Eager for the day when we can all head off on a family vacation to a tropical paradise? Yep, us too. We’re crossing our fingers that we can all travel sooner than later and in the meantime, we’re bringing you some travel inspiration for 2021. We expect to see lots of road trips, national park visits and RV travel in 2021, along with many families finally taking those bucket list trips (because why not?). We’re especially looking forward to reuniting with grandparents and spending some time with no WiFi at all. Scroll through for all the family travel trends we expect to see in 2021!

photo: Exodus Travels

Dateless Departures

For the ultimate in flexibility, book your vacation now but know that you have the flexibility to see how 2021 plays out before you have to pick a date. One tour operator that is offering such a package is Exodus Travels. They are now offering travelers an exclusive opportunity to be among the first to visit one of 20 newly-reopened destinations with its first-ever Dateless 1st Departures voucher. What's more, the first 100 people to book a voucher will will receive a $300 rebate on their deposit.

Upon a country's reopening to North American travelers—and pending the completion of Exodus' 5 Stage Health + Safety Approval Process—anyone who purchases a Dateless 1st Departure voucher will be guaranteed a spot on the very first Exodus Travels tour scheduled to re-enter the country in question (typically within the first month of reopening). In the interest of flexibility, should the date of the first tour not align with a travelers' schedule, Exodus Travels will work with them to find another date—or trip, if need be—that suits.

photo: iStock

Road Trips Reign Supreme

With so many of us sticking close to home for the majority of 2020, we all got to experience the fun of the road trip. Check out this list of our favorite road trips in the U.S. and find a unique Airbnb rentals you can reserve along the way. Before you head out, peruse this list of road trip hacks to get your crew prepared for the long journey and download some of our favorite podcasts for kids so you don't have to fight over the radio station. 

photo: Airbnb

Head to the Trees

Whether it's the need to get as far away from civilization as possible or a Swiss Family Robinson obsession, families are taking to the trees and booking a night or two in a treehouse. There are loads of treehouses you can rent across the country with a ton of options especially in California

photo: Aurora Wilderness Camp

Take That Bucket List Trip

Now that we've lived through a year-long ban on travel, many people are looking to book that bucket list trip that they've only been dreaming of. Whether that means seeing the Northern Lights from a mobile sleeping hut in Finland, or booking a private island vacation in Belize, why put it off any longer? 

photo: iStock

Travel with the Grandparents (Finally!)

So many of us are really missing getting together with our families these days. We expect to see a surge in multi-generational travel in 2021 with families looking to get out and travel with grandparents. Whether you send the kids off on their "gramping" adventure without you, or are looking for somewhere that three generations can enjoy, there are plenty of options out there. 

photo: Exodus Travels

Guided, Small-Group Trips

We want to go big with our travel plans but the actual planning of the trip is most definitely not part of the fun. Leave the planning and execution of your trip up to experts like Exodus Travels. You can book a private trip for your family, or join in a small group with other families that have similarly-aged kids to make it even more fun. Whether you go self-guided or have an expert there to show you the way, this type of travel is definitely the way to go for families. 

photo: Kate Loweth

Off-the-Grid Adventures

With way too much time spent on screens in 2020, many families will look specifically for off-the-grid adventures for their 2021 trips. Think about a kayak trip in Yellowstone or a ranch vacation complete with hot spring pool in Idaho. There are tons of awesome options out there with no WiFi in range. 

photo: Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort

International Destinations Beckon

Many families are looking to 2021 as the year when they do that big international family trip. When countries start to open up to visitors and it is safe for us to travel, we expect to see a lot of travel deals to get everyone flying again. Maybe 2021 will be the year that you take the family to Istanbul, bike ride through Croatia or shack up at a real Irish castle

photo: Tracks & Trails

Ride Off into the Sunset in an RV

While most of us never considered RV travel as a fun option for a family, it has exponentially increased in popularity this year and we expect this trend to continue into 2021. If you are a total RV newbie, we suggest leaving the planning to the experts when you book your first RV trip. Think you can handle it on your own? Rent an RV, grab yourself a WiFi hotspot and head out on the road to give road schooling a try

photo: Airbnb

Cozy Cabins to Get Away from It All

There's something so restorative about a weekend in the woods. As families look for ways to get away from the homes they've been confined to due to COVID-19, cabin rentals have become super popular. They offer families time together, many times without WiFi, and you can even bring your dog along with you. 

photo: True Colombia Travel

Avoid Overtourism with Second-City Travel

Living through 2020 means we're all a little wary of traveling to crowded destinations. How about you swap touristy destinations like Venice and the Caribbean with lesser-known destinations that have the same feel but fewer tourists? This travel trend offers families a more low-key trip and the opportunity to get a more specialized experience while also lessening the impact of over-tourism on cities. Tour companies like True Colombia Travel provide the opportunity for families to experience cities rarely seen by tourists like Pasto, Colombia. Here you can experience Carnaval de Blancos y Negros, the largest annual festival in southern Colombia, and learn about the construction of the giant carrozas (festival floats) firsthand from parade participants.

photo: Mendocino Grove

Take the Family Glamping

Glamping gives you the best of both worlds—the smell of a campfire in your hair and an actual bed to sleep on. You won't have to schlep all of your camping gear with you, everyone gets a better night's sleep, and you still get time out in the woods away from WiFi and civilization. Check out some of our favorite spots for glamping including loads of options in California.

photo: Kate Loweth

Make It a Micro-cation

If time and money are tight, consider a micro-cation for your next family trip. These four-day-or-less trips allow you to see someplace new and get a break from everyday life. It's a good way to get the kids used to travel without having to pack a ton of gear for everyone. Surprise the kids with a last-minute trip and see a new part of the country.

photo: Kate Loweth

Spend Some Time in a National Park

With over 400 national parks in the United States, chances are there's quite a few nearby that you have yet to explore. National parks trips are particularly fun for families as they give kids (and parents!) a little history lesson and a big dose of fresh air at the same time. Check out these national parks that are particularly kid friendly from California all the way to Maine. 

—Kate Loweth

 

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