Thinking about taking a family trip? Make this next one extra special. Peruse these unique vacation destinations and set your sights on one that inspires you. Don’t worry too much about the details for now; just decide what it is you really want the most. You deserve to treat yourself and your loved ones. Much of the joy of travel is found in the planning, preparing and anticipating.
Many families have a dream to go on a cruise to Hawaii. Sailing across a foamy blue expanse, kicking your feet up on a comfy lounge chair while you bathe in the sun on deck, smelling the delicious cruise food wafting over you like aromatherapy, and searching for interesting creatures in the water are just a few of the fun experiences you will have. Book a cruise from November to May and you might just catch the long dark shapes of humpback whales drifting through the water like cryptid underwater blimps. Other sights you may spot are friendly yellow butterfly fish darting among rocks, wise-looking green sea turtles, adorable spinner dolphins leaping from the water, gliding manta rays, or the puppy-like faces of monk seals peering curiously at you.
Upon arrival on Hawaii’s shores, there are many more sights to discover. Visit the island of Oahu and dip your toes into the soft white sands of Waikiki beach where Hawaiian royal children used to play. Sign up for a surfing lesson, and as you wait in the gently rolling waters for the perfect wave, admire the majestic view of the giant volcanic tuff cone, the Diamond Head. Afterwards, enjoy some local food–perhaps Sweet E’s Cafe or the Highway Inn. Then, take a tour of the historic battleground of Pearl Harbor. Board a navy shuttle and stand above the sunken wreckage of the 184 foot ship, the USS Arizona. Visit the monuments of men who died in battle. Go to the USS Submarine Museum and Park to explore the best-preserved submarine from World War II. See all the fascinating collections of historical military equipment in the adjacent museum.
There are eight major islands, several atolls, seamounts, and smaller islets to explore. Spend some healing time on Hawaii’s numerous beaches, indulge yourself in the island eateries, get a foot massage at a spa, take in the expansive green hills and clear waters, or book a volcano tour.
When you picture an Icelandic vacation, you probably imagine the shimmering aurora of the northern lights, a dancing green, blue, and purple borealis that invigorates the soul with feelings of life and passion; magical and other-wordly. Iceland has a large selection of northern light tours–you can book a tour anytime the lights are visible, from early September to the end of April. Anyone who has a chance to see the northern lights should take it. This is truly an experience like no other, so aim to schedule your tour on a night with the most optimal conditions for solar light sightings: as dark as possible, with no clouds, and with high levels of solar activity.
While you’re in Iceland, answer the call of adventure and take a tour of the glaciers. Over 4,500 square miles of glacier runs across Iceland. Amid this expanse rests Jökulsárlón, which translates to Glacier’s River Lagoon. It borders Vatnajökull National Park in southeastern Iceland. The lagoon is one of Iceland’s most popular destinations, and is considered a crown jewel of Iceland due to its unmatched beauty. Jökulsárlón is Iceland’s deepest lake at 248 meters. The surface area measures eighteen square kilometers. It connects to the ocean and has a mixture of sea and fresh water, which gives its waters a one-of-a-kind color palette. Since Jökulsárlón first started forming in 1934, the black beach resting near the lagoon has gradually become covered with ice chunks, earning it the name Diamond Beach, due to the glistening of the ice in the sun. Many wild seals can also be seen lounging on Jökulsárlón’s ice formations, and the lagoon is teeming with birdlife. It’s a wintery wonderland just waiting to be explored.
Book your tickets to a show in the famous concert hall, Harpa, where musicians such as Sigur Ros, Bjork, and Of Monsters and Men have played. Harpa is a dazzling glass-block facade that glitters and changes color on the Reykjavik Harbor. It is designed to mimic the appearance of a glacier in the sun. Among the different and varied performances the concert hall has to offer, you may also consider seeing the Iceland Symphony Orchestra and the Icelandic Opera. Every year, the Iceland Symphony participates in the Dark Music Days, a festival of contemporary Icelandic music. The Icelandic Opera also produces a versatile program with the participation of local talent each season.
The world is vast, and time is limited. Begin to gather your plans for the best vacation trip that you and your family deserve. Don’t procrastinate your travelling dreams.