Family Vacation Quiz

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Family Vacations, Summer 1997

Family Vacation Quiz

Every clan has its own definition of vacation bliss. One group's getaway to a pristine, leafy wilderness is another's descent into a mosquito-plagued, showerless netherworld. Some families thrive on organized activities; others bolt at the first syllable of "singalong." To help get a fix on what kind of traveling troupe you are, take this quiz.

1) Who is the most popular in your family?
a) Dr. Dre
b) Dr. Spock
c) George Clooney! No, Anthony Edwards! No, Noah Wyle!
d) Dr. Livingstone

2) On an average evening at home, you
a) strap on the in-lines, skate 12 miles to the drive-thru at Taco Tom's, sit in on drums for your son's garage band, Bruised Food, and still make it to the gym in time for the Terrific Torso class
b) monitor the Weather Channel, peruse the Land's End catalog, floss your teeth, set the alarm system, and climb into bed by 10:02 p.m.
c) drop off your daughter at hockey practice, your son at T'ai Chi, and the dog at assertiveness training--then dash off eight more pages of your novel-in-progress
d) fantasize about selling the house and sailing a papyrus boat to Rangiroa

3) In a restaurant, you look for
a) knife-wielding tableside Japanese cooks who can slice radishes into roses faster than you can say "wasabi"
b) noodles, not pasta
c) a menu as thick as the L.A. phone book
d) a chef who can work magic with organic daikon

4) On vacation, you would find it most difficult to survive without
a) half a gallon of Nuprin and an industrial-strength neoprene knee brace
b) PoolPal swim diapers, water wings safety devices, and an emergency life ring
c) the headphones for the family's four separate-but-equal Discman players
d) your Bowie knife, pot-grabber and prize recipe for bannock

5) Which of the following would most disappoint your family?
a) the local base-jumper gearhead won't rent a 'chute to anyone under 18--and he knows a fake ID when he sees one
b) that cheerful lifeguard from Edina, Minnesota, didn't come back to the resort this year
c) everybody on the bicycle-built-for-four gets handlebars, but only the front ones work
d) the jungle hike has been suspended because a Marxist guerrilla faction took your guide hostage in a pre-dawn raid

6) When the television is turned on in your home it's likely to be tuned to:
a) Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
b) reruns of Marcus Welby, M.D.
c) the program listings, searching for something everyone can agree on
d) The Discovery Channel's Eco-systems of the Korup Forest

7) One of your greatest fears is that
a) your son will come home with Jenny McCarthy tattooed over his newly pierced left nipple
b) the bad-hair day memorialized on your passport photo very likely will cause a border guard to mistake you for Moammar Ghadaffi
c) someone in your family will violate the no-politics rule at the dinner table and blurt out, "You know, that Pat Buchanan really has a point"
d) your children will finally realize tofu hot dogs taste like wet Kleenex

8) You would most likely bring home which of the following souvenirs?
a) the in-flight magazine--who has time to shop?
b) one of those cool snow-domes from the hotel gift shop
c) puffer-fish skeletons found on solitary beach walks
d) tanka paintings and a yak-bone dagger

9) Your family would be most excited about visiting
a) any Club Med that offers an intensive Circus Workshop
b) the Universal Studios set where they filmed Murder, She Wrote
c) any place that has a video-game arcade, a 150-foot jungle waterfall, an art-house theater, and tandem bikes for rent
d) the site where the Donner Party was stranded

Who are you? Best trips for your family
If you answered mostly a) you're Action Addicts.
Your family is in perpetual motion. It requires round the clock entertainment--particularly for the jaded teenagers, whose DNA coding includes the phrase, "all family vacations shall stink." Any palatable (let alone successful) vacation destination must offer a full quiver of adrenaline-producing weapons. Your sole vacation--survival goal is to fend off boredom--and impromptu encounters with local law enforcement.
  • Strathcona Park Lodge,
    British Columbia
  • Any multisport sampler trip
  • Molokai Ranch, Molokai Hawaii
  • Colorado River rafting
  • Dirt Camp, Moab, Utah
If you answered mostly b) you're Security Freaks.
Nothing is left to chance when you travel. Reservations? Double-confirmed. Travelers check serial numbers? Stashed--in four different locations (two in an opposite hemisphere in case continental drift runs amok). You might have small children and thus are extremely attuned to precise scheduling. You're not looking for thrills--just a swimming rant with high booster seats and low prices. When you do venture off the well-worn path, tour guides lead the way. You would be quite happy dying at a ripe old age having never gone anywhere-or done anything-that required inoculation.
  • Hyatt Regency Kauai, Hawaii
  • Keystone Resort, Colorado
  • Radisson's Arrowwood Resort, Minnesota
  • C Lazy U Ranch, Colorado
  • American Indian Culture Trip
  • Southwest U.S.
If you answered mostly c) you're Independent Contractors.
Your family has extremely diverse opinions about almost everything, and the word "compromise" long ago was deleted from the spellchecker on your family PC. In order to satisfy everyone--even your persnicker in-laws who may be tagging along--you must ruffle the feathers of no one. Vacation destinations must allow everyone to purse their own interests--even if they're not sure what they are. You consider group tours a new level of personal hell.
  • Anywhere in Alaska
  • Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia, road trip
  • Nantahala Outdoor Center,
    North Carolina
  • Ludlow's Island Resort, Minnesota
  • Glacier National Park, Montana
If you answered mostly d) you're Adventure Junkies.
If it didn't cause such a stir at the security gate, you'd lead the family through airport concourses with an Indiana Jones hat and bullwhip. When you travel you are resourceful, spontaneous, and willing to try almost anything. Your children thrive on new experiences and know how to handle themselves. You've taught them to take only pictures, leave only footprints--and never, ever drink from an aseptic juice box. You all like to immerse yourself completely in a culture and its culinary customs when you travel--even if that means burping some of it up later on.
  • African safari
  • High Arctic Spring Caribou
    Base Camp
  • Australian Outback and Great Barrier Reef trip
  • Colorado Outward Bounds, mountaineering school
  • Chilko, Chilcotin and Fraser river systems, British Columbia

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