Summer is here, and vacation is on everyone’s mind. After all, it’s not just a chance to get away, but an opportunity to make epic memories with your kiddos. Whether you’re still in the planning stages, or if you want to bookmark ideas for next year, we scoped out some travel trends that are rocking the industry in 2019. Scroll through them all, and get ready to be inspired.
Say Yes to Skip Gen Travel
Grandparents traveling with grandchildren—without parents in tow continues to be a biggie. Parents get a break, and the next generation gets to spend quality time with their grandparents, making memories and sharing experiences. For skip gen travel, it doesn’t even to be a far-away destination. Just taking the grandchildren for a weekend away is a great start. Consider destinations like the Dells in Wisconsin, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina or New York City.
Discover Your DNA
As a travel trend, more and more families are interested in learning about their roots. With the popularity of 23andMe as well as Ancestry.com, families are keen to show their children their humble beginnings. Recently, Airbnb and 23andMe have teamed up to incorporate heritage travel into the mix. When a customer receives their 23andMe ancestry info, they can click through Airbnb Homes in that geographic area to plan their own birthright experience. Popular destinations include Italy, Ireland and Mexico.
Connecting to Nature and Each Other
While camping has been a family tradition for generations, trending ways to explore the great outdoors include Dude Ranch vacations and glamping! Both allow you to breathe in the fresh air, views that go on for miles and perfect hiking trails. The best part is there’s probably no Wi-Fi on a wilderness family vacation which lets you connect to nature and each other. Ride horses, cook outdoors, go on wagon rides and herd cattle in the Wild West. Trends in “glamping” provide canvas tents with wood floors and luxurious bedding for the ultimate in comfort. Check out the Dude Ranchers’ Association for details.
Sip and Savor in Wine Country
Yes, this is a thing. Wine country vacations give families an opportunity for breathtaking views, family picnics and easy hiking. Your best bet is in Sonoma or Napa Valley, in California, where you’ll find rolling hills, luscious grapevines and plenty of family-friendly experiences. Take a kayak ride through the Valley’s waterways or explore pre-historic fossils in the Petrified Forest. At the wineries, kids sip grape juice while their parents enjoy the delicious varietals. Try the Francis Ford Coppola Winery with a pool and teepee library or take a tram ride through wine caves at the Benziger Family Winery.
Get Out for Adventure Travel
Families who like to get that adrenaline pumping or seek amazing wildlife experiences should consider a national park vacation. Get out of your comfort zone and push your boundaries with the most striking natural wonders in the U.S.A. Stand in amazement at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park or the magnificent views in Glacier National Park. From zip lining to white water rafting to caving, thrill seekers will get their fill of heart-pumping moments to share and remember.
Immerse Your Family in Another Culture
Teach your children to be citizens of the world by embarking on a cultural immersion vacation. This travel trend gives kids a chance to discover their own heritage, learn a language, visit historical sights and experience local traditions. Countries like Italy, France, Spain, Costa Rica and Ireland are perfect destinations. Start with activities like a cooking class, artist workshop, meeting a local family, or visit a farm or local market. A combination of education and travel will allow kids to learn about the world from the world.
Share the Wonders of the World
While the list of wonders keeps evolving, these monumental venues promise to stay etched in your kids' minds forever. Opt for U.S. destinations like the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore and the National Parks, or expand your boundaries at global destinations: the Rose City of Petra in Jordan, Taj Mahal in India or the pyramids in Mexico’s Chichen Itza.
Sustainable Travel Helps Communities
Families understand their responsibilities to steward global citizens and set a good example for eco-travel. Trends show that concerned travelers avoid over-tourism spots like Venice, Machu Picchu and Amsterdam. While traveling, they support local businesses by choosing small B&Bs, family-owned restaurants, artisan shops and markets. They make it a point to “meet the locals” to create strong connections to the people and culture. Taking it a step further is Sonoma County Tourism which has paired with Kind Traveler. Book your vacation for special rates, and a $10-a-night donation will go to a designated local charity that positively impacts the visiting destination.
Give Back with a Volunteer Vacation
Visit a destination and help improve the lives of other families. These hands-on, family-friendly projects make meaningful memories. Pack with a Purpose puts you in touch with organizations that need food, clothing or supplies. Just bring it with you and your kids will see how it does a world of good. Other organizations like Global Volunteers (globalvolunteers.org) or BestFriends (bestfriends.org) for animals offers volunteer opportunities. Even in Orlando, Give Kids the World Village provides a free weeklong vacation and access to Walt Disney World for children with life-threatening illnesses. Volunteers can take scoop ice cream, deliver pizza, staff the carousel or assist on village rides together.
Feature photo: iStock