5 Best Family Summer Vacation Ideas

Summer may be ending, yet there’s still time to reconnect and relax with family, to recreate favorite childhood memories and make news ones together. Do you see the family lying on a beach or around a resort pool, hiking mountain trails, learning history from a national park ranger, exploring a new city, being thrilled by an exotic adventure or a daring new theme park ride? We have ideas for every fantasy.

ALASKA Sail the Inside Passage on many large cruise lines including Disney, which has 5, 7, or 9-night cruises aboard the Disney Wonder departing from Vancouver B.C. This is a great option for multi-generational families and those with young kids. But you can also tour Alaska on a different kind of cruise, like the 12-passenger Sea Wolf that enables you to kayak every day in Glacier Bay or hike onshore. See what Eileen Ogintz wrote about her Sea Wolf adventure.

BOSTON AND CAPE COD There’s no better city to learn a little American history (think Freedom Trail and Boston National Historical Park) and experience baseball than Boston. After a few days in the city, head east to Cape Cod. The Chatham Bars Inn opened in 1914 for wealthy Bostonians and today welcomes families with more than 200 rooms and suites, varied recreational options on one of the prettiest beaches, an exclusive spa and a daily kids program where kids 4-12 can bake, visit the resort’s own farm, and perfect their kitchen crafts at the Chopping Block Institute.

COLLEGE TOURING Leave the other kids in the family behind and opt for some one-on-one time with your high school junior or senior. Stay in a B&B near the campus to pick up some intel from locals. Don’t try to cram too many schools into one trip. Check out GoSeeCampus.com, a free website offering an online college trip planner for high school students and parents. Don’t forget to ask your student to make notes after each visit, and to keep your own.

CRUISE from a port near your home; you have more than 20 to choose from hosting the major cruise lines. Cruises are good bets for families whether the kids are preschoolers (organized activities), teens (all they can eat, a safe place to roam) or grandparents. Read about Eileen Ogintz non-stop activities on her cruise aboard Carnival’s newest and largest ship, Vista. Eileen also reports on the topic of cruise safety –  the subject of lifeguards aboard ships, water safety measures and the importance of adult supervision.

DISNEY VACATION If the kids (or your partner) are begging to go on a Disney vacation – and we mean a theme park, cruise, resort or guided tour, save yourself time, money and grief with a specialty travel agent. Contact Susan Finch with the Enchanted Traveler for a free consultation, and consider her VIP customized Walt Disney Planning and Concierge Service. Don’t be overwhelmed, and get the vacation you want at the best value.

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