Looking for a vacation spot that won’t break the bank? We asked Dan Weisman of Flipkey.com, a leading vacation rental website, to give us some suggestions of destinations that are road trip worthy, great for families and fun to visit. Here are his recommendations:
I have distinct memories of a family road trip from Boston to Washington D.C. I was about six, and the ten-hour drive was close to unbearable. The best part was arriving at my aunt’s comfortable house where we stretched out, rested and relaxed after the long ride without all the rules and restrictions of a hotel. By the next morning, my siblings and I had already forgotten the drive and were ready to see the dinosaur bones at the Smithsonian.
Road trips with the family are easier and more fun when the accommodations at the end are as comfortable as home. You don’t even need to visit an aunt ten hours away to get a change of scenery – vacation rentals are often located in perfect family destinations where you can find an activity that makes everyone happy. Whether your tolerance for driving with the kids lasts 30 minutes or three days, here are some ideas for trips that everyone will remember long after they’ve forgotten the “are-we-there-yets.”
Orlando and the surrounding towns are always favorite family travel destinations because of the proximity to Disney World. Forget the parks’ all-inclusive family vacation packages and save money by driving and staying in a vacation rental. Not only will you be able to choose which parks you visit (Disney park packages don’t include tickets to Universal Studios), but also you’ll be able to choose where and when you eat, and whether you want to take a day or two off to just relax. For those who don’t live anywhere near Orlando, consider another park, like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Hershey Park in Pennsylvania, or Cedar Point in Ohio.
One of the USA’s greatest assets, the National Park System offers access to North America’s most incredible natural features. No matter where you live in the States, you can road trip to a comfortable cabin and have the great outdoors in your backyard. And, no road trip is more iconic than a visit to a National Park. If you’re looking for something different than the tried-but-true Grand Canyon road trip, head to Estes Park, CO, where Rocky Mountain National Park has awe-inspiring views and abundant opportunities for adventure. You can find out more about the National Parks near you by visiting the NPS website here.
What’s even better than arriving at a home near your destination? Arriving at a home that is your destination. When you stay on a dude ranch, your whole family can fill their days with activities like horseback riding, fly fishing and hiking, or you can kick back on the porch and read a book. However you choose to pass the time, you can’t go wrong with comfortable accommodations and access to rugged American beauty. Check out these Dude ranches in California, Wyoming, and Montana.
Not about to build your own field of dreams in your backyard? That’s alright – the great ballparks have already been built and are waiting for you to come check them out. As a native Bostonian, I recommend a pilgrimage to Fenway Park, but if your team allegiances and location make a trip to Beantown impossible, then try Wrigley Field in Chicago. For those who just want to catch a game with the kids, also consider minor league stadiums near your vacation home, which often have inexpensive tickets and fun activities for the family. Make it a family tradition, and try to road trip to every ballpark in the country, or find a fun way to pick which park you’ll visit this summer.
It’s summer, so sand and surf (and for foodies, surf and turf) are on everybody’s mind. The best way to enjoy the beach? From a beach house, of course! There are so many great beaches and beach homes that I would need to do at least a top-100 list just to scratch the surface. Instead, here’s a tip on renting a beach house: look for a property with an outdoor shower; kids love the novelty of showering outside and you will love it when they get the sand off before coming inside.
Next time you plan a road trip with the family, think about setting up camp in a vacation rental right in the heart of the action. When you return home your kids won’t be asking, “are we there yet?” They’ll be asking, “when can we go back!”