While we’ve become expert armchair travelers, at-home trainers, tutors and, well, you name it, here’s another project to put your energy toward: finally planning that bucket-list adventure with the family. Considering the logistics take some time, coordination and financial planning, having this time at home to plan, save, get organized and even pick up a few key phrases of the native tongue is a blessing in disguise.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few choice destinations you can plan for in 2021 and beyond:
For the nature lovers and wildlife seekers in your family, Uganda is an underrated gem and should be on your list. Plan a Big Five trip and see safari animals roam in the wild, connect with locals through community-based tourism or book a gorilla trekking adventure. As one of three countries in the world where travelers can see endangered mountain gorilla, with only 152 gorilla trekking permits available each day, Uganda is one destination worth planning for. Experts recommend booking a year in advance to ensure travelers are able to trek during their visit.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
While Puerto Vallarta is famous for its beaches, nightlife, stunning resorts and vibrant, yet quaint city streets, it’s also a hub for authentic Mexican culture and natural beauty. Between meals, shops and hikes through the diverse landscape in and around the city, travelers should plan early for the annual migration of humpback whales. This trip will require some advance planning, as whale migration season (December–March) happens to also be high-travel season — locals suggest booking early to ensure accommodations and tour availability.
If you’re craving some music and a family-friendly festival atmosphere, Guadalajara’s International Mariachi Festival should do the trick. Each August–September, mariachi groups from around the world flock to the city to compete to perform with Jalisco’s philharmonic at Teatro Degollado. The annual event is so popular, it’s recommended guests plan a year in advance (through a travel agent or tour operator) to attend.
China may be on the way back burner for your first trip post COVID-19, but this bucket-list destination famously allures travelers from around the world with its incredible springtime and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Plan well in advance to see more than 40,000 blooming plum trees during Plum Blossom Hill in Nanjing, conveniently located at the foot of Purple Mountain. Travelers should make a point to visit nearby attractions, including Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum and Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum of the Ming Dynasty. Check out cherry blossoms of Suzhou (March–April) and visit UNESCO World Heritage Chinese gardens all around the city.
Corpus Christi, Texas, might just be the perfect Texas spring break destination for family travelers. With nine beaches, more than 100 miles of sandy shores, and new and notable attractions sprouting up, there’s too many reasons not to skip this Texas city this spring.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Student and youth travel marketplace StudentUniverse recently released the results of its annual The State of Student & Youth Travel Report. The report details trends of Gen Z travelers, many of whom participate in family travel.
Family travelers looking for outdoor sports in winter but feeling discouraged by the increasing ticket prices at mountain ski resorts can find a more economical way to enjoy the snow in Vermont. Although traveling along a level trail through snow-covered forests may not have the thrills of mountain skiing, it has pleasures of its own, and at a much cheaper price tag.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
LEGOLAND New York Resort is about to make it easier for family travelers to move throughout the park this summer. The Minifigure Skyflyer, opening this summer and a first for LEGOLAND Resorts, offers an interactive new way to travel between themed lands.