Travel, technology, and the children of St. Jude

There are lots of reasons why I love working with Expedia on the Expedia Viewfinder blog, and the company’s commitment to supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital tops the list.

Naturally, then, I was blown away by this piece, in which my colleague Sarah Gavin shares her story about how Expedia recently leveraged technology to enable patients to “travel” without ever leaving Memphis.

No, the initiative isn’t family travel in the traditional sense. But considering that many of these terminally ill cancer patients will never leave the halls of St. Jude, Expedia has, in a sense, brought the wonders of travel to them and their families. I can’t think of a better use for technology. I also doubt there’s a better kind of travel.

Once you’ve read Sarah’s story, check out the video below. I dare you to keep your eyes dry.

Understanding the science of car naps

Snoozing. On the Hana Highway.

Snoozing. On the Hana Highway.

The world is abuzz about billionaires today, as Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the richest humans on Earth.

If I were a billionaire, I’d spend my cash on running shoes, buy-ins for poker tournaments, and lots and lots of international family travel. I’d also set aside a fat wad of it to fund research into the study of car naps.

Seriously. I mean, what parent wouldn’t?

How is it that these kids of ours manage to stay awake for 85-90 percent of every road trip, only to fall asleep for the home stretch? Why is it that kids who never in a million, billion, trillion years would nap at home, actually fall asleep in a moving car? Finally, why do most kids sleep through any number of noises in the moving vehicle, then awaken immediately when you try to transfer them to their beds at home?

I’ve got questions, people. And as someone who spends a ton of time road-tripping with girls who generally don’t nap, I demand answers.

My kids would be great case studies. This past weekend, for instance, after a fun-filled day in the city, the two of them resisted sleep for 65 of the 75 miles home, then—inexplicably, really—dozed off less than 10 minutes from our house.

Last month we endured a similar scene—I was so happy to see them sleeping in the middle of the day that I sat in the parked car in my own driveway for nearly 30 minutes, just to score them decent rest.

How long must the erratic realities of car napping plague us moms and dads? Is there any hope for us at all, short of blasting music and constantly turning around to tickle our kids in the knees and keep them awake? If a billionaire can’t fund research into this area, perhaps we can get some cash on Indiegogo or Kickstarter. Surely I’m not the only parent determined to find out.

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