New Paradigm in Family Vacations

As children grow up, families vacations change. My siblings and I have kids ranging from 17 to 31 – not even kids anymore. We recently had a family getaway that was very different from we experienced when they were younger. But no less enjoyable.

Toyota Avalon hybrid at East Hampton beach

AirBNB was the way to go

I’m a latecomer to AirBNB but this was the perfect set up for our group of 15 adults. My older brother was turning 60 and my sister-in-law surprised him with this weekend in East Hampton. The house she rented had 8 bedrooms and a well-stocked kitchen where we prepared all our meals.

Our AirBNB in East Hampton

We used to rent a house in East Hampton where the girls all stayed in a dorm-like room, with 6 beds and one cramped shower. A couple of nephews slept on couches and everyone was on top of each other.

In this house, we had 3 living rooms and a game room. But we still mostly stayed in the living room off the giant kitchen, overlooking the expansive backyard.

Beach walks

The ‘kids’ on the beach

Our beach days used to involve sand shovels, sun protective shirts, and anxious parental eyes scanning for potential dangers. Big waves? Sharp shells? Heat rash? Now, my siblings and I all have young adult children, who are happy to take long walks on the beach, breaking off into little groups to chat, chasing the dogs, brining their own water bottles and sunglasses. Building sand castles with my daughters, nieces and nephews was fun. Hearing them talk about building a better world was inspiring.

Dogs enjoying beach time

A Car for a New Generation

Of the 6 cars driven out to East Hampton, 3 were in the Toyota family: my sister’s Prius, my brother’s Lexus SUV, and the Toyota Avalon hybrid we drove. The Avalon was a revelation. It is listed as getting 45 miles per gallon, but we actually got closer to 48 mpg.

On the porch with the younger (and legal) generation

No Stinting on Luxury

When you’re tooling around a tony resort area, you want your wheels to match your location. The Avalon hybrid fit right in with heated and cooled leather seats, a leather wrapped steering wheel, charging ports and cupholders everywhere and a great sound system for the SiriusXM radio. There is also wireless charging and Apple CarPlay.

Room for the Family

Plenty of room in the Toyota Avalon hybrid’s trunk

We drove with 2 of our daughters (one is still in college and couldn’t come) and had room to pick up my nephew and his bags at the airport for the long drive out East. The ample trunk easily swallowed up our bags.

Safety First

I had not driven a car with pedestrian detection and as a frequent walker, I think every car should come equipped with this. With Toyota Safety Sense the car comes to a complete stop if you are in danger of hitting someone. Brilliant.

The Toyota Avalon’s infotainment system

The Avalon also has a Bird’s Eye view camera that helps you park, noting where on the car- left rear, right front – you are in danger of hitting another car or the curb. Made maneuvering the car among the 6 cars in the driveway much easier.

All Good Things Must End

On the way home. The black seat cover protects the leather

By Sunday, (and we were staying till Monday) the ‘kids’ were getting ready to leave – they had friends to see, jobs to get back to. They started slowly disappearing. We wound up going home with just our middle daughter and the dog, who had the whole back seat.


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