1 – Recreate your childhood vacation
Most of us have a lot of great memories from our childhood and many of those were created on family vacations so why not revisit the past and take your present with you?! Recreating your childhood vacation is a great way to share stories of your youth with your own kids while at the same time being able to relive it for yourself. The perks here are of course the sentimental value of the experience but in addition to that you will also have no trouble in planning activities as you can simply do exactly the same things you did back the first time you went on the trip. So ask yourself what your favorite family vacation as a child was and give the gift of that same experience to your own kids. Who knows, you just may start a new tradition along the way.
2 – Find your roots and discover your own history
Do you know where you are from? Are you 2nd generation American or 10th or does your history go back in this country even farther? No matter the answer there is a story there and a history that can be revisited with the whole family. You could even stretch this out over many different holidays depending on how much information you can gather. The gathering of the information can be great family together time as well. If you get stuck and don’t know where to find out your history a fantastic and fun resource is Ancestry.com for all the bits of information that may have been lost over the generations. This family vacation idea will bring so much fun and knowledge to you and your family as you take the time together to collect your information and then take the physical journey of visiting where you came from.
3 – Learn something new
It’s easy to overlook the fun of learning when planning a family vacation, especially for kids when they are on summer break! But there are so many fun and entertaining museums and discovery centers that really look absolutely nothing like school and look a whole lot more like amusement parks! Every kid loves a Science Center and there are many to choose from in the country, this is a great list of “The 10 Best Science Centers” from Parents Magazine. You could also put your focus on museums built specifically for small children like the Please Touch Museum as pictured above or aim for a little more of a grown-up experience with something like the American Museum of Natural History in New York, not to mention all of the other museums and galleries in that amazing city that you would also be able to choose from! There are really endless opportunities for fantastic family holidays geared around the fun of learning.
4 – Live it up in a luxury vacation home
Renting a luxury vacation home like the one pictured above can be a perfect way to enjoy large family gatherings without the stress of living on top of each other as well as a great way to escape from your day to day routine while still having all the comforts of home along with many added luxuries. When you rent a luxury vacation home you are able to choose a house that will best suit you whether that means just being for your family alone or for a large family reunion group. Many vacation homes will offer an experience far beyond your everyday home and give you the luxuries we all expect from a vacation like this amazing 10 bedroom ocean front home complete with pool, private beach walkway, media room and more! An added perk to a vacation home is that many of them will accommodate your furry family members as well which is always an added bonus! When choosing the vacation home destination for your family, be sure to choose an area with lots of opportunities for family fun entertainment and activities. A very popular area for vacation rental homes is the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This area offers the visitor everything from pristine sandy beaches to play on while having the chance to see wild horses running nearby to an amazing maritime forest reserve highlighting the local beauty of nature as well as the chance to discover a rich local history including the birthplace of flight! There are also many festivals to enjoy and fantastic activities like surfing, horseback riding, fishing and more to partake in! These luxury vacation homes are built with the purpose of allowing the whole family, no matter the size, to spend lots of fun time together throughout their whole holiday without the worries and stresses of home!
5 – Take a road trip to small town USA
It’s easy for us all to think of major centers when we are planning a vacation but the down side to that is that’s the exact same thing that everyone else is doing! Heading to a major vacation destination can lead to massive crowds, line-ups for events and expensive accommodations. Sometimes these challenges are worth it for the experience but often you can find an equally if not better experience on the road less traveled. Taking a road trip with the family can lead to some great moments for building memories. The journey becomes part of the holiday so it’s important to plan stops at interesting road side attractions and focus on staying in interesting towns. A little research online will have you amazed by just how much fun there is to be had in small town America. A great example of a hidden gem perfect for the family road trip is Roslyn, Washington population roughly 1,000. This town is full of history and offers the visitor everything from amazing murals throughout the town to a museum highlighting it’s past in the coal mining industry to a very popular Farmers Market that brings people to the town from across the country as well as being home to the longest continuously operating pub in Washington state, the Brick Saloon. This town also has a fun famous side as it was the setting for the Popular TV series “Northern Exposure” (the town was known as Cicely, Alaska in that show) and it also became Isadore, Michigan in 1979 for the Dick Van Dyke movie “The Runner Stumbles”. Roslyn boasts 4 distinct seasons offering the visitor amazing opportunities for outdoor beauty and adventure as well. There are many small towns all across the country that are just waiting to be discovered so get out the laptop and start searching for your road trip family vacation destinations!
6 – Visit a new amusement park
Amusement parks are always a hit for kids and grown-ups alike so it’s really hard to go wrong with this family vacation idea! There are of course the obvious choices like Disneyland and Disney World but there are lots of other theme parks all across the US so be sure to look beyond the mouse ears to find something new and unexpected! A park like California’s Great America can offer you a family fun and thrilling amusement park adventure for a fraction of the cost of some other amusement parks. Additionally, an alternative to an amusement park is attending a state fair like the Arizona State Fair pictured above. There are many fairs to choose from across the country and they not only offer you the thrill rides you are looking for at an amusement park but also add the charm of local entertainment, food and culture.
7 – Try something new
Have you ever wanted to explore a cave or go kayaking or whitewater rafting or maybe even llama trekking? If you have done all of these then you are ahead of the game! But if not, well, you have some vacation ideas sitting right in front of you! Take some time as a family to discuss a fun and maybe out of the ordinary (for you) activity that you would all like to do and plan your holiday around it. Do you want to add a little thrill to your day to day or do you want to check something off your bucket list? Do you want to experience something that will double as a learning experience or just get your adrenaline going? Adding a new experience to your memories together as a family will be a fantastic adventure for all of you that will undoubtedly become the topic of great conversations for years to come. Once you have a list of new things you would like to try you can start looking into where you want to go to try them. Can you find a location that will offer you the opportunity to cross multiple new experiences off your list or are you just going to focus on one of the activities? Enjoy the process and get excited for your upcoming family adventure!
8 – Create a tradition for generations to come
We all enjoy a new experience but we also like the comfort of familiarity, especially when that familiarity carries with it a healthy dose of nostalgia. Creating a tradition of returning to the same place year after year will give you a place for generations to come to gather and remember the “good old days” while still creating new memories. There are always new adventures to be had even in a place you have been to many times over but at the same time you will not need to guess on things like “is it a good restaurant?” or waste time trying to figure out how to get around the city or town. The idea of family traditions is really to create something that will be passed on for generations and help to preserve that sense of family history and belonging. Choose a family friendly location that is filled with opportunities for together time like a vacation rental home on the beach or a cottage tucked off in the woods. These sorts of family traditions should really be built around the ability for quality time spent together as a family.
9 – Go camping and get in touch with nature
Camping can be a fantastic way to connect with your family and loved ones as it removes most of the day to day distractions we are all so tied to. Picking the right place for your family camping vacation will really come down to your unique interests and must have luxuries. Do you require flush toilets and hot water or are you the type to be at one with whatever nature can offer you? Do you have small children who would like a playground or teens that may feel like a week away from their computers is the end of the world? All campgrounds are different from each other and it really is up to you to decide what you are looking for. A private campground like KOA may offer you luxuries such as swimming pools, cabins or a very cool Teepee camping adventure, while a state campground may offer you informative nature houses, interpretive forests and trails as well as free ranger-led programs for the whole family. The world of camping has really changed over the years and there really is a camping option for everyone, resources like Hipcamp.com will offer you some of the very best in camping options like the campsite pictured above. Though this company started out in California, they are quickly expanding across the USA. No matter where or how you choose your camping vacation, you are guaranteed to enjoy your time as a family away from the distractions of modern day-to-day life. Who doesn’t love the idea of a night around the campfire roasting marshmallows with the family?
10 – Visit a national landmark
This is a vacation idea that keeps on giving as there are so many places to choose from and visit! You could easily create a list of places to visit that would keep you on the family vacation path for years to come. From a landmark as recognizable as Mt. Rushmore to a park full of natural wonder like Yellowstone National Park, this country boasts seemingly endless opportunities for discovery. Have fun finding out where you would like to visit and enjoy the time spent together as a family planning each adventure. Will you discover a hidden gem like Hearst Castle or will you head for the top of the Empire State Building? Or maybe, will you drive from one landmark to the other via Route 66 and make a journey of it? After all “Life is about the journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson