While the kids are home during the summer, it can feel like a bit of a mad dash to get in as much summer travel adventure as possible.
The only problem with this is, with school being out, just how many people are thinking the exact same thing. Suddenly the lines at the airport are getting longer, traffic a little worse, and every one of those tourist destinations more popular.
So what's a parent to do with adventurous kids looking to see the world (or at least somewhere else besides their own neighborhood)?
Here are a few helpful hints to help you and your family find the best times to travel while being able to avoid the crowds.
1) Do some research into less popular tourist destinations
While it's of course great to aim to see some of the world's "must visit" destinations, the crowds can definitely ruin a bit of the experience. Try and poke around for some less-visited tourist destinations. This tool at championtraveler.com helps show you times when the most people are traveling a specific location, so do some searching and try and find a location where the total number of tourists isn't peaking. These off-season times might not have the best weather or seasonal festivities, but they will likely have far better deals on hotels, flights, and of course be less crowded!
2) Visit the "opposite" seasons during the US summer
As most people want to enjoy a warm summer in the US, they'll likely stay in the northern hemisphere. But it's actually not that hard to find beautiful weather by looking south of the equator during the winter in that part of the world. There are many travel destinations in South America, South East Asia, Australia, and more, that are often overlooked during our summer. Some of the most beautiful sights in the world are in these locations, and their "off" season is during the US's summer.
3) Sneak in a bit of extra vacation
I know how hyper-competitive things can be for kids these days, and even missing a day of school feels like it can sometimes be ruining their chances at success (unfairly, of course). But the reality is, it's ok to take a little extra time off during the school year, especially if it's for travel experience or quality time as a family. Make sure to be accommodating to their school's schedule though, avoiding weeks with big tests, important projects, or other extra-curricular activities. Traveling during the school year can be a great way to avoid the massive influx of crowds to popular destinations.
It's important to check with your kids' teachers though to make sure they are ok with this, but in my experience, teachers are often very accommodating.
4) Don't forget the weekend getaway!
Not every family vacation has to be some huge spectacle. It's ok to plan just a few days escaping for a quick camping trip or local adventure playing tourist in your own city. Check out local city guides or look for places less than a two-hour drive away. These little trips can be just as much fun for the whole family, and can often times be a lot less stressful!
What are your thoughts? Would love to hear how you plan avoiding crowds while on family adventures.