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With the world slowly returning to a semblance of normal, thoughts turn to the warm and lazy days of summer. Specifically, they turn toward vacations. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population plans to travel this summer. The question comes down to where to go. Additionally, what types of trips are good for families? For more information and some tips, here are a few family-friendly vacation trips to book this summer.

Lakes and Beaches

If your family is still hesitant to visit vacation spots with large populations, consider a trip to your local lake or beach. These have large swaths of sandy spaces with plenty of spots that seem isolated. Plus, you’ll be outside, so the risks are much lower. If your favorite beach or lake was normally crowded before the pandemic, then look at other water-based areas off the beaten path. There are plenty of secluded beaches on the East and West Coast of the U.S. that only locals know about. These tend to be empty even during the peak of summer.


Glamping is a sophisticated form of camping. Rather than days in a tent with a sleeping bag, travelers experience a comfortable way of exploring the wilderness. One form of glamping is to reserve a spot in a cabin resort. For example, a stay at a location like Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains allows you to explore the wilderness as part of a Gatlinburg vacation. This type of vacation can be a great way to bond with your family out in nature.

Amusement Parks

Though they aren’t accepting full capacity crowds, most amusement parks across the United States are open for business this summer. However, instead of trekking to one of the Disney parks, look at smaller attractions for a family-friendly experience. For example, instead of California’s Disneyland look into the classic Knott’s Berry Farm or Magic Mountain. On the opposite coast, you are a day’s drive to Hersheypark or Coney Island’s Luna Park. For roller coaster excitement with the family, head to Ohio’s Cedar Point.


Hiking is a perfect family-friendly vacation. America is home to tens of thousands of miles of walking paths through forests and across mountains. Where you go and what you conquer depends on age and skill levels. Most likely, you wouldn’t want to take a toddler on a hike up one of Colorado’s fourteener peaks. However, a short walk around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park might work. Or consider a lingering walk among the giant redwood trees of California’s Muir Forest.

Hands-on Museums

Generally, museums are boring for children. Staring at art or dinosaur fossils isn’t what they desire. To change this up, consider taking your family on a vacation trip to a hands-on museum. Normally, these are based on nature and science. One of the best of these is Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. Kids and adults experience two floors of displays that require a hands-on approach. On top of this, your town or city might have a similar venue.

Staycation Exploring Local Sites

Perhaps your family isn’t ready to take on the vastness of the U.S. for a vacation trip. If that’s the case, then consider a staycation. However, rather than making it a week relaxing at home, take time to explore local sites through day trips. Perhaps there’s a state or national park nearby that you’ve always wanted to visit. Head out to one of the amusement piers at a local beach. Take in a special presentation at one of the museums or a game at a major or minor league baseball stadium. Have family members choose a daily adventure to make it interesting for everyone.

Final Thoughts

This group of family-friendly vacation trips to book this summer is only a small sample of what you can do. In the end, while money is a factor, there are plenty of things to do that cost little or no money. Really, it’s the enjoyment of time together that makes a vacation a success. So, get everyone together to plan out events that went by the wayside during the pandemic. Make sure you budget enough for the vacation to be enjoyable instead of filled with anxiety.