An estimated 88 million Americans plan to take a family vacation this year, with 61% of families choosing destinations with outdoor attractions such as beaches and mountains. Seeing as the desire to explore something new is so intense that “getting off the beaten track” is listed as one of the top motives for planning a travel adventure, it seems that there’s no better way to experience a sub-culture of a top destination than by hitting the trails and getting lost in beautiful landscapes and Instagram-worthy spots.
Canada’s enchanting landscapes and scenic routes
Home to some of the world’s most scenic hiking routes, Canada is filled with more than enough outdoor adventures to keep enticing you back to the beautiful country time and time again. Individuals looking for a multi-day hiking adventure will need to check out the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. Originally carved out of the lush forest found in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve as a way to help shipwreck survivors escape from the wilderness, this hike will take you about six days to complete but you’ll love every second of it. For families, you can plan a fun trip to Banff where you’ll be able to enjoy the leisurely 1.8-kilometer Sunshine Meadows hike. To add a bit of exercise, combine that with the 5-kilometer loop extension from Rock Isle Lake to Grizzly and add in a family picnic.
Saying aloha to Hawaii’s hot hiking trails
Hawaii vacation rentals are heating up, and Oahu has become the go-to place for domestic and international travelers to relax and adventure. For those looking for an enchanting challenge, you’ll definitely want to head over to the Kaau Crater where you’ll experience five hours of waterfalls, rope climbing and panoramic views you’ll never forget. The hike is filled with towering trees and an impressive view of the crater but is not for the faint of heart. For a more kid-friendly hike that overlooks the west side of the island, try the Pu’u O Hulu or ‘Pink Pillbox’ Hike that is especially photogenic during the sunny spring and summer months.
Seascapes and rustic huts along Portugal’s coastline
While there’s a lot more to do in Portugal than simply hike, exploring the country’s impressive coastline is best done by foot. Considered to be one of the best trails in Europe, Portugal’s Rota Vicentina will take you through some of the most interesting parts of the southwest area of the country while offering easy to moderate hiking trails that can be suitable for the whole family. You can choose between the Fisherman Trail and the Historic Trail, with the former following old paths that locals would take to access remote fishing villages. It’s best to visit during the springtime to take advantage of warm weather and budding wildflowers.
Safely planning a hiking vacation
As with any vacation, you’ll want to factor in safety before taking yourself or your family out to a new, exciting destination. It is important to familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations, especially if you will be hiking in a foreign country that might have different rules when traversing through their natural parks. Allow enough space in your luggage to pack the proper hiking gear such as boots, thick socks, canteens, outdoor packs and even a first aid kit. However, you can also purchase some of the necessities near your vacation rental as well.
Enjoying the benefits of travel
Not only is travel great for expanding your awareness of other cultures and introducing you to new sights, sounds, tastes and more, but it is also a great way to stay active, both mentally and physically. Planning a hiking trip to one of the world’s top destinations can be a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture while also traveling off the beaten path to explore unseen adventures that few people make the time to experience.
Guest post: Jackie Carter