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Tired of family vacations that aren’t enjoyed by the whole fam? Well, we’ve been traveling all over the Southern U.S. for my travel writing work and we’ve learned the best things to do and what to avoid when visiting new places. Today I’m sharing how families can enjoy those cool vacation spots EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Don’t miss the cute infographic I made just for you!
How to enjoy the cool vacation spots always
Above all, have fun, it’s called vacation for a reason! Here are just five important things you must do no matter what cool vacation spots you choose to visit:
Check out The How-to Guru travel guides
OK, I may not have a travel guide for every cool vacation spot in the South YET but I’m on a mission to visit them all and report the scoop back to you! We’ve been to a lot so check here first!!! I’ve got road trip ideas, tips for an all-inclusive Florida Coast spot, the perfect family getaway, and last minute travel solutions. You’ll find tourist attractions, the best drive through Christmas lights, the best pumpkin patches, the fascinating Jekyll resort hotel, and more.
Right here is a great place to start when planning your next family rendezvous.
Find the visitor center
I try to mention this at the beginning of every travel article I write as the 1st thing to do when you roll up into a new vacation town. The visitor’s center of each town is a fabulous resource for information, maps, and a big picture idea of the area you are visiting.
It’s literally their job to send you on your way with knowledge, maps, and lots of literature!
Take a tour of the city
There’s no better way to learn your lay of the land of a new place than to take the city’s best tour. You can research the best tour before you visit OR you can ask them at the visitor center that I suggested above.
While the tour is in progress, make mental notes of where you’d like the explore when the tour is over. Before we visited Charleston, South Carolina, all I knew about was the Civil War history and charmingly beautiful architecture. On our first visit, we stopped by the visitor’s center and then took a Charleston carriage ride of the city.
On the lovely carriage ride, I learned that Fort Sumter is a seaport (who knew it was on an island?) and that there’s actually more Revolutionary History to see than any other. I also didn’t know about the pirate history and why it’s called the Holy City.
Talk to locals & eat their local fare
One rule we have when visiting a fantastic new city is that chain restaurants are NOT allowed. I adore the Mom and Pop places. Some of the best travel advice we’ve been given has been from locals at these small food joints. To experience the culture, you have to dig in… and taste it, that is.
Get out and explore
Now that you’ve been to the visitor’s center, toured the city, and spoke to locals, get out there and explore it all. Choose an eclectic mix of activities so that everyone will enjoy something different from your trip.[clickToTweet tweet=”These 5 travel tips work for us every time to make the most of our time, dollars, and memory making #familytravel #makemoneycount #thehowtoguru” quote=”These 5 travel tips work for us every time to make the most of our time, dollars, and memory making!”]
I love to talk about family vacations. What are some of your favorite cool vacation spots so far? Chat away in the comments.
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Great tips!! We love heading to the visitor center when we first get to a new place. So many great insider tips and they typically have some coupons for different stores or restaurants too, so we find that really helpful!
You are right! I should have mentioned the coupons and such. They really are helpful!
I always try to find a “local grub” spot because in my opinion, there’s no better way to understand the local culture than that 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Great tips!
Yes! Exactly, Krisitn!
Such great tips! Eating local fare is one of my favorite parts of traveling. I definitely am a fan of “Foodcations” haha.
Haha. Yes, speaking my language. It’s one of my favorite things to do too – to seek out the best local food. So fun! I may have to steal the ‘foodcations’ saying. Love it!
The Visitor’s Center is always your best friend, but I love your tip about taking a tour. I try to do a walking tour or one of those hop on/hop off bus tours when I first arrive at a new spot, to help me get my bearings. That way I’m less likely to get completely and hopelessly lost later.
Thanks for being here, Katherine! Yes, any type of tour to get the big picture AND the visitor’s center are king!
I would say we always stopped at the visitor center to find out what’s happening in the city and what to see. I kept trying to stay away from chain restaurants but it’s hard to do especially when we didn’t have plenty of lunch or supper break. Great tips for family travelers!