Family Travel The Right Way…..My Way!

By Michael Covin

We are in the middle of a Family East Coast give back!  We are giving back all the money we made to the gasoline companies by driving from Atlanta north and back.  Actually, it is Bria’s graduation from high school and since they scheduled it on a Wednesday…..(why was that???)  We have decided to make it a week long family road trip.

Hopefully, I wont end up looking like Martin.

So while at my Mom’s and Dad’s in North Carolina my beautiful wife asked my 10 YO daughter to wash about 9 dishes(6 of which were utensils) and my daughter gave her some bad body language energy.

I waited for my wife to walk down the hallway and asked my daughter to come and speak with me.  When she arrived she had tears in her eyes.  I asked her why she was crying to which she replied, “I should not have to wash dishes on my vacation.” I explained to her that we can stay in a hotel every time we travel and when we travel would not be as frequent…well actually I said, “Never.”

I explained to her that I didn’t like her body language when my wife asked her to do something that she did not like.  I told her there will be 3.2 million more times in her life that my wife will tell her something she will not like…and in true ‘Cedric the Entertainer/Bernie Mac fashion’ I told her, “I DARE you to give up that bad body language as a response.”

So I as the leader of the troop have decided to start a new family travel rule.  I think the girls said this makes family rule #1, 365.  I just said okay…and you better be able to recite them…(because I can only remember 2)

We are going to clean every home that we stay in before we depart.  I told them that from now on when we stay with someone their responsibility is not to watch TV in the morning but to clean the childrens living quarters.  (Yep, a super great rule…IMO)

So our next stop is a house with two families and a super great pool in the back yard!!! To bad it not ready to swim yet…So what…we are still cleaning!

Now here is the good part.  There is a high school graduation party going on at this residence.  So you guessed it! The ODCODB Family has cleaned the children’s living quarters and the kitchen is so clean we even straightened out the frig. so all the containers of food will fit.  WHEW! Almost wanted to rethink this thing, but then I thought.  We are going to have request from all over the world of people wanting us to visit them!!!!!!

But seriously, I was thinking as we were cleaning…about how this is going to effect their lives as they grow and travel to visit friends/family.  Wouldn’t you want children around you that were appreciative and knew how to clean?  I think its a great rule and it will go further than ‘busting my 10 YO’s head until the white meat shows.’



Michael Covin, aka  IamOFFDACHAIN, is a Husband and Dad who is a no holds barred, outspoken advocate for family and functional relationships. He has committed to change the game in his community by pushing educated and informed decisions to be the norm, because “that’s how it’s always been” are fighting words! You can find out more about him at and check out his weekly radio show on

4 replies
  1. Saph
    Saph says:

    Great rule! I feel your daughter on her misunderstanding of the vacation. Like a child, she is only thinking of it from her perspective, not the larger picture. But, I understand. I felt the same way the first time I took my family on vacation. We rented a house for a week. First, I had to disinfect the house. Then I had to go to the grocery store. Then I had to cook and wash the dishes. Then, before we went back home, I did laundry!! Some vacation, but it had to be done.

  2. Nina
    Nina says:

    …..I implemented that rule 25 years when my children were babies….we always leave a home cleaner than it was when we arrive and the people's house we stayed at should not have 2 lift a finger after we leave to get their house back in order… you can imagine people loved when I came to visit….bc, I always cleaned their house….well now since my children are older I rent hotels bc I don't want to clean anyone house anymore….great rule

  3. Cocoa
    Cocoa says:

    Yall wanna come stay at my house? Lol….I like this new rule.

    • offdachainandouttadabox
      offdachainandouttadabox says:

      Let us know where you are and we will put it on the route.

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