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Home Resource Center Travel Tips Planning Dream Vacation Ideas

Dream Vacation Ideas

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Fun Family Adventures
Your dreams can come true... plan that dream family vacation now!


    Have you planned your family vacation? You have a week vacation time to spend with the kids.  Where will you go? What will you see?  How will you travel there?
    Are you and the kids at a loss for vacation ideas? You don’t need to be. This can be a favorite part of trip planning... just dream a little.
    My son and I dream of exciting places we’d like to explore, of adventures we’ve yet to experience, of memories we’re eager to create.       
    With your dream list in hand, you can then compare the ideas with your vacation essential list. After finding which vacation dreams fit most of your needs and wants, you can then check those ideas for availability and meeting your family budget.
My son and I look into several vacation ideas at the same time; this usually guarantees that one of our dreams will come true.
    Here are a few vacation ideas that will help you create your own list. Have fun and dream a little...

Head for the Open Road...
 
How about a road trip with a theme?  Take your car or rent a SUV, a van, or an RV...  
• Retrace the Lewis and Clark Trail, Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail or Trail of Tears see not only stunning countryside but a look into history.
• Select a part of the country that interests you and explore the area’s small towns and back roads. Pennsylvania’s Lancaster county, North Dakota’s Badlands, California’s gold country are fun choices.  
• Enjoy the beauty, history and outdoor activities found at National Parks. Visit Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Yellowstone National Park, and Grand Teton National Park, or Cumberland Gap National Historic Park and Mammoth Cave National Park. (www.nps.gov)
• Explore cities like San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco; Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis; or Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York. Visit the museums, zoos, aquariums and cultural attractions.
• Ride the rollercoasters at amusement parks like Disneyland(www.disney.go.com), Six Flags Theme Parks (www.sixflags. com), or Cedar Point Amusement Park (www.cedarpoint.com).
• Search out ghost towns, covered bridges, or light houses.
• Visit historical sites such as Colonial Williamsburg (www.williamsburg.com), Sturbridge Village (www.osv.org), Gettysburg National Military Park (www.get tysburg.com), or Mesa Verde National Park (www.mesa.verde.national-park.com).  
• Packed full of history, sites, and lots of natural beauty are the National Scenic Byways. Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from Washington to California; Blue Ridge Parkway from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the border of North Carolina.  (www.byways.org)
• Visiting Grandma and Grandpa? Drive a new route and take the backroads.

Hop a Train and Ramble Down the Tracks...
 
• See the U.S. on a variety of routes offered by Amtrak (www.amtrak.com). The California Zephyr takes your family from Chicago through farmlands and the Rocky Mountains to San Francisco. Silver Service travels from New York through Raleigh and Orlando to Miami.
• America’s Scenic Train Rides, found throughout the U.S. are fun, short side trips to any vacation and a great way to introduce the kids to train travel. Durango & Silverton Narrow-Gauge Railroad (www.durangorailroad.com) through Animas Canyon in south west Colorado and the Skunk Train (www.skunktrain.com) through northern California’s red-wood forest are two scenic routes.
• Travel by rail through Europe or Canada.

Set Sail and Cruise your Way to Fun...

• Cruise lines like Carnival (www.carnival.com), Royal Caribbean (www.royalcaribbean.com), and Disney (www.disneycruise.com) offer families diverse itineraries, a multitude of destinations, and a variety of activities and amenities.
• Your family can charter a sailboat with or without a crew in many locales around the world.
• Cruise the Mississippi River in a steamboat (www.spiritofpeoria.com) or charter a barge (www.gobarging.com) and explore the waterways of Europe.
• A houseboat on Lake Shasta or Lake Mead (www.sevencrown.com) can provide sunny days of fishing and swimming.
• Eco-cruises like Sonesta Nile Cruises (www.sonesta.com/nilecruises)
and Alaska’s Discovery Voyages (www.discoveryvoyages.com) focus on learning about the environment and cultures of the area.

Vacation in One Locale and Visit Nearby Sites...

• Rent a house or condo on a favorite beach at the ocean, on a lake or close to a river. Or, try the mountains or desert regions.  How about renting a flat in New York, a castle outside of London, or a villa in Madrid?
• Pitch a tent, or rent a yurt or cabin at a state or national park.   
• Family Resorts, such as Rocking Horse Ranch (www.rhranch.com) in New York, Amelia Island Plantation (www.aipfl.com) in Florida, Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman (www.hyatt.com), and Waikoloa Hilton (www1.hilton.com) in Hawaii provide kids’ clubs and non-stop activities for the whole family.
• Help collect chicken eggs on a working farm, like Berkson Farms (www.berksonfarms.com) in Vermont.  
• Saddle up at a dude ranch.  Tanque Verde Guest Ranch (www.tvgr.com) in Arizona or Laughing Water Ranch (www.lwranch.com) in Montana are two of many.

Take to Adventure with a Tour...

• Join other families exploring Costa Rica with the tour company, Wildland Adventures (www.wildland.com); the Galapagos with Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.com); Australia with Rascals in Paradise (www.rascalsinparadise.com); or on safari with  Ultimate Africa (
www.ultimateafrica.com).
• Add a sport while seeing the sites--hike, bike and kayak the San Juan Islands in Washington with Backroads (www.backroads.com); cross the Tetons in a covered wagon with Teton Wagon Train (tetonwagontrain.com); or white water raft the rivers in Colorado and Utah while searching for dinosaurs with the Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org/outings).
• Plan your own custom adventure with help from a tour company.

Learn about a New Culture...

• Explore the Mayan ruins in Mexico and Central America.  
• Visit with the Athabasca Indians in Alaska.
• Exchange homes with a family in Tuscany, Sidney, or Montreal.
• Lend a helping hand with Global Volunteers (www.globalvolunteers.org) in Vietnam, Turkey, or Greece.
• Camp or stay in Youth Hostels (www.hiayh.org) while touring Europe.


Dreams are as endless as are vacation ideas.

    So, go ahead and Dream a little...  

 

Where is the O'Conner family?

When the lakes freeze over, the O'Conner family are having winter fun at this unique hotel. Where is the O'Conner family?
Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Dream Vacation Ideas
Your dreams can come true...
Plan that dream vacation now!

Discover how fun it can be to plan that dream family vacation. Find a variety of ideas to help create your own dream list of fun adventures... take to the open road, hop a train, set sail, pitch a tent, stay in a resort, join a tour, learn about a new culture, and oodles more. Choose from a multitude of possibilities. Dreams are as endless as are vacation ideas. So, go ahead and Dream a little... 

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