There is a big wide world of unique family vacation ideas just waiting for you and your kids out there. Sometimes when parents are in need of a vacation, it's easier to just do the same old thing or go with the flow. Often vacation planning happens after a long day at work, late in the evening after homework and baths are done and the kids are in bed. It can be hard to muster up creative thinking at the end of a long day. No worries, our staff here at Vacationkids have created 10 categories of unique family vacation ideas that can help you plan a memorable family vacation.
As you read our list, be realistic when it comes to the ages and stages of your family. For example, some of these selections might turn your vacation into a hassle if you have babies or toddlers in your family. You might want to save some of these ideas for family vacations a few years from now. Some of these kid friendly vacations can be arranged for children and teens of any age. Also be realistic about the energy and activity level of your family. If you have a high energy family, then gear activities accordinly and vice versa. If your family is a combination of eveready bunnies and coach potatoes, plan a balance of activities to keep everyone happy. Keeping your family vacation plans and itinerary realistic will help insure a fun adventure for everyone.
Hopefully our list of vacation keywords will help to spur your imagination to customize a family vacation specific to the interests of your family members. Start thinking about our suggestions here and see where your imagination takes you...
1. Destinations- Use your family vacation to explore a specific dot on the map. Perhaps your family has a fascination with a specific country or city. Maybe this is sparked by food, culture or even a favorite movie. For example a movie like "Brave" peaks interest to Scotland. Inspiration to travel to a specific place can come from anywhere.
2. Heritage - Exploring your family's heritage can lead you to some wonderful adventures. This can mean big trips across oceans. It can also mean a weekend getaway exploring a college town where parents met or exploring U.S. city to see the home where grandparents grew up. It can also mean history trips to locations and sites kids are studying in school. A visit to Ellis Island or a factory tour might bring family heritage to life. Some families are so scattered these days that often to appreciate their heritage, kids needs to reconnect with extended family members so family reuinions are included here.
3. Sports -Over 35 million kids play organized sports in the US every year. Did you know there are fan week vacations for some specific teams. Famous players or coaches sometimes hold sports clinics at family resorts or on cruise ships. If you're real team players, we can create a group vacation so that all the soccer moms, dads and kids can vacation together, even make it a team fund raiser. Ski, Golf, tennis, marathons, biking, hiking, scuba certification...if it's a sport, your family can create a vacation around it. If your family wants to relax on their vacation instead of working up a sweat take in a game and watch the professionals play.
4. Skills - Want to promote family togetherness, how about learning a new skill together on your next vacation. This is great for vacations with tweens and teens because it levels the playing field between parents and kids. Everyone is a newbie. Skills vacation runs the gamut from sports like surfing or rock climbing to cooking and baking. Volunteering projects can teach home improvement skills with construction projects to trail management in national parks. There are language imersion programs to music and craft programs. It's a great chance to help families grow together with new interests.
5. Literary - Make your favorite stories come alive with a trip. Either visit a specific literary destination or replicate elements of the story. A UK literary tour could be themed with Beatrix Potter or Harry Potter...depending on your age and the Potter that you prefer. Maybe a literary tour for your family means a trip to Belgium's Belgian Comic Strip Museum.
6. Science - Planetariums, fossil hunts, archeology, shell hunting are all fun scienced themed activities. Visit an active volcano in Hawaii or understand it's destructive force with a visit to Pompeii, Italy. See nature in the wild and visit extreme species of the Galapagos.
7. Animals - Ride an elephant or Camel, Swim with dolphins or turtles or spend a week on a dude ranch. If you're family loves animals there are SO many options for you to enjoy. An animal themed vacation can be as simple as an outting to a famous zoo to holding a koala in Austraila to a full out African safari.
8. Experiences - Ever dreamed of riding an elephant or taking a hot air balloon ride? How about some glitz, bling and a walk down a red carpet? We can send you to space camp but if the sky's the limit when it comes to budget, we can even send you into outer space.
9. Special Interests - If you're a fan of anything, chances are there is a convention or event celebrating that interest. From hobbies like scrapbooking and wood working to fan conventions for video gamers, family vacations can be created around these events.
10. Celebrations - Speaking of celebrations, family vacations are great opportunities for marking milestones. The most popular for our travel agents are high school graduation trips...one last hurrah for families before kids leave for college. Other popular celebrations are milestone birthdays for parents and destination weddings and renewing vows.
We're sure there are many of you parents out there thinking..."Thanks Vacationkids, these are great ideas". (You're welcome). But this would never work for our family. Nobody in our house can ever agree on anything. Everybody in our house likes different thing and has such diverse interests....No worries! If you're family is a "combo platter". With a bit of sharing and compromise, parents can blend these ideas into one vacation that will make everyone happy. For example a weekend trip to Boston might be a great idea for young school age kids. A walk along the Freedom trail will bring their history classes to life. Take in a behind the scenes tour of Fenway Park and a Red Sox game will make the boys happy with a family friendly Lobster Macaroni & cheese dinner will give mom a night out of the kitchen without breaking the bank.