There are always going to be the typical destinations for family trips and vacations. There are classics like Disneyland and Disney World. There are the family camping trips in the big trailers with the modern conveniences. There are the trips to the National Parks, and maybe the endeavor down to a theme park like Sea World, or in the Midwest there’s Cedar Point.
But what about alternative types of vacations? What about trips that do something a bit different, that satisfy a unique part of the desire to go somewhere new or see something different? Or maybe even doing something active, or historically important in the greater context of things?
For parents who find themselves wanting to show their children these more unique aspects of life, there are lots of options if you think about them. Five examples, just offhand, for these alternative destinations might be things like heading to Vegas, going truly rustic camping, heading up mountain climbing, using volunteer opportunities, or maybe even visiting Native American reservations. Starting with those ideas that are just slightly off the beaten path will help to get you thinking about what future possibilities might hold for the family vacation to remember.
Head To Vegas
Though Vegas is definitely more known for its adult side, going to a place like LV Sands is educational in its own right. You’ve seen the parents that are overprotective of their kids and shelter them from other sides of life, even avoiding topics like gambling, or clubs, or the nightlife, but if you, as a parent, specifically take your kids (still probably teenagers at the youngest) to these locations and explain to them what it’s all about, even in terms of a vacation, then not only can you all have a great time, but you’ll learn something as well. About cities, and people, and even bad habits like gambling that can lead to poor life decisions. Sharing that as a family is definitely an alternative but positive experience!
If you take your family out and create a vacation from truly rustic camping, you’ll be giving them a real injection of life as well. With all of the TV shows on like “The Walking Dead” or other apocalyptic visions, going camping in a way where you don’t have any modern conveniences will be truly eye-opening on a family level. Get your tents, your backpacks, your fire-starting gear and head out rustic camping together, and suddenly, those children are going to appreciate what they have a lot more! As long as everyone is up to immerse themselves in the survival game, everyone should have a great time as well.
For real adventure-seekers, you can take a family vacation to go mountain climbing. And I don’t necessarily meaning climbing Mt. Everest, but doing something truly challenging like mountain climbing, especially as a family, can be a bonding experience, an educational opportunity, and an event that no one will ever forget. If you think about the difference between heading to a beach somewhere and staying a hotel, to getting your climbing gear ready and taking on a cliff side, think of which one is more exciting!
And for the charitably-focused, you can always combine a family vacation with the idea of volunteering. This is a great way to explore new cultures, meet new people, go to new areas or countries, and help out all at the same time. For kids, this is great exposure to the idea that sometimes the best kind of fun is by helping out other people, and is one of the more rewarding and satisfying ways to spend free time.
Native American Reservations
For as much emphasis as is put on Native American culture, very people actually experience much of it firsthand. If you want to go on a truly unique family vacation, find out where you can go to see Native American reservations that are open to the interested tourist. But don’t just stop in at the gift shop. Talk to people, see what everyday life is like – stick around for a few days and see what aspects of the culture you can absorb from a modern historical perspective.