Letterboxing: Something FREE To Do On Your Next Vacation

Road trips can be long and boring, so before we get to our official destination we like to do some Letterboxing along the way. If you have never heard of letterboxing, it is very similar to Geocaching except a GPS is not required which makes it more like an old fashioned treasure hunt. Also, instead of little trinkets, you are searching for a box with rubber stamp to stamp in your Letterboxing journal and a book to leave your mark to show you have been there. Having these planned before any road trip is essential. You can have your children take turns reading the clues, figuring them out and of course the always favorite, stamping the books. It adds to the excitement of the drive while discussing the last letterbox, the next clues or trying to figure out what the next stamp could possibly be. It also is a great way to get your family to work as a team while trying to get to the same goal.  

To get started it is best to visit this website: www.letterboxing.org. The site is excellent and has everything you will need to know to get started, find locations all over the world and print off the necessary clues.

The next step will be to create your “handle”, “character” or I.D.  I found the best and easiest way was to visit the local craft store and find a rubber stamp that everyone likes.  Some people like to make there own out of white erasers and you can find out how to do that by going here:

  http://www.mitchklink.com/letterboxing/carving.htm 

But for newbies, I’d stick with buying one for your whole family or one for each individual in your family.  When we began ten years ago, we were a family of five; hubby, three boys and me, so I chose a stamp with three Cootie bugs and made our name “Ima Cootie”. To make it more special, we use turquoise ink when we leave our mark in a Letterboxing journal and usually leave a note like, “This was a fun one” or ” What a great hike” with our “Ima Cootie”, date and where we are from.

It’s always a lot of fun to look through the journal to see who else has been there, what notes they leave and where they originated.
One of the fun parts about Letterboxing is the secretiveness. Most are placed where people walk by everyday and have never noticed a SPOR(suspicious pile of rocks) or a perfectly placed downed log. Some boxes we have found have even been in museums behind furniture or in crevices and supposedly the museum workers don’t even know they are there, so it is imperative that you search very sneakily and when you find it, remove yourselves from the location to open it and do the stamping. Then very quietly and covertly put it back and secure it in it’s original location so that others can find it just like you did.
Most of our road trips, vacations or days out include at least one letterboxing adventure which have taken us through the woods, in museums, historical and government buildings, lighthouses, rest areas,  on top of waterfalls and even under benches and statues at the beach.  There are so many things we would have never discovered or experienced together if we had not gone on these little treasure hunts. They keep everyone busy and excited when you’ve run out of other things to do.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
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