Article by Thomson Milan

List all the places you’ve visited with your family so far. Got it? Good. Now light it on fire. Actually, maybe just crumple it up and throw it away. While you’ve been forcing a smile year after year at boring beach destinations and on routine road trips, amazing adventures have been passing you up. Instead of taking the family on an unforgettable journey to the unknown, you’ve sacrificed the possibility of fresh experiences for the comfort of traditional mediocrity.

Sure, there are memories to make at your established beach of choice, but what about all the new moments you can discover by thinking outside the box? Sandy shores are a lock for fun, so keep those on the list. Simply add expeditions to iconic cities, awe-inspiring landscapes, and adrenaline pumping events. In need of a few ideas? No problem. Check out a few of these notions to get a start on your innovative summer travel plans.

Plan a Trip Around Your Favorite Sports Team

Hit a few cities you’ve never seen, visit a couple of new stadiums, and cheer on your hometown squad in an unfriendly atmosphere. What could be better? If you don’t have a favorite team, schedule a dream trip to one of sport’s most iconic events. You won’t be disappointed. Grab a brew, try out a new e-cigarette flavor, and kick back with the boys in style. Bonding with a friend or family member in a foreign environment with your team’s logo painted on your chest is a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

How to Plan Your Most Amazing Getaway Yet

And, transportation might be easier than you think. Many teams partner with travel companies like AAA to offer away-game packages. Just check the organization’s website and you could be headed to the game of the year—and in an awesome city to boot! If you’d rather catch a NASCAR race or golf championship, there are offers available for those as well. From tennis matches to the Olympics and World Cup, your dream vacation is just a few clicks away.

Take a Tour of the National Parks

Ready to go camping?The United States is home to some of the most amazing topography on earth. West Coast mountains, East Coast foliage, and mid-American caverns offer spectacular backdrops for your next getaway. You’re going to want to be prepared before you start on your next excursion though. Plan out how long your hikes will be, where you will stop for the night, and what equipment you’ll need to take. And, obviously, you’ll need plenty of water.How to Plan Your Most Amazing Getaway Yet

Perhaps your best option for lodging will be a tent and sleeping bag. Make sure you book your nights far in advance, as many of the nation’s most popular parks fill up months in before travelers arrive. Opt for a guide or go it alone with some simple research and map charting. No matter how you plan to spend your journey through the nation’s most beautiful reserves of nature, you’re bound to see some amazing views. Most accounts list the followingfive parks as must-sees:

  • Yosemite, California
  • Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Denali, Alaska
  • Yellowstone, Wyoming
  • Zion, Utah

Take a Tour of the Greatest Amusement Parks

Let’s head in a different direction—from sky scraping trees and muscular mountains, to death defying roller coasters and stunt filled spectacles. There aren’t too many places where you can travel the world of Harry Potter and lose your lunch on one of the steepest drops on earth. Whether you’re a Disney fan or fun fanatic, America’s amusement parks have it all.

Hit some of the globe’s greatest parks all within a few days when you travel to Florida. Or, get a glimpse behind the scenes before you enjoy a virtual reality tour in California. Filled with family fun and exciting adventure, the attractions are sure to keep your loved ones entertained. One tip: don’t plan to go during peak seasons, as large crowds may dampen the atmosphere.

Go Big City Hopping

Sure, your city is wonderful. It’s home, and filled with pride and history. But what else is out there? Chances are that amazing food destinations, world-class museums, and awesome entertainment are close by. Map out a trip to your neighboring city, or fly across the country and hit the urban areas down the cost. You won’t be disappointed. Different cultures, odd architecture, and dissimilar lifestyles will leave you with plenty of stories to tell when you arrive back home.

-Thomson Milan

I know after reading this, I am ready for a vacation. A really long vacation!

 What are your favorite ways to plan your next great getaway? 

*Cheers to getting away*

joanna at motherhood and merlot