For some, planning a vacation can be a thrill. The possibilities are seemingly endless and each destination offers something new and different to explore. For others, thinking up vacation experience ideas is just another chore before you get to encounter the real thing.
To make your next vacation the best one yet, we’ve put together a guide to the ultimate vacation experience planning, no matter which destination you’ve chosen. Find out the best vacation experiences for every type of traveler from group trip junkies to solo travelers.
1. Wander Around on Foot
Whether you take the opportunity to get lost in a new city or choose to join an educational walking tour, it’s a great idea to start your trip with a relaxing walk to get to know the area. You’ll be able to get your bearings for further exploring and also have a little fun taking in all the sights, sounds, and smells that will be part of your trip.
Walking tours are a great way to get to know a destination better and a great guide will be a font of information, often providing maps and tips on where to eat. If you’re on a budget, there are often free walking tours on offer where a tip is encouraged.
2. National Parks
There are 423 national parks in the United States alone and many more park systems around the world just waiting to be explored. Parks can be the perfect vacation experience because they are usually affordable, often iconic representations of the destination you’re visiting, and chances are, you’ll have one near to where you’ll be visiting.
National parks are made up of national treasures like the Petrified Forest in Arizona or the ancient cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde in Colorado. They can also include natural wonders such as the volcanoes found in Lassen Volcanic, California, or the mighty Grand Canyon in Arizona. Whether you’re in for adventure or a more educational experience, national parks have got something for everyone.
3. Cooking Class
What better way to fully immerse yourself in the culture of your destination than to learn how to recreate one of its classic dishes at home. You’ll get to improve your cooking skills while learning more about the history that goes behind each dish.
Cooking classes can be a private affair with just you and your travel companions or a social activity where you can get to meet new friends from around the world.
4. Escape Room
The latest craze in group problem solving, escape rooms can turn any vacation experience into a great one. Fun for young and old alike, you can find escapes rooms popping up in many classic vacation destinations, including the popular Great Escape Room Grand Rapids.
Escape Rooms are good for challenging your brain but can also help bring couples, friends, and families together. For at least an hour, you’ll be creating lasting memories, cracking combinations, and breaking codes.
5. Hop-on, Hop-off Bus Tours
While these bus tours can sometimes seem cheezy, when done right, a hop-on, hop-off bus tour can provide a broad overview of the city layout and popular sights. It’s both a tour and form of navigation that focuses on the parts of your destination that you’ll actually want to see.
As a bonus, some bus tours will connect to multiple routes saving you even more money on transportation and potential hassle.
6. Wildlife Sanctuary
When looking for vacation experience advice, zoos and aquariums are out but wildlife sanctuaries are in. At an animal sanctuary, you’ll get to learn more about the local wildlife while also getting to know the stories of the locals that take care of them.
Animal lovers will get a closer look at their favorite critters and will be helping in their future conservation with the entrance fee. Some wildlife sanctuaries even have programs where you can become an animal keeper for the day and help prepare food, learn more about their daily habits,
7. Bike Tour
Grab a bike and get cycling if you really want to get to know a destination. When you visit a new city in a bus or car, you can often feel separated and miss the ability to interact with the landscape. If you’re touring by bike, however, you’ll have more opportunities to really stop and enjoy everything around you.
Many cities now have easy bike hire schemes where you can pay to use a bike for an hour, a day, or a week for an affordable fee. When that’s not an option, you should be able to find a bike rental shop that will have the added benefit of providing you with
8. Sunset Sail
No matter where you are in the world, sunset is one of the best times of the day to be out and take in the scenery. If you get the chance, the best viewpoint is out on the water looking back over the landscape.
The best part is, this vacation experience can be tailored for all budgets. If you’re looking for a paired back experience, grab a kayak or paddleboard and head out on the water on your own or with a friend. If you’re keen to splurge, you can go to the next extreme and hire a private yacht complete with a flute of champagne to top off the experience.
9. Try Something New
A vacation is an ideal time to stretch yourself and get out of your comfort zone. If scuba diving or bungee jumping has been on your bucket list, why not make the event even more special by including it in your itinerary?
It doesn’t just have to be an adventure activity, you can also consider a lookout point to conquer that fear of heights or learn a new hobby that you can practice at home. Anything out of the ordinary will make your vacation experience even more memorable.
10. Day Trip
Chances are, if you’re visiting a new city, you’ll likely be surrounded by a region filled with hidden gems just waiting to be explored. Just because you’re settled in one destination, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a day or two to venture out and see what else is on offer.
Think, nearby waterfalls, vineyards, or beaches. These all might be just an hour or two away but definitely worth the extra effort to visit.
Start Planning Your Next Vacation Experience
Now you’ve got all the insight to take your vacation experience to the next level with this vacation experience guide. Head to our lifestyle section for more planning tips to help you make the most of your next holiday.