Posted on 05/04/2017
Wondering where to go? Start here.
Summertime. It’s the season we look forward to all year long, when the sun is shining, the grills are going, and—with schools closed and many offices having shortened or flexible hours—“the livin’ is easy.” With great weather at your back and that “life is good” feeling, it’s also when we get to have the most fun.
… And what’s more fun than making summer vacation a vacation?
Start by choosing a theme everyone can agree on. Having a particular type of travel in mind makes coordinating your trip that much easier, since your vacationing style will determine where you’ll go, where you’ll stay, and what you’ll do. Be sure to take preferences, ages, and activity level into account.
Once you know what it is you’re looking for, let your travel agent and Travel Impressions help plan an itinerary each family member is happy with. Over 200 destinations and countless experiences worldwide make it easy.
When an enriching vacation that lets you deep-dive into a different culture (just because school’s out doesn’t mean they can’t learn!) is what you need, head to Europe, a long-standing summer favorite with no end to new foods, languages, and fashions to try … or to histories to learn.
For urbanites, city center hotels in destinations like Rome, Paris, and Barcelona that provide concierge services are the way to go. These specially trained staff members are local experts, and can offer recommendations ranging from where to eat to what to see (most of which will be close by). Introduce yourself at check-in, and tell them the kinds of things you’re looking to do. Remember, friendliness—like a greeting in their native language—can go a long way, and even reward you with VIP benefits like tickets to that sold-out play or last-minute reservations at that trendy restaurant with waits out the door.
If the countryside is where your heart lies, a hotel or villa near the hilltop vineyards of Tuscany, emerald fields and wild ways of Ireland, or lavender meadows of Provence is an ideal home base. These properties, close to picturesque rural towns and major hubs alike, let you truly connect with the locals, and experience life as they do.
Families who want culture shock in the best way possible can immerse themselves fully in the Eastern world with an escorted tour through exotic China, Japan, or India. Authentic experiences no one will ever forget led by regional guides make for one impressive “how I spent my summer” essay.
Visiting Mother Nature
Another way to see the world is a vacation that lets you recharge while going green.
Perfect for get-me-outdoors families always on the go, ecotouristic hot spots like Costa Rica let their natural beauty do all the talking. Volcanoes, hot springs, and jungles filled with exotic birds and cheerful monkeys replace museums, palaces, and markets as a whole new kind of historic site, where ancient trees are the only high-rises. Resorts often have eco experiences right on sight, giving everyone more time to bond with Mother Nature—and each other.
Want natural wonder within driving distance? In celebration of their 150th anniversary, Canada is offering free admission to every one of their national parks for the entire year, making our northern neighbor one to see in 2017. And hiking, biking, and boating under a summer sun is hard to beat.
Prefer to stay stateside? Ft. Lauderdale, home to Everglades National Park and the world’s largest butterfly garden and hummingbird aviary, is one of our own national treasures kids will love.
Parents who quote movie lines as answers and kids who think Netflix marathons are the best use of family time will find tracking down cinematic backdrops the ultimate summer escape. Places as varied as Spain (Star Wars), Norway (Frozen), Austria (The Sound of Music), and Croatia (Game of Thrones)—where a private villa just for your family lets you feel like rulers of the Seven Kingdoms—have all been featured on the big or small screen.
Teens tapped in to the trending zeitgeist 24/7 will be even happier posting pics from Orlando, where Universal Orlando Resort® keeps adding can’t-miss attractions; Las Vegas, where A-list musicians and celebrity chefs take to stage and table; and New York, The City That Never Sleeps (and makes you wish you could do the same to fit it all in) to their Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat feeds.
One Resort to Bring Them All
When unplugging and reconnecting to each other is the goal, all-inclusive resorts make it easy. Brands like Now Resorts & Spas, Hard Rock Hotels, and Meliá Hotels & Resorts offer beachfront properties you never need to leave … or want to. Entertainment for every age ensures the kids will be too busy to be glued to their phones.
For parents more concerned with strollers, pack ‘n’ plays, and diaper bags, look for a resort where you and your toddler can both play at ease. The Azul Beach Resorts, by Karisma offer complimentary “Just Bring the Baby” amenities that let you do just that, while their Nickelodeon Experience™ and dedicated activities for teens keep older siblings and cousins equally entertained.
Extended and larger families across all age groups should opt for properties with separate adults-only sections, club levels, connecting suites, and clubs for kids and teens for multiple vacation styles all in one—and even more value.
Families with other considerations, from single parent needs to dietary constraints, will find options that meet their requirements as well. With so many all-inclusives throughout Mexico and the Caribbean, there’s something for every type of traveler and every budget. Travel Impressions’ Family FUNcation promotion offers a great start.
When it comes to family travel, being of one mind on what kind of experience to expect is essential. Because if there’s one thing everyone should always agree on, it’s how incredible getting away together really is.