5 parenting lessons from National Lampoon’s Vacation


National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983) is a classic comedy that recounts the experiences of the Griswold Family on a lengthy, complicated road trip from Chicago to Los Angeles. This film serves as a lesson of what not to do while on the road with your family.

Here are tips to make sure your family vacation goes smoother than The Griswolds’ did.


Mr. Walley seemed to enjoy his road trip to Ft. Lauderdale with seven kids in tow many years ago, and I’m sure your family won’t be any different. In fact, if you reside in an area that tends to welcome harsh winters, the beach is a good place to be. Breathtaking views and walks in the sand, plus all the fun in the sun almost guarantees your children will be worn out by the time night falls.

Amusement Park

The Griswolds were so intent on making it to Walley World that they drove more than 2,000 miles to get there, refusing to turn around with every disastrous incident. Sounds a bit far-fetched, but Mr. Griswold was determined to give his children what he thought would be the amusement park experience of a lifetime. Whether it’s a theme or water park, commit to overcoming all the obstacles while on the road and at the park to ensure your children have the time of their lives.

Fine Arts and Culture

Think outside the box like the Griswolds did when visiting relatives in Kansas. They were culture shocked, but everyone eventually found similar interests that connected the dots (some of those connections were more graphic than others). One way to introduce your children to diverse cultural experiences is through art museums and Broadway shows.

Tips for Vacationing With the Family

1. Always be open to suggestions from your family. The Griswold children and their mother wanted to fly, but their dad completely ignored their request for the sake of family bonding time and they ended up spending much more time than they anticipated on the road.

2. Map it out. When you’re on your own, there’s wiggle room for mistakes, but it’s a different story when anxious and impatient children are involved. And the last thing you want to do is end up in a dangerous area, like the Griswolds when they were forced to get directions from a thief. Fortunately, smartphones are a godsend when it comes to navigating unfamiliar territory.

3. You don’t want to fall asleep at the wheel and put others in danger, not to mention the risk of wreaking havoc on your surroundings. A better option: have the proper hotel reservations in place to get the six to eight hours you need.

4. Do your research. From the shrewd car salesman to the campground attendant, the Griswolds encountered their fair share of dishonest individuals and, in most instances, the end result was an irritating or costly nightmare.

5. Even if you’re dealing with trustworthy people on your next family vacation, it’s smart to have a backup plan. The Griswolds learned this lesson the hard way on two separate occasions: when they ran out of cash due to improper budgeting and upon arriving at Walley World only to discover the park was closed for two weeks.



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