Why these travelers visit the same place every year

  • Vacations bring family members together for important quality time that can lead to positive bonding and memories.
  • Rituals like how one family has been visiting the Outer banks for 50 years help families define who they are across generations.
  • At the end of the day, it’s about the time together, not a “lavish vacation.”

“Traveling together” is a five-part series focusing on family travel experiences and how they shape our relationships. If you’d like to contribute to our future reporting and share your experience as a source, you can fill out this quick form by clicking here.

At the end of each summer, Michele Guay Sullivan, 63, packs her car and drives the eight hours from her home in Virginia to Ocracoke Island, a small, undeveloped island in the Outer Banks, North Carolina. There, she will meet up with 30 members of her family, from her nieces to grandchildren, for one to two weeks of fun in the sun.

This is her annual family vacation, which her family has attended for almost 50 years.

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