Americans are ready to reclaim their right to a family vacation, according
to a Gallup poll from USA TODAY. More than six in 10 Americans said
a vacation is important, even though they know it's going to cost
them more whether they drive or fly because of rising fuel
Where are Americans going this year? According to Travelocity,
they're booking trips to Orlando (home of Disney World and
Universal's Harry Potter attraction), Honolulu, Maui, Kona and
Kauai (home of American Girl's Doll of the Year, Kanani). Also on
the list are several international destinations, including two
spots in Mexico, which made the cut despite ongoing bad press about
safety concerns there. I'm headed to Cancun on Wednesday. I'll let
you know if I ever feel threatened.
Travelocity says there
still are great family travel deals still available for the
top 10 destinations. And for those of you who will be traveling
domestically, always remember that the best way to make a vacation
affordable is to do the free stuff. My site, TravelingMom.com, has
listings of Free
Things to Do in the 50 States.
Here, with Travelocity's commentary, is the list of top 10
destinations for 2011:
1. Orlando: A
family vacation in Orlando is, not surprisingly No. 1 on the
list. With theme parks galore and some of the summer's most
competitive room rates, fun and value reign supreme on Orlando
2. Cancun: A
destination once known for spring break debauchery, Cancun has
reinvented itself as a family-friendly destination. It comes in as
the number-one destination for families traveling internationally,
and two on the overall list.
Four destinations in Hawaii made their way into the top 10 summer
destinations for families, but of those, Honolulu comes out on top.
Direct flights to Honolulu are available from many U.S. cities,
making getting to world-famous Waikiki Beach a breeze.
Famous as a honeymoon destination, Maui vacations are also a
favorite for families, especially during the summer months. Turns
out kids and couples alike love the beautiful beaches, where the
sand color ranges from white to black to red.
Beautiful coastline and secluded beaches are a given on Hawaii
vacations, but Kauai is the perfect island choice for active
families and nature lovers.
Cheap flights to Nassau make getting to the Bahamas both easy and
affordable. Though not technically part of the Caribbean, expect
the same beautiful white-sand beaches, hotels in every price range
and flowing rum punch.
Found on the island of Hawaii (or, The Big Island), Kona is an
excellent destination from which to explore. From snow-capped
mountains (yes, there's snow in Hawaii!) to rainforests to the
world's most active volcano, this island is also the state's most
Vallarta: Puerto Vallarta is Mexico's second-most-popular
destination for families this summer. Mexico vacation packages are
always a great value and this beach destination on the country's
west coast is no exception.
9. Turks &
Caicos: Talk about an island that just keeps getting more
and more popular - Turks & Caicos climbs up the list of
top-booked destinations each year. Caribbean vacations are always
popular for families and this island is proving to be a top
Republic: Rounding out the top 10 most popular summer
destinations for families is the D.R. and it's no wonder. There are
many direct flights to Dominican Republic every day, so towing the
kiddies and all their stuff is no problem. Plus, Dominican Republic
resorts come in every shape, size and price range.
Cindy Richards is the mom of two who gets her muse from traveling the world, usually with kids in tow. She also writes for TravelingMom.com, where she also serves as editor.
See more of Cindy's stories here.
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