Greetings from America’s lost highways! This week, I’m engaged in that most American of pursuits – the holiday road trip. I’m taking the wife and kids from San Diego, California to Omaha, Nebraska for Thanksgiving, crossing purple mountains and fruited plains and amber waves of grain and radiation-soaked former nuclear test site deserts by car. We hit the road early Sunday morning. By the time you read this we should be rolling past Salt Lake City. Or we could be wheels-up in a ravine, the vultures picking at our burned and mangled corpses. Assuming that’s not the case, we’re covering 1,600 miles in three days, my daughter (5) and son (8) will get to watch the American west roll by, and THANK FUCKING GOD our SUV is outfitted with twin DVD players in the backseat. To keep the kids
from whinging about how bored they are and fighting with each other, so much so that we end up selling them to a passing biker gang entertained, I’ve chosen a few perfect road trip movies that they can watch during the trip, films that will both amuse and educate them.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Often times, the toughest part of a long trip is packing for the journey. The kids had lots of questions about this – how did we know where to go and what to bring? This movie serves as a great way to teach your children about preparing for and carrying out the Great American Road Trip.
The Hills Have Eyes
As we drive through Nevada, what better movie than this to teach the kids about silver mining, the long-term effects of mutated genes on local nomad populations, and why staying in hotels in densely populated regions is preferable over camping in the middle of nowhere.
In this movie, three friends take a cross-country trip on their motorcycles. This scene in particular is a great way to show the kids that the best part of traveling is meeting new friends and having fun adventures with them.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
Often times, taking a long trip to visit family can be stressful for kids – visiting relatives that they only see every few years can be awkward and even daunting. But this movie is a great way to show the children that even though we may have our differences, family is family, regarding of the time and distance that keeps us apart.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
C’mon, people. It’s Thanksgiving. You gotta watch this one.