In previous articles, we discussed the creation of a “Vacation Dream Calendar”, scheduling your holiday travel and Spring Break. If you missed any of those, you can read them here.
If you have followed my counsel and created your calendar and scheduled your holiday season travel and Spring Break travel, then CONGRATULATIONS! Your vacation calendar looks amazing! Now let’s discuss summer travel.
Summer is when a good portion of the US and other parts of the world put their best travel-foot forward. The timing is generally defined by two US holidays - Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Of course, summer recess varies by school system. Even if you don’t have children, it’s worth educating yourself on your local school system’s schedule.
Summer is typically when families take LONGER vacations. Business practices shift slightly, as so many American workers have children and tend to travel with them over the summer.
Against The Grain
If possible, try to avoid traveling over the Memorial Day or Labor Day weekends. It can be a nightmare with flight delays, crowded airports and interstates, high prices and long lines. Plan on doing something fun close to home those weekends. Perhaps enlist the help of some friends or even your children’s friends’ parents and plan a fun group outing close by. Just remember, not all school schedules throughout the US are the same.
Even if you are an expert planner, chances are, while traveling in the summer months you will be around plenty of wary vacationers. It’s okay! Don’t let them stress you out - Breathe! If you have children, they’ll remember these vacations forever and will be blissfully ignorant of how stressful it was for their parents. (That is, until they themselves become parents, of course!) Try to stick to your itinerary, but allow things to happen. No vacation is by the book, go with the flow and have the most fun possible! Calmness is contagious...
An option to consider is to skip summer travel all together and plan a MAJOR trip with the kids during school break in the Fall or Winter. I’m not a HUGE fan of taking the kids out of school, but you could extend some already scheduled time-off if that works better for you.
Consider the Destination
Mexico and The Caribbean are excellent options for summer travel. It is HOT, but savvy travelers may be able to find awesome deals.
I have written extensively on different types of vacations. But here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Theme Parks (Disney, Anaheim or Lake Buena Vista)
Themes Parks Orlando
Theme Parks - Dollywood
Theme Parks - Six Flags or Cedar Point
Las Vegas (with the kids? YES)
Big City Sights (Miami, New York, LA)
Big City Sights (Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Fransisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC)
National Monument Tour
Hall of Fame
The Canadian Rockies
Canada - Big City (Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto)
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it a million times more - save yourself the headache and heartache and plan and book these trips now! Time is money! As always, no thanks are necessary!
If you have any additional thoughts or questions, then please leave them in the comments below.
About The Author
Erik Hastings, a.k.a. Erik the Travel Guy is an EMMY award-winning television personality who is rapidly emerging as “America’s Travel Expert”. He is the host and managing editor of the internationally syndicated television series "Beyond Your Backyard" for public broadcasting stations (PBS) and other networks/VOD platforms. Erik leads an incredibly talented team of industry pros as the driving force of his platform. Erik understands and believes travel makes the world a better place and the industry directly supports millions of families all over the world. He wants his viewers to experience the potentially life-changing positive power of travel.
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TV Series: Beyond Your Backyard
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!
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