Some families are already traveling, while others are still hesitant to venture to faraway places. The good news is that you don’t have to put off traveling any longer because there are great vacation options for everyone, no matter your comfort level.
Just like we’ve experienced our fair share of challenges this past year, the travel industry has been greatly impacted. But more and more destinations are opening, albeit with restrictions, and hotels are eagerly anticipating your visit. In fact, there are some great deals out there if you’re ready to grab the kids and get away from the workaday stress, remote work, and/or virtual learning.
Here are 5 trending vacations you can take right now:
State and National Parks
If you’re interested in outdoor adventures and some wild and wonderful fun, there are many state and national parks you can visit throughout Florida and all around the U.S. The Sunshine State boasts several national parks, including Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Biscayne National Park right here in Miami; Dry Tortugas National Park in Key West; Canaveral National Seashore in Titusville; and Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine. All these offer fun-filled activities and unique sightseeing opportunities.
If you don’t mind traveling far, there’s always Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Bryce Canyon to fulfill all your national park dreams — and I loved all of those. But don’t ignore the state parks because they also offer memorable experiences. Condé Nast Traveler recently released a list of their picks for the best state park in every state. “With ancient redwoods, bison, and red sandstone rock formations, they’re just as impressive as America’s national parks,” they wrote. Their pick for Florida was Bahia Honda State Park in the Keys because of the crystal-clear water, starry skies, water sports, and popular campground. In neighboring Georgia, they selected Cloudland Canyon State Park, a beautiful park with canyons, waterfalls, wildlife, as well as a plethora of hiking, biking, and horse trails.
These days, road trips are all the rage — and with good reason. According to a recent article at skift.com, “Road trips of 250 miles or more over Easter weekend in 2021 were a full 35% higher than long road trips during the same period of time in 2019.” Those are big numbers! If you’re not ready to hop on an airplane just yet and prefer to remain socially distanced, pack your bags and hit the road. You can plan your very own itinerary, decide how many stops you want to make, whether you want to pack your food or dine out, and for how long you’ll be away. I’ve had friends and family drive anywhere from Georgia all the way to Colorado, so you really can’t go wrong when you’re in control of your trip. Just make sure you take plenty of activities to keep the kids entertained along the way.
Camping and RV’s
There are all types of campsites and RV parks near and far. This is an ideal way to keep the family together and move from place to place with ease. Plus, you get a chance to commune with nature and really leave the hustle and bustle of city life behind. More families are going camping and roughing it or opting for glamping vacations in large tents with beds and other creature comforts. If you want a taste of the outdoors, but prefer sleeping indoors, RVing is the perfect alternative. RV travel offers other advantages, such as flexibility, cost savings, the ability to take all you need with you, the chance to travel with the whole family (even your pets), and an ideal way to avoid crowds. Apparently, many Americans are jumping on the RV bandwagon. The RV Industry Association reports that for only the second time in its history, RV makers may hit a record 500,000 recreational vehicles this year.
With so much pent-up demand, airlines are filling up more and more seats. As expected, there’s been more demand for domestic flights vs. international destinations. As a result of the pandemic, we’re also seeing more interest in nonstop flights to avoid navigating additional airports to catch connecting flights. Some airlines were keeping the middle seats vacant to boost passenger confidence, but not anymore. Delta was the last airline to do this, but as of May, all seats are being sold. There are still good deals out there, but keep in mind that increasing demand will continue to drive up prices. If you’re looking to get away, but don’t want to venture too far, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are two idyllic destinations where you can experience an amazing Caribbean vacation without a travel passport. Of course, you’ll still need to take a COVID-19 test and adhere to certain rules, so be sure to do your research in advance.
Last fall, my family rented a beach house near the ocean and it was just what we needed. We’d sleep in, have breakfast, and walk a few steps to the soft sand that kissed our feet. After a few hours of saltwater fun, we’d wander over to the pool (where there was barely anyone in sight) and enjoy swimming, diving, and playing some more. Each day, my girls begged to stay longer. It was an absolute joy to be able to get away without worries. How’s that for some R&R? These sun, sand, and surf vacations are still trending because you get the benefit of fresh ocean air, it’s easy to practice social distancing, and even if you don’t venture very far, it still feels like you’re completely disconnected. Oceanfront hotels are always a great option, but rental houses offer more isolation and added space so you can bring the kids, the grandparents, and even the dog. Some of the hottest destinations right now include the Florida Keys, Naples, Sarasota, Destin, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Most of the people I know are excited to get out and about this summer, and so am I! I can’t wait to see where the summer takes us. Where are YOU planning to go?
Looking for some road trip ideas and inspiration? Be sure to check out our Road Trip Series here!