There may be travel restrictions currently in effect due to the coronavirus pandemic, but experts are working diligently toward a vaccine and government officials are beginning to gently roll back some of the regulations that are keeping us cooped up. If you’ve been quarantined with your family for a few months now, you probably know firsthand how beneficial a vacation could be.
Everyone’s been going stir-crazy with each day feeling exactly like the last. The kids are going bored out of their minds, even despite your best efforts to entertain the family in new and exciting ways. Many moms and dads must try to get work done in make-shift home offices, taking conference calls amid the chaos, and moonlighting as impromptu homeschool teachers while they’re at it.—unless, of course, they’ve been deemed an “essential” worker to the economy and have to wave goodbye every day, dawned in Personal Protective Equipment, only to return to their loved ones who are a bit on edge.
A change of scenery could be the breath of fresh air everyone needs to shake off their secluded woes and bring the family back together after the forced proximity might have, ironically, pushed you guys apart. Here are some tips and ideas to strike your inspiration so you can start planning a trip once all the dust has settled!
First: How to Pick the Perfect Place
Before suggesting unique travel destinations for a much-needed vacation, there are some considerations you might want to keep in mind to guide your planning.
How you plan on arriving at your destination of choice can narrow down all the available options on a map. For example, if you intend on road-tripping to get from Point A to Point B, you might want to limit your daily distance to a six-hour drive max—especially if you have young children with shorter attention spans. Otherwise, too much mileage could result in the same cooped-up kind of insanity that you’re trying to get away from in the first place.
Depending on where you live, you might have access to train systems that travel between states or up and down coasts. This can be a great transportation method for families because, although a train may move as slow as a car, the cabin room allows everyone to move around and the routes are often designed to cut through beautiful scenery—as opposed to long stretches on the Interstate Highway that seem to lead to nowhere.
Airplanes, of course, are the fastest way to get you where you’re going, but if you’re traveling with children under six months or seniors with health problems, it may not be suitable to fly. Another option is to board a family-friendly cruise and travel through the open sea, which is pretty attractive to parents looking for an all-in-one package that appeals to the kids as much as themselves.
The form of transportation you choose will depend heavily on how much room is in your travel budget. Obviously, airfare and cruise packages cost more than a train ticket or tank of gas, so you’ll need to keep these factors in mind.
One tip worth mentioning for families traveling on a budget is that airfare prices have dropped significantly due to the pandemic and may enable you to fly to locations that would never be on the table otherwise. Plus, many airlines are offering no-charge cancellation fees so you can book now with low fares, and cancel later if it’s still not safe to fly.
Finally, don’t forget to think about the family-friendly activities available at your destination of choice. While Mom and Dad might be itching to head toward the closest U.S. casinos and let a little loose, they should confirm there are also arcades on-site or Kid’s Clubs that can supervise the children while gambling. Grandma and Grandpa might want to go to a relaxing countryside village, but everyone else could be bored and irritable.
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Try to strike the right balance by finding activities for everyone on board. Below, we’ve gathered some of our top places for families to vacate, including options that fit all different budgets and lifestyle preferences.
1. Travel by Motorhome to a National Park
In search of some adventure? Want to disconnect from all the technology you’ve been plugged into at home? Love your dog and want to bring Fido along for the ride? These are all signs that suggest you need to take a motorhome holiday. Get off the grid and go to a nearby National Park where you can camp beneath the stars, hike through rolling hills, and cookout around the firepit.
2. Travel by Train to the Old, Wild West
For a unique family vacation that the kids will never forget, go back in time and hop aboard a train to travel through the Old, Wild West. Children will feel like classic cowboys as they visit the old stagecoach stations that became original railroad stops, taking in thrilling sights and natural wonders such as the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park.
3. Travel by Ferry to Catalina Island
If you live on the West Coast, one option that everyone will enjoy is to take the ferry from the Port of Long Beach to Catalina Island. Travel time only takes about two hours, and once you arrive, you’ll have no shortage of options to choose from. Snorkeling, sailing, swimming, beach-side camping, and sight-seeing the wild bison roaming throughout the hills are just a few of the top activities.
4. Travel by Cruise to Coastal Ports
A Disney Cruise might not be “unique”, but the tropical destinations they sail to certainly are. Kids will have endless fun onboard, grandparents can gamble in the casino, and Mom and Dad can soak up the sun lounging by the pool. And when you arrive in South America or the Bahamas, everyone will marvel at the turquoise waters, lush rainforests, and friendly monkeys looking for a photo-op!
5. Travel by Plane to Southeast Asia
Last but not least, if your kids are you’re traveling on a budget, take advantage of cheap airfare by booking a trip to Vietnam. You can stretch the U.S. dollar incredibly far in this exotic country, with activities like parasailing and island-hopping costing around the equivalent of just a few bucks.
Consider these five unique places for your next family trip—so long as you stay safe while traveling during the age of coronavirus, you definitely won’t regret it.
Kaelee Nelson received her Master degree with an emphasis in Digital Humanities and pursues her career as a writer in San Diego, currently writing for 365businesstips.com. She enjoys informing readers about topics spanning industries such as technology, business, finance, culture, wellness, hospitality, and tourism.