You’ve finally got the kids out of the apartment and living independently. But what do you do now that you don’t have to plan vacations around school schedules or research kid-friendly destinations?
Taking vacations without the kids can be an adjustment. Follow our tips below to plan a great trip and have a good time even though your little birds have left the nest.
Go when you want
No kids? No need to plan a vacation around their school’s schedule. Enjoy the peace and quiet—and cheaper hotel rates—of going during off-peak times of the year. Before you go, check out Travelope, a real-time website aggregator that provides customers with the best deals on hotel, airfare, cruises and rental cars.
Choose grown-up destinations
Theme parks like Disney World bring out the kid in all of us, but sometimes it’s fun to do things a bit more relaxed and laid back. Avoid the kid-crowded beaches and hit up some historic city you’ve always wanted to visit, or take in a museum. Rent a cabin in the mountains and get back to nature. You could also try one of these wonderful tourist cities:
- New Orleans, La. A historic city with French roots and a distinct culture, New Orleans is a great destination for empty nesters. If you’re a music lover, there are a number of venues where you can take in a great jazz show. Don’t miss strolling through the quaint French Quarter.
- Portland, Ore. Pacific Northwestern charm and a vibrant, artistic feel mark this beautiful city. Nature lovers will enjoy exploring this green town and its mountainous environs, as nearby Mount Hood is only 50 miles east. Experience the local farm-to-table food scene at the Portland Farmers Market, which has locations all over the city.
- Charleston, S.C. This popular coastal city boasts live entertainment venues, a gorgeous seaside atmosphere, plenty of shopping and a burgeoning food scene that emphasizes local flavors. Can’t miss stops include Rainbow Row, known for its colorful historic houses, and the Battery, which stretches along the lower shores of the city.
- Raleigh, N.C. Museum-goers will love this beautiful city located in the Research Triangle metropolitan region. Stroll through the permanent collection at the North Carolina Museum of Art, or check out the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, now ranked as the top tourist attraction in the state.
Being an empty nester gives you a great opportunity to see the country and the world. Instead of the usual spring break hot spots, check out Mexico or Europe, or travel to a region you’ve always wanted to see but never had the chance. Websites like Groupon, Vacationist and Jetsetter often offer great deals on exotic travel packages, so keep your options open and be spontaneous, and you might just have the trip of a lifetime.
Photo credit: iStockphoto/amriphoto