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Branding A Family Road Trip

Updated: Dec 31, 2022

If you are like me, a vacation is that carrot that you hold in front of yourself to get through the difficult times of the year. Being a travel, food and gardening blogger, I spend a great deal of time researching restaurants, gardens and hikes for any trip. So, after all that planning, I really want to mark it as an event. When we start a two or three week trip I like to give the kids and adults alike a little goody bag with a few items, some to keep, and some to use, to get them excited. Over the years I’ve taken as many as 38 people with me on adventures so I guess trip planning is a big hobby.

It’s a Sickness

After a quarter century of owning an advertising and graphic design firm and branding many events you know I have to have a logo! Now, I understand everyone does not have a graphic design degree or the software to design a logo but anyone can use a piece of clip art to make a trip special. When you are a retired graphic designer making a logo for yourself can be tons of fun!

Was I Drunk?

Enter 2020…. My parents had asked to travel to Mount Rushmore so I set about planning a huge road trip through South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. (More in another blog later).

Teaching the Kids About Branding

I asked the kids to name the trip. Apologies to Poppa (my dad) but our boys named the trip “Nana Goes West”. Then, once I had them interested, I had a great opportunity to show them how to draw a logo on the computer. We experimented with different forms and theme, and they helped choose the font.

A month or two passed and I decided to surprise them with goody bags…(and my parents)

The Glory of the Target Dollar Bin!

My wife and I were on a date at Target. (Yes, that is what you do when you’ve been married ten years and have two kids). Suddenly the heavens opened up and the glory of the Lord shown around us at Target Dollar Bin! I discovered the mother load of travel bingo, star gazing kits, travel games and more. Did I mention they were in the dollar bin!?

Find a Friend with a Cricut. No! Not the Bug

Interesting fact, if you want one or two t-shirts no business really wants to do them. Enter my amazing friend Pam who has a Cricut machine. She whooped, yes, whooped out two t-shirts and two fabric bags (bought at the dollar bin) for our boys from her machine emblazoned with our trip logo.

What do you get for the man (and woman) with everything?

So, I wanted to surprise my parents with a little goody bag, a party favor for the trip if you will, but what do you get the man and woman who basically have everything they need? A Yeti! Yes, like any good ole Southern family we love our Yeti cups. Can you ever have too many if you are a coffee lover? (Or love to hide an adult beverage at the state park beach? No! I did not say that!) Yeti will engrave your logo on just about any product for a one time $10 setup fee. So that had me hooked. A Yeti cup on a 5000+ mile journey is a no brainer.

Second, I found Safari Sun that can make great baseball hats with your logo custom imprinted on leather at a cost of around $25 each. So the boys, my dad and I got to sport those on the trip. Different colors, of course, because no one wants be matchy-matchy except a ball team!

As filler, for my mom I filled the bag with a note pad from Spartina, travel tissues, travel mask and our favorite unscented travel hand cream from Charleston, SC by Old Whaling Co. For my dad sunglasses from new favorite sunglass brand Knockaround in San Diego for only $25 (that doubled as his father’s day gift) and a few tissues too because everyone needs a good ole blow occasionally.

I printed the logo out and glued it to the gift bags and voila, a circe worthy of the best fashion show at limited cost that put a smile on their faces as we started on our road trip!

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