Does it seem like you keep doing the same family trips year after year? Humans love routines, but they can quickly turn into ruts. While there’s something comforting in the familiar, it doesn’t do much to stretch your experience and imagination. If you want to set a precedent for your children to becomecurious explorers, it’s time to diversify your family vacations starting with the destination. But first, make sure you maintain a frugal mentality—visiting a helpful finance center can help you get the perfect SUV for a road trip. After all, the more travelers you have, the more affordable driving becomes. You don’t have to pay perseat, and you have the added freedom of being able to zip to where you want when you want.
There are also a few barriers to get over, and many of them are mental. We live in an era where reviews are at our fingertips. These digital word-of-mouth referrals can be helpful, but they can also be rabbit holes. Don’t let reviews, especially from strangers, dictate where you go. Instead, check out a few reviews once you’ve narrowed down potential destinations based on your own research. At the same time, don’t let your research lead you astray. Having too much information can be overwhelming and can also lead you to a stall.
Start by thinking about destinations you’ve always wanted to visit but just haven’t. Tick those off your list first, especially if they’re relatively close. You should trust your instincts, and even if the destination doesn’t end up being as great as you think, at least now you’ll know. Here are a few other ways you can get a little more creative with where you decide to go:
- Visit places you haven’t seen in your state. It’s nearly guaranteed that you haven’t seen all the top-rated destinations just a short drive away. Play tourist in your hometown or home state and see what you discover. As an added bonus, many destinations offer discounts or free entry for locals. Make the most of what’s all around you.
- Randomly choose a spot on a map. Whether it’s blindly pointing or literally throwing a dart, why not let fate decide? You can narrow your odds by choosing a map that’s of your town or state. Let the kids make the call, and suddenly you’ll be off on a wild adventure.
- ‘Tis the season. Many destinations are holiday—or season—specific, like all of those Halloween towns or Christmas villages. Not only will you see someplace new, but you’ll also quickly get into the holiday spirit—whatever holiday that might be.
- Go on a cultural journey. Similar to a destination dictated by the season, there are many cultural events that can totally transform a destination. You’ll get to see a new place as well as have plenty of ready-made events.
- Let museums guide the way. You already want to check out all the museums in a new city, so why not let that be the deciding factor? Start researching the best family-friendly and kid-centric museums around the world and build your vacation around them. You can even figure out which museums have free or discount days to save money.
- Let the kids decide. There will have to be some parameters put on this, but when children feel like they have a voice, they can get creative. You might be surprised by what they decide. Make sure to set a budget as well as a distance limit. This can also help start conversations on vacation costs and the importance of frugality.
The next time you start planning a family outing, start thinking outside the box. Traditions are great, but why not start exploring? There’s so much to see,and having an adventurous spirit can be genetic. Help your children kickstart their curiosity and choose a new travel destination.