An outdoor camping setup with hammock and tent; a great summer vacation destination.

Explore the Best Summer Vacation Ideas for Your Entire Family

Written by Jillian Walsh

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Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s high time to start planning your family vacation! But with so many different places to go and so many activities to enjoy, it can be tough to settle on just one or two different summer vacation ideas – especially if you’re on a tight budget. Let’s explore some of the best summer vacation trips you can take your family on this summer and in the summers to come.

Camp at a local lake

The best way to beat the heat? Visit a local lake for a cooling swim on a hot day and bring some camping supplies to turn it into a multi-day adventure. Many of the best lakes in the country are prime tourist and summer vacation hotspots, offering lots of water activities, boat rentals, and other ways to enjoy your time out on the water. Whether you enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, jet skiing, or other exciting water sports, lakes can provide ample opportunities for fun and adventure.

Reserve your spots early!

If you do plan to take a summer vacation to a scenic local lake, be sure to reserve your RV or tent camping spot well ahead of time. The most popular spots are often reserved months in advance, and the last thing you want is to show up at the lake only to find that there’s no more room!

 Alt tag: View of the Grand Canyon during a summer vacation


Take a trip to a national or state park

The United States is home to some of the world’s most beautiful national parks and state parks. Summer is a prime season to take a tour of the natural splendor found throughout our country, so consider taking your family with you on a road trip to visit one or more of these gorgeous parks:

Deciding where to go

With so many different state and national parks to choose from, decision paralysis is a real risk. We recommend thinking about these factors to pick the perfect summer vacation destination:

Family enjoying a beach during summer vacation.

Get some sun at beautiful beaches

Ready to work on your tan or practice your surfing? Take your family with you to a beach for your summer vacation this year; odds are that everyone in your group will find something fun to do! Whether that’s taking long walks along the shoreside, collecting seashells, or browsing the charming antique shops in small coastal towns, beaches are some of the best places to spend your summer vacation.

Things to bring

The best beach vacation experiences are only possible if you prep accordingly! Be sure to bring plenty of essentials with your beach bag, especially if you have a kid or two, like:

Enjoy the fresh air on hiking trails

For your summer vacation, you can get plenty of exercise and immerse yourself in the outdoors by tackling long hikes. Through-hikes – which take several days or even weeks to complete – are exciting opportunities for you to nourish your frontier spirit and camp out under the stars.

This vacation idea is best for those who want to spend their summers being physically active and getting as much fresh air as possible. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few of the most popular hiking trails that take more than a single day to complete:

Thrilling summer vacation at an amusement park.

Get a one-of-a-kind experience at a theme park

Summertime means a long school break for the kids, so this season might be the perfect opportunity to take a theme park vacation with your whole family. Disneyland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios are just a few examples of the different theme parks you can buy tickets for and spend days experiencing.

Theme parks are stellar family vacation ideas during the summer since there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Amusement rides are fun no matter your age, while adults can enjoy prime restaurants or shopping experiences and kids can interact with their favorite fictional characters as they immerse themselves in fantastical worlds. Theme parks are inherently kid friendly, offering attractions and activities specifically designed for younger visitors.

If a theme park summer vacation sounds like the best choice, you’ll get the most bang for your buck if you plan your trip carefully. Get a hotel near the theme park so you don’t have to spend a lot of time in the morning or evening going to or from the park. Think about fast passes for rides, too – no one wants to spend most of their vacation standing in lines!

Tourists visiting The Bean in Chicago during summer vacation.

Enjoy the sights of a new city

Maybe you have a hankering for travel this summer. So why not take your summer vacation to a brand-new city you’ve never visited before?

Many of the most popular tourist destination cities have lots of activities and sites to see, like museums, monuments, and fine dining spots. The world is home to dozens of beautiful cities that each have something unique to offer, like:

Once you’ve chosen which city you’ll visit, take a look at hotels, excursions, and the best restaurants. Remember, if the total trip price shapes up to be a little more expensive than you first imagined, a travel loan could be a helpful financial tool to get your budget over the finish line and let you enjoy your best summer family vacation without worrying about your wallet. For more tips, read about how to manage travel expenses with vacation loans.

The information and materials provided on this website are intended for informational purposes only. They should not be treated as an offer or solicitation of credit or any other product or service of Regional Finance or any other company. This website may contain links to websites controlled or offered by third parties. The inclusion of any third-party link does not imply any endorsement by Regional Finance of the linked third party, its website, or its product or services.


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