Seeking out the best summer vacation ideas

Looking for some fun or relaxing summer vacation ideas? You’re in the right place. This guide is packed with inspiration and destinations to get your travel search going. Looking for a beach paradise complete with swaying palms and sandy toes? It’s right here. After a cozy cabin in the mountains for a loved-up escape with your significant someone? Keep reading …

Different types of summer trip ideas

Whether you’re a traveling twosome or a rowdy bunch with tots and tweens, these getaway ideas are sure to please. Start with the perfect destination – be it lakeside or tucked away in the woods – then add a vacation rental full of homey touches, breezy outdoor spaces, and killer views.

Summer travel for families

When it comes to planning a family break, there’s lots to consider. What will everyone like to do? How do you balance that much needed R&R with plenty of activity for the bouncy bunch? The ideal summer vacation for kids and adults may not be the same thing, after all. Enter vacation rentals in action-packed destinations like Chicago, where boat rides on Lake Michigan and museum hopping days end at city center lofts with space for the parents to unwind after the kids go to bed. Or, in breezy condos along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where kids can splash around to their hearts content in on-site swimming pools surrounded by plush lounge chairs.

Summer vacation ideas for couples

If you’re looking to heat up the romance when the temps rise, consider a cozy spot for two with sizzling extras. Maybe it’s a beachy bungalow on the Oregon coast with balcony views of the dramatic Pacific sunsets. Perhaps a pine-scented cabin in the redwoods of northern California with a bubbling outdoor hot-tub for cool evenings under the stars. Take your pick.

Destinations in the US for the best summer vacations

You don’t have to carry passports around or journey far for memorable summer trips. They’re right in your own backyard, whether it’s the rolling mountains the next state over or a sandy coastline just a road trip away. If you’re up for a longer plane ride, though, the Aloha State beckons…

Why not Hawaii?

You can’t go wrong with a trip to the islands. Besides the countless golden beaches and jealousy-inducing sunsets, there’s tons to do here. In bustling Waikiki on the island of Oahu, museums, shopping, and bike rides await, while the North Shore offers chilled out vibes with its surfer shacks and wave-thrashed beaches. Head over to Maui for scenic coastal drives and bucket-list snorkeling – hello, sea turtles – not to mention refreshingly sweet hula pie.

Florida’s endless beaches

Maybe a beach trip a little closer to home is more practical. Enter Florida, a favorite for southerners, mid-westerners, northerners – just about everyone can find a spot to love here. Where to go? Buzzing Miami down south has Cuban flavors and big, breezy villas steps from the sea. The panhandle’s bath-warm Gulf waters draw families for dolphin-watching cruises and picnics on the sand. Cocoa Beach on the east coast is just a quick hop from Orlando’s thrilling theme park rides. The list goes on…

Up in the Smoky Mountains

You don’t even have to pack the swimwear for the best summer vacations. Sometimes they take place in landlocked states where summer mountain vacations call to outdoorsy types and lovers of adventure. Take Gatlinburg in Tennessee, where family-friendly amusements downtown give way to the fringes of Smoky Mountains National Park. Come here for epic hikes just outside the door of log cabins and family bonding time in timber lodges with game rooms and big dining tables.

Fun summer vacations for less

Great summer vacations don’t have to break the bank. All it takes is a little planning and prep, and an occasional dose of thinking outside the box. The tips below should help.

Avoid the hottest hot spots

Ok, so a villa on Miami’s South Beach might cost a pretty penny in the midst of the summer rush. But that doesn’t mean you can’t soak up the Florida sun on an Atlantic beach or savor a toasty Cuban sandwich. Consider heading a few blocks inland to a vacation house rental in the burbs with a pool if you want a Miami zip code or heading up the coast a way until you see the prices sway downward.

Book extra early

Since it’s pretty predictable that many sought-after destinations will be at their peak come summer, you’ll want to start seeking out that bungalow by the bay or houseboat rental on the lake extra early. This will ensure that the best prices and options are still available when you go to book, so you can stash more cash for ice cream cones and fish tacos come July.