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  1. #1
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    Question about road trip

    But not about luggage or bags!

    My sister and her kids (boy, 15, and girl, 18) are going to the NJ shore this summer and have invited me to come along. I would be sharing a room with my mom while sis shares with her two kids.

    I don't have any children, and I don't know my niece and nephew very well. My niece is very amiable, and my nephew spends a good deal of his time playing video games. Until very recently, my nephew was, well, a bit of a spoiled brat and I could do without his company.

    Since I am childless, I wonder: Just how well would two teens that age get along? Three years ago, my mom took the same trip with them and said they squabbled constantly. It's not the sort of thing I can ask about (Hey, sis, do your kids still fight all the time?). I'm thinking back to when I was 18, and my brother was about 16, and we were sort of united against my parents and my sister (who's much younger). But at 18, I didn't want to take car trips with my family anymore.

    That said, this is the last summer before my niece goes away to college.

    What do you think? Go or not?

  2. #2
    Forum Member ceepee's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinblack1964 View Post
    What do you think? Go or not?
    Go - don't miss out on something because of what MIGHT happen Smilie

  3. #3
    Forum Member Rocks's Avatar
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    Go! I just spent some time with my teenage niece and nephew and discovered that they're very cool kids.

  4. #4
    Forum Member sturbridge's Avatar
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    Kids WILL squabble. Just figure out alternatives so it doesn't bug you. Ear plugs are a must carry.
    Getting to the point with too many bags to list them all. Current daily carry is a PickUp Truck and Everyday Cubelet. Love all my shop bags, ghost whales, cubelets. Hoping to travel again soon to use my A30 and co-pilot.

  5. #5
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    It did occur to me to bring my iPod along! LOL

  6. #6
    Forum Member Pokilani's Avatar
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    Go! It could be awesome and you could have the chance to develop really nice relationships that will continue the rest of your life. I'm childless too and I've made it a point to be close to several nieces and nephews so I'll have someone to come visit me when I get older (plus, I am planning to live near their parents). Plus, the kids seems old enough to do some things on their own and you could have some quality time with your mom and sister. I lost my mom five years ago and I was lucky to spend a lot of quality time with her before then. I'm super close to my sisters so I always enjoy my time with them (they all have kids too).

    If it stinks, you always have the power to walk away and do your own thing (or take your mom with you). You can get in a car and drive somewhere or walk a long the beach, go out to dinner, etc. And you might end up with some funny stories for the future.

  7. #7
    Forum Member phayes47's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would go.

    Find out their favorite color; and if you can afford it, buy each of them a gift from Tom Bihn (TB). Something a teenager will think it's "Cool". There are a few TB things under $25.00, e.g., Travel Tray, COW, DOP, TSS, Pouches,...

    But, to give them their gift, and to make it fun for you (I hope), maybe once you get there, set up a date-time for them individually. Spent time alone, at an eatery, or just a walk on the beach. Even if it's only for an hour. Let them know how you are looking forward to this vacation with them, and the gift is to let them know how much you appreciate being with them, and how well they appear to be growing into fine, mature adults.

    Then, every time they see you, they will always try to be on their best behavior.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyinblack1964 View Post
    But not about luggage or bags!

    Three years ago, my mom took the same trip with them and said they squabbled constantly. It's not the sort of thing I can ask about (Hey, sis, do your kids still fight all the time?). I'm thinking back to when I was 18, and my brother was about 16, and we were sort of united against my parents and my sister (who's much younger). But at 18, I didn't want to take car trips with my family anymore.
    Definately go. In addition to the wonderful feedback from those who replied before me I would add that three years in the development of teenagers is an eternity. You will (hopefully) discover that they are very different people than your mom experienced during her last visit. I have found that it's not uncommon for a closer sibling bond to develop as the eldest is about to head off for college... it would be wonderful if that's the case for your niece and nephew.

  9. #9
    Forum Member binje's Avatar
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    Yep, go. It sounds like a potentially fun multi-generational trip. Obviously, you know your family dynamics better than anyone here, but you were invited and you're thinking about it, so other people want you there, too. As far as the kids fighting goes, they are at an age where they are more likely to fight with their mother than with each other (as you noted) and as an adult, I find that harder to deal with than teenagers bickering with each other. I'd still go, though, because very few people can keep up that kind of animosity non-stop and teens are old enough to be off by themselves at times. Also, there's a good chance that your nephew will spend the whole time interacting with his video games rather than with other people. That's been my experience with my nephew from age 12 onwards (he's 22 now). Though I will say that the game Apples to Apples literally brings him to the table. He's very good at it. (And if you want to bring a gift, a game that everyone can play might be a good idea. Apples to Apples is interactive and can get silly. When my family is together in one place for more than a day or two, we set up an overly complex jigsaw puzzle).

  10. #10
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    Not much to add to these comments - but I think you should go, because your teenage niece probably will love having her cool aunt along. It can be a wonderful thing for young girls to have an independent female role model.

  11. #11
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    I think I should add something here.

    I virtually have no relationship with either child. I'm not a "kid person," which is why I don't have any. My niece never contacts me, even on Facebook. I don't know that she thinks I am cool. My relationship within in the family is that of a bit of a screw-up (for reasons I'd rather not go into here but it is nothing serious like drug abuse). My nephew doesn't even speak to me when I'm at family gatherings. My husband has tried for years to engage him in conversation and he just doesn't respond. My niece will talk to me in person but she doesn't seek me out or anything.

    I can't even imagine sitting down and playing a game with them. As for bringing them a TB gift, when I ran it by my sister, she said, "That stuff looks cool, but they won't use anything they haven't thought up themselves." These are kids who have had iPads, iPods, UGGs, LL Bean clothing, etc. from Day One. I gave up trying to buy them anything and just give them gift cards.

    So there are many reasons for my hesitation. Sorry if this is oversharing.

  12. #12
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    I'm going to jump in on the other side.

    Everyone here is probably basing their response on their own family and experience. They are all different.

    If you truly wanted to get to know your neice and nephew, spend a few hours with each with the capability of leaving when you want.

    For your vacation, do something you really want to do and will make you happy. Not what others think you should do. No one here really knows your family dynamic.

    And anyway, it doesn't sound as if you want to do it but feel obligated to do.
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  13. #13
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    After seeing your clarification, I agree with Frank II.
    I'd go if you have other reasons for thinking you'd enjoy yourself: being at the beach, seeing your mom or sister, whatever. Otherwise, I'd try to get to know your niece and nephew better with shorter visits, and when you have your husband by your side for moral support.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  14. #14
    Forum Member nukediver's Avatar
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    My two cents - go! My cousin's now 18 year old twin girls never used to give me the time of day at holidays and other times my family was together. That all changed this past holiday season when they and their boyfriends played board games with my partner and I at Thanksgiving. We got to know the young adults they had become, and we had a fun time. May I ask where in my fair state you will be? Maybe I can recommend some things for you to do together?

  15. #15
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    I agree with Frank II and bchaplin, go on vacation to have fun with your husband, not out of guilt.

    If I understand that your mom went by herself to stay with your sister and her teens, doing it again would probably be no problem.

    It has been my experience that people are close, or, they aren't, it is something that starts very early in life or in the relationship.

    Taking time away from vacation for yourself to try to build a relationship with people who don't care is not worth it, especially if they don't even connect via social media.

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