When you’re working full time and the kids have school and after-school programs it can seem like there’s barely time for a good night’s sleep and burnout is imminent.
Taking a quick break can recharge your batteries for a time, but there’s nothing quite like taking a full two weeks off, unplugging from the office and making the memories that will last a lifetime. No one on their deathbed wishes they spent more time at the office. Read on for four vacation ideas that come with the family seal of approval.
Take a Cruise
With a two-week time window, you’ve got some excellent options for a family cruise. Look at a transatlantic cruise for unique destinations and a lot of time spent at sea, or consider a European river cruise for continuous scenery and historic destinations. Either way, a cruise means minimal planning on your part with a lot of space and time to enjoy your family on the ship and onshore.
River cruises offer smaller sailings with about 200 guests and the onboard offerings are commensurately smaller so may be better for families with older children who will get the most out of the port stops. With smaller children, opt for the ocean liners. Child care programs provide a day camp atmosphere with plenty of interaction with kids their own age and neat projects to keep them busy when you need time to relax in the spa. Spend time together using ship amenities like pools, waterslides and climbing walls.
Visit Washington D.C.
Instead of visiting foreign historic sites, consider taking your family to the nation’s capital to learn more about the U.S. That’s only one among many opportunities the city provides. A trip to Washington, D.C. can be an amazing learning opportunity as the seat of the nation’s government. Besides all the monuments and government buildings, take the kids to the museums. The Smithsonian Institute is located in D.C. and has so many museum options you probably can’t see all of them in two weeks. Besides famous options like the National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of Natural History, consider visiting these sites:
- Arts and Industries Building
- National Museum of the American Indian
- National Zoo
- Smithsonian Gardens
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
Plan a Walt Disney World Vacation
Year after year, one of the top family vacations in the U.S. is always Walt Disney World. This mega-resort complex is home to four theme parks, two water parks, multiple hotels and countless dining and shopping options. Like a cruise, if you buy a package deal there’s very little planning to be done here. On the other hand, you will be spending all of your time at Disney. If you’re not a huge fan, it can mean gritting your teeth while your family enjoys themselves. There’s no dropping off the kids on this one. However, if like many adults, you’re as big a fan of Disney as most kids, you’ll likely have the vacation of a lifetime enjoying the rides and meeting your favorite characters.
Spend Time in Hawaii
Hawaii may be the most isolated population on earth but the world comes to them. The only U.S. state that’s also an island, the state and its seven populated islands draw individuals and families for many reasons. Take your family to see an active volcano; Mauna Loa is the largest volcano on earth but only one of the many volcanoes of the islands. Famous for its beaches and surfing, your family can also visit historic sites like Pearl Harbor and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial or learn about Kalaupapa leprosy colony (be aware that children under 16 are not allowed access to the site). While luaus are big business at the major hotels, there are still ways to learn about the traditional Hawaiian culture throughout the islands.
Any of these options can be the basis for lifelong memories for your family. Find out what appeals to everyone and start planning your next trip.