30 Tips to Finding the Best Vacation Idea

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Plenty of places to see and multiple activities to enjoy — where do you go and what do you do? This dilemma lies at the heart of every holidaymaker who has the time and money for memorable vacations. But when you only have the weekend to relax or are on a limited budget, is your vacation idea going to be restricted?

Not necessarily. Even when you have only a couple days or don’t have enough money, you can still come up with several fun vacation ideas.

What are Some Ideas for a Vacation?

The best vacation doesn’t always have to be pricey. Sometimes, you just have to find inspiration and be creative with where you want to go and what you want to do. Before coming up with the specifics, kick around a few ideas.

  1. Day Trips

A day trip may not present the most exciting ideas, but it’s a fairly undervalued opportunity for taking time off. For starters, it’s a good way to explore a different part of your city. Your busy work schedule may only take you to certain parts of your urban area. So it’s likely you’ll overlook some of little-known streets with dining and shopping discoveries.

Day trips may also involve neighboring cities, which could provide you with some fun but cheap family vacations and allow you to pack light.

  1. Cheap Vacation Ideas

A cheap vacation idea is perfect for people who live in a place with lots of natural beauty, such as beaches, mountains and other impressive landscapes. Because when you think about a vacation idea that’s easy on the pocket, you’re thinking free destinations: public beaches with free amenities, accessible national parks and maybe cheap tours with free tastings.

But a cheap trip doesn’t always have to be free. Sometimes, you just have to book at the right time. Off-season travel could mean hundreds of dollars in savings for accommodations, attractions and airfare. Instead of a weekend trip, try weekday vacation ideas. You can also book in advance to pay for cheaper trips.

  1. Family Vacation Ideas Beyond the Theme Park

Most family trips involve theme park visits. What if you’re not looking forward to the rides and the large crowds, your family trip doesn’t have to focus on theme parks. You can take the kids camping at a national park. Go or teach the kids fly fishing. Maybe head to a water park for a bit of relaxation.

Your vacation trip ideas with the family may cover destinations that aren’t necessarily for kids but are kid-friendly.

What are the Top 5 Vacation States?

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You’ll find plenty of inspiration from listings that come from different travel organizations. These travel destinations have gone passed certain criteria, voted by travelers or rated by travel and tourism experts.

  1. Park City, Utah

Listed in Time magazine’s top 50 Best Places to Visit in 2022, Park City is a ski town. It’s become a summer and winter destination. As the site of the famed Sundance Film Festival, Park City is also a creative hub.

  1. Hawaii

Pristine beaches, majestic mountains, dormant volcanoes — Maui has several sites to explore and enjoy. Small wonder then that it makes it into any travel destination list. While you’re here, sample the fresh seafood and delight in the local music. Don’t limit yourself to the world -class golf club spots, the beach hotels and the outdoor activities.

  1. Oregon

Not exactly an exotic destination, Portland still makes one of the best vacation suggestions. It features hidden gems and must-see sites. It has plenty to offer for adventurers, foodies and any traveler seeking unique experiences.

  1. California

Perhaps one of the best ways to introduce your kids to diversity is to bring them to San Francisco. Tour the different neighborhoods and explore some of what the city has to offer, from Mission District to Castro. Although this city may seem more like an urban trip, you may discover a private beach in certain spots.

Buts aside from San Francisco, you can also take the family out to San Diego. If a visit to a Disney resort is a must, this city should make it into your fun ideas for vacation.

  1. Colorado

Explore the state’s many destinations: Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver, Boulder and more. If you’re all about the great outdoors, Colorado is the best place to visit. Go hiking, caving, biking or skiing.

Where Do You Go for an Unusual Vacation?

The U.S. News & World Report Best Vacations Rankings features five of the best small towns in America to visit. Maybe instead of going to the most popular tourist spots in different states, focus on the lesser known destinations.

You could discover quaint B&Bs, working family farms, weekend markets and other sites.

The top five small towns are:

  1. Bar Harbor, Maine

  2. Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

  3. Telluride, Colorado

  4. Sedona, Arizona

  5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

What is the Most Affordable Place to Vacation?

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The most affordable places to vacation in can be found across the globe, particularly in some parts of Asia. If you’re looking for exotic destinations, you’ll find adventure, fun and memorable experiences in the following countries without the prohibitive cost:

  1. Nepal

You could get around in Nepal and stay in local guesthouses for under $50 a day. How much you spend will depend on whether you plan to scale its famed mountainous region. Be warned though, unless your kids like to rough it and are built for the weather, Nepal may be better for couples.

  1. Cambodia

Probably not as popular as Thailand or Indonesia, Cambodia is still one of the best travel ideas on a budget. The boutique hotels may open up to a white sand beach or through secret trails for wonderful hiking. Hotels and hostels also offer free breakfast, so you can take that off your expenses to leave room for souvenirs.

  1. Laos

Laos is one of the cheapest places for backpackers who love Southeast Asia. It’s easy enough to spend just about $30 per day in this paradise. You’ve got plenty to do and see on a dirt cheap motorbike.

  1. India

Even cheaper than Laos, India is also a favorite destination of many backpackers. There are lots of beach resorts, hostels and other types of accommodations.

  1. Vietnam

If you’re something of a foodie, Vietnam makes for a great vacation spot. You have your pick of street food, hole in the wall dining spots, resort restaurants and many other eateries.

  1. Romania

Asia doesn’t have the exclusive on cheap travel destinations. Hostels in Romania can run from $10 to $15 per night. So Romania offers one of the more affordable European experiences, with its medieval villages, historical sites and hearty food.

Other international travel destinations that won’t leave you in credit card debt are Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Bolivia.

But once you arrive at your preferred vacation spot, what do you do to make it memorable and worth the long flight?

What are the Most Popular Vacation Activities?

Awesome vacations are marked by the activities you’ve arranged. According to one data, most people are fond of outdoor activities when on vacation:

  1. Hike

Hiking trails can be found anywhere across the globe. But some places like Colorado, California, Laos, Peru and other parts of the world feature more remarkable trails. It’s a cheap and healthy way to explore any place you visit.

  1. Camp

Also an economical way to experience any destination, camping is one of the more common trip ideas for couples, families and lone travelers.

  1. Safari

A safari is specific to some destinations, like South Africa. So it’s not as common as the first two popular activities. But it is another way to observe wildlife in their habitat instead of taking the family to a zoo.

  1. Fish

If you’ve seen the movie “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,” you may be inspired to do a bit of fishing during your trip. Of course, this is best done early in the morning. So unless you’re OK to get up at the crack of dawn, make sure fishing is the right activity for you.

  1. Cycle

Adventurers and weekend athletes explore the outdoors on two wheels. Cycling during your holiday is not only exhilarating, but also an excellent way to stay fit.

What you do during your vacation will also depend on where you’re traveling. Some destinations are suited for adventure, allowing you to tick off bucket list of travel ideas.


  • Hike to the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal
  • Run to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • See New York City from the Empire State building
  • Walk on the Golden Gate in San Francisco
  • Cruise the Nile in Egypt

What is the Most Relaxing Vacation?

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But what if your idea of the best vacation means peace and relaxation? A good start would be to avoid any tourist traps for activities and rethink destinations that are overrun by travelers. Although countries like Japan, Australia and France are top places to visit for many tourists, they still have some locations that see fewer tourists.

Even the ever popular Hawaii still has a few places that seem isolated, making them perfect for a relaxing vacation.

A relaxing vacation doesn’t have to be limited to a private beach access or camping in secluded areas. When you want some peace, try:

  1. A visit to Ise Jingu, a Shinto shrine in Japan

  2. Go on a leisurely, tranquil cruise on the fjord in Nordfjord, Norway

  3. Spend time in Cape Elizabeth Light in Maine to explore the lighthouse

  4. Take a few relaxing days in Halong Bay, a UNESCO world heritage site in Vietnam

  5. Enjoy a therapeutic dip in Reykjavik’s geothermal pool

  6. Explore Vienna, Austria’s quiet cobblestoned streets and coffee houses

Where is the Coolest Place to Vacation?

What is “cool” to one traveler (e.g., staying in what used to be a prison) maybe too unusual for another. So what would be the coolest place to spend a vacation is pretty subjective. But a number of travel sites and magazines have identified some destinations as the next-best-thing in travel.

Alaska – where you can hike on one of its a thousand glaciers

Idaho – where you can marvel at its stunning vistas and roadless wilderness

Newfoundland – where whale sightings are year round

Portugal – where the food is so good, you may even end up living here since it’s one of the most affordable places to live.


Whether you vacation for fun, the list of destinations and activities don’t have to be up to your budget. Sometimes, you just need a bit of inspiration to point you in the right direction.

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