-son road trip has morphed into a life-changing journey for Jeff Siegel and his son, Spence. Through their grandiose quest to visit every National Basketball Association arena and Major League Baseball park in the United States, Jeff and Spence have re-imagined the classic road trip and developed a creative and personal new model for family travel – the RelationTrip.
“Over the years, each road trip led to a series of hilarious adventures and unexpected tours that have brought Spence and me closer together. As I shared stories about our adventures with my friends and colleagues, they often expressed interest in taking a RelationTrip of their own,” explains Siegel. “This book is a step-by-step guide offering tips and secrets from our journeys to help other families design, plan and execute RelationTrips around their unique hobbies and interests.”
More textured, multi-layered and personal than a typical family vacation, RelationTrips are customized journeys which maximize bonding opportunities, open the lines of communication and create a lifetime of shared memories for adults and kids. In RelationTrips, Siegel provides a practical road map for building enduring family connections and offers wisdom for creating trips filled with adventure, imagination, discovery and fun.
“A RelationTrip is determined by the creativity, budget and adventures of a child and adult. Our first trip started as a lark, but something else happened along the way. Spence and I bonded, talked, shared stories, ate at greasy spoons, made up contests, and just generally enjoyed each other,” recalls Siegel. “To be honest, the destination is kind of irrelevant – it’s all about the journey. My kid and I like sports, but a RelationTrip can be built around anything. It could be movie palaces, amusement parks, historical sites, or hot dog stands. You name it – whatever lights a fire under you and your kids and, most important, creates the opportunity to spend time together."
Now, Jeff reflects upon the many, many ways in which the years spent RelationTripping with Spence have dramatically impacted and positively influenced both his life and that of his son. In his brand-new E-book (provided free with the purchase of the original RelationTrips book) with the benefit of years of hindsight, Jeff now shares stories heartwarming, inspiring and transformational, all at once.
At the core, every parent longs for a deep, meaningful relationship with their child that is based on respect and unconditional love. Jeff’s journey to building an enduring connection with his son provides a practical road map that’s easy to read and applicable to many other facets of our personal lives. Enjoy the trip!
Jean Davis, MA
The creative and personal journey that Jeff and his son embark upon gives us a clear vision of what can happen when a parent takes on a responsive, loving and child-centered approach that is filled with anticipation, adventure, imagination, discovery and fun. For those who take to heart what Jeff is saying and integrate his teachings into their own lives, the result can be a life-altering experience.
What’s lacking in many parent-child relationships is any common ground, any point of departure for conversation, for respect, for mutual understanding, even for love. Jeff lays that groundwork by creating a set of shared experiences that can be used by parents and their kids to communicate with each other about what’s on their minds in a fun, low-pressure environment.
After hearing Jeff speak to our organization, I decided to take a RelationTrip with each one of my eight grandchildren when he or she turns ten. I’ve already started planning trips with the 7, 8, and 9-year-olds, each of whom have entered into the process with great enthusiasm. I hope to use these RelationTrips to deepen my relationship with each grandchild the way that Jeff did with his son.