Confessions of a Jump Seat Traveler

Okay, don't come looking for my parents over this one. But I remember summer family vacations as far different from today's road trips with children. There was not a car seat in sight. Heck, we didn't even wear seatbelts (or sit upright for that matter!). I spent our family road trips traveling in the jump seat:

The jump seat was the rear-facing bench in the back of the old family station wagon. On particularly long road trips, I don't think we even used it sitting up. Instead, it was folded down and my brother and I were free to roam in the resulting cargo area in the back of the car. It was the life!

We had an old shirt that was sewn shut at the bottom to make a travel bag. It would be filled with our favorite games and toys, draped on a hanger, and hung on the garment hook in the back of the station wagon. We'd kill hours on road trips throwing birthday parties for our stuffed animals in the back of that car. We'd hold meet-and-greets to acquaint old toys with new souvenirs picked up along the way. We'd nap and eat and pretty much treat the space like a living room on wheels traveling 60 down the interstate.

Today, we're fortunate to have much better safety measures in place. But to this day - a quarter of a century later - I can't think of a road trip without fondly remembering that fold-down jump seat.

Do you have any family vacation memories from the 70's and 80's? Any less-than-safe-by-today's-standards practices? Let's reminisce in the comments section below!

(Image: Birds on a Road Trip print by barkingbirdart)

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Family, Safety & Security, Travel

Regina is an architect who lives with her husband and children in Lawrence, KS. As a LEED Accredited Professional and longtime contributor to Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, her focus is on healthy, sustainable living through design.