Whether you pack up the car or board a plane, summer vacations are a wonderful opportunity to bring your family together to relax, have fun and maybe learn a thing or two. Travel with children can be interesting, to say the least, so planning ahead is a great idea. That said, spontaneous trips can be fun too.
Where to Go?
If you crave the idea of cool mountain nights, how about heading north to New York State? Families love destinations in the Adirondacks like Lake George or Lake Placid which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. Camp or reserve a local hotel but don't forget to stop by Howe Caverns on the drive up.
Theme parks are always a hit with kids. Hershey Park and Sesame Place are both manageable drives from Morris County and not too far from Philadelphia where you could visit the Liberty Bell. Interested in incorporating history and theme parks? Maybe Colonial Williamsburg with nearby Busch Gardens is the answer for your family. Need I mention Disney?
Heading out west may satisfy needs for adventure. What better destination than the Grand Canyon? A white water rafting excursion requires some serious teamwork that might be ideal for a trip with teenagers. California's San Diego has lots of fun and interesting options for families. From the San Diego Zoo to Coronado and it's Naval Base to a day trip to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, there are plenty of sites to see and things to do.
Summer vacations on the beach are perfect. While New Jersey has , mixing it up and trying The Hamptons, Block Island, or Martha's Vineyard can be a nice change of pace. If you want to head south, check out The Outer Banks, Hilton Head Island and the Georgia Sea Islands.
A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way
First time flying with kids? There is never a dull moment. To get through security more smoothly, check out the Transportation Security Administration's webpage for Traveling with Kids. Please double-check that you have your wallet and all family members' passports before you leave the house. Trust me, this detail often slips through the cracks.
Headed on a road trip? You will need some creative ideas to keep your kids happy. How about an edible distraction? When packing your cooler of drinks and snacks, include some fruit loops and licorice strings and let the kids make necklaces. Stock up on new coloring books and easy art activities. DVD and music players are great for passing time too.
For some more destination ideas, check out the following:
- Travel Channel - Top 10 Fun Family Resorts
- Parents.com - Best Family Friendly Resorts
- Trip Advisor - Best Family Friendly Trips Anywhere
Madison and Chatham Parents - What are your favorite family friendly summer destinations? Have any cool tips on how to keep the kids happy while in transit? We need your expert advice!