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Best Family Vacation Spots Around the US: How to Make the Most of Your Trip

Toying with the idea of a fun trip somewhere with your kids? Fabulous! Of course, we all remember some family vacations that were simply disastrous. To avoid making those kinds of memories, here are a few pointers to create a sensational getaway for you and your family:

  • Spend time planning

To play with an old saying, "Planning makes perfect." While you can't plan for every eventuality, the more you take into consideration before your trip, the smoother everything will go. Do your research, find good prices, and compare the various attractions that are available. Also, think about schedules and plan activities that fit within the limits of your family. If you have younger kids, for example, don't plan an entire day of activities without pause. Instead, figure in a few breaks throughout the day to accommodate the lull in energy levels for smaller family members. It will make an unbelievable world of difference to your entire trip.

  • Focus on what’s fun for you

Remember that you want this vacation to be an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone. And that might not be the same definition across the board. One family’s vacation may look entirely different than another’s. So, take your friend’s recommendations in stride and realize that their idea of fun might not match yours.

A good way to ensure that everyone has a good time during your vacation is to get the kids involved in the planning stage. Obviously, you'll have the final say, and you don't want to give them carte blanche. But it can be helpful to get their input on some ideas. Pick out a handful of acceptable destinations, and let your kids choose the one they like the most from that list. Give the older kids a louder voice in this process; the younger ones will probably just enjoy being out, and they'll get their turn to call the shots in a few years.

  • Unplug

This is sometimes hard for people, and teens especially, but taking a vacation from your devices will completely transform your vacation. Everyone needs to unplug sometimes, and when you're on a family vacation, it's the best time to take the plunge. Shut off your phones, keep them locked in the safe, and disconnect in every way possible. You'll have more time, energy, and focus for your family. You'll be shocked at just how much you enjoy spending time with one another when there are no media distractions.

  • Go with the flow

No matter how much you plan, hiccups are bound to happen. Take things in stride, go with the flow, and just let life happen. The more easy-going you are about everything, the more able you will be to handle the unexpected with equanimity and a smile when it comes up. And sometimes, the spontaneous spur of the moment decisions we make on a trip are the most enjoyable of all.

Best Family Vacations in the USA: Our Top 10 Destinations

If you’ve even started your research, you know one thing for sure - there are a boatload of vacation destinations in this beautiful country of ours! From Myrtle Beach to Sanibel Island, America is packed with exciting vacation destinations for the entire family to enjoy. Here’s our pick for ten of the best getaways that the US has to offer. Still can’t decide? The good news is, there’s always next year!

1. Disney Adventures

Walt Disney left a legacy of animated films that will probably live on forever. Another thing he left behind was a massive network of amusement parks, known as Disney Adventures that no childhood would be complete without experiencing. From the Magic Kingdom to Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Universal Studios, and so many more, Disney is truly a magical experience for kids of all ages to enjoy. The parks are situated across Florida and California, including Orlando and Anaheim. They offer an exhilarating potpourri of enchanting experiences with familiar childhood favorites, thrilling adventure rides, exotic animal exploration, sensational light and sound shows and parades, and international allure.

2. Yellowstone National Park

If you’re looking for a back to nature-style family vacation, you can’t go wrong with a national park. And Yellowstone is one of the most popular options in this category. Spanning three states (Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho), Yellowstone features breathtaking views, dramatic hikes and adventures, and beautiful wildlife sightings. What’s more, the park has more than half the world’s geysers and hydrothermal features, including Old Faithful. Yellowstone features hiking, camping, boating, fishing, sightseeing, and more. So, you’ll get a lung-full of fresh air, and some exhilarating memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re looking for more of this type of experience, Yosemite in California and the Grand Canyon in Arizona are both top-rated locations, as well.

3. Washington’s National Mall

If you just can't get enough of our fair country, then perhaps a trip through its rich heritage will do your family some good. If that's the case, you need to visit Washington's National Mall. To begin with, you'll see some of the most famous monuments in the country here, including the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the Constitution Gardens. Every inch of this hour-long stroll is covered in fascinating artifacts and details about American history. There are also botanical gardens that are stunning to see.

In addition, the National Mall hosts the Smithsonian Institution, a museum complex that houses 17 fabulous museums on a wide range of topics, including the National Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, the National Air and Space Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. And best of all, most of these exhibits are totally free.

4. The San Diego Zoo & Safari Park

If you think a zoo couldn't possibly offer that much excitement, think again. For one thing, the San Diego Zoo lets kids and adults experience animals up close and personal with guided tours, educational adventures, and a fabulous array of wildlife that includes more than 3500 animals spanning 650+ species. The zoo is clean, beautifully designed with animals in their natural habitats and environments, and packed with exciting activities for everyone to enjoy.

For another thing, the zoo offers awesome activities like the Skyfari aerial tram, 4D theater, kangaroo bus tours, and botanical gardens. If that weren’t enough, The San Diego Zoo offers daily, group, and annual passes that bundle other attractions into the cost. So, for one price, you and your family can visit more than 35 other exciting destinations in addition to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Best of all, you’ll get free entrance to LEGOLAND and SeaWorld, two of the most exciting theme parks for kids in the entire country.

5. Indianapolis Children’s Museum