This year, you want to take your family on a trip to remember. You want to set the stage for quality time and bonding moments. Family vacations work best when combined with feature attractions. Here are some top American vacation destinations with a focus on family.
Orlando has got you covered
If you ask your children what is on their sand-bucket list for sights to see this year, they will most likely name Disney World as their destination of choice. Your kids have great taste. But there is more than Mickey Mouse to see in Orlando. Visit Universal Studios, skydive indoors at iFLY, tour the planets at the Science Center and explore that famous sunken ship at The Titanic Experience. Enjoy a good night’s sleep and a comfortable stay at any number of hotels, or hook your camper to a suitable vehicle, like the , and stay at the Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
Talk to the animals
Kids of all ages love a trip to the . When you’re planning to visit a spot where animals are the star attraction, it’s important to do your homework. You want to make sure you are visiting a place where endangered animals are living in comfort and protection, in an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible. If you take the family on a true outdoor experience like in Yellowstone Park, hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains or camping near the beaches of San Diego, you might also be lucky enough to see animals in the wild.
You learn something new every day
Rainy days don’t have to ruin your vacation – in fact, you can plan for them by working a into your itinerary. The Strong Museum in Rochester, New York has everything toy-related, from a life-sized pop-up book to an interactive video game exhibit. You could head to the American Museum of Natural History to see the 94-foot blue whale and then watch the film “Night at the Museum” together later. Houston, Indianapolis, and Denver boast museums that are just for kids – parents aren’t even allowed in some exhibits.
Wherever you decide to travel together, take the time to plan out a trip that has something for everyone in the family. Make sure your kids have realistic expectations and they understand how many hours it takes to get to each highlight along the way. Check and double check your travel list: you don’t want to forget any prescription medications or can’t-sleep-without-them toys when you hit the road. Take plenty of photos, and shoot a video or two along the way. Keep the brochures and entry tickets that you pick up at each stop: they will make great additions to your family vacation scrapbook after your trip. When you return home, pick a rainy day to work together on the scrapbook and family vacation album. With a little careful planning, you can have a family vacation that creates wonderful memories and doesn’t end up like something in a National Lampoon movie.