Who doesn’t want to take some extra vacation time with the family? Thankfully, here in the US we have a ton of different cities across the country that offer all types of cool activities. If your family likes outdoor sports, you can find places to go boating, hiking, or skiing. If you like theme parks, arts, or fine dining, you will find many wonderful options here in America.
Depending on where you go, getting around your host city without your car can be easy or it can be complicated. Some cities, like NYC, have very efficient and reliable public transportation. Other cities, like Los Angeles, are car-centric, so you will need to hire some wheels to get around. Regardless of where you go, it always pays to hire some experts to recommend to you the best ways of traveling. We personally recommend using a private transportation service.
Here is a list of the 10 most recommended family-friendly destinations around our country. You should consider visiting these places on your next trip.
1. New York City
This is a place where fun, luxury, and beauty come together. For families, couples, business people, or solo travelers alike, New York promises to be one of the best trips of your life. With all the incredible museums, street life, natural places like Central Park, you will certainly end up fully amazed and satisfied with your decision to visit the Big Apple. New York City offers a wide variety of high-quality ethnic restaurants, trendy bars, fashion stores, and Broadway shows. Kids will love taking the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty (yes, you’ll need to take that selfie under the statue).
2. San Diego
This is definitely one of the most visited cities in the country. San Diego has it all: beautiful parks, adventure-packed activities, perfect weather, tourist attractions, and perfectly sandy beaches. There is the famous San Diego Zoo near Balboa Park where you can find many green areas for recreation. You can take the kids to educational museums. Not enough? San Diego also has Petco Park (for baseball lovers) and Sea World. So yes, San Diego sounds like the perfect place to go with your kids.
3. Los Angeles
There is much more to see in LA than the HOLLYWOOD sign on the hills. LA is also the epicenter of film production and is perfect for movie lovers. It’s great to take the kids to check out their favorite celebrities’ stars at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and even visit Universal Studios. If you want some closer views and want to take some selfies, visit the Ripley Museum, the Hollywood Waxwork Museum or Madame Tussauds in Hollywood. Los Angeles also has great places to shop and eat for the entire family, and you can visit the boutique art galleries, vintage shops, and many beautiful places to walk.
It seems like California has it all, doesn’t it? Anaheim is another excellent destination to vacation with your family, especially with your kids. People love it and you surely know why: Disneyland! It’s heart of Anaheim and one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world. If you can, you should spend some time in Anaheim visiting spots like the lovely downtown area, both theme parks (Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Park), local stores, restaurants, and bars. But if you want to try something different, there are also Knott’s Berry Farm and the Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
5. San Francisco
This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. There are so many incredible places that you need to reserve a number of days to see that city. You will definitely need to take a ride on the famous cable cars and walk around the Fisherman’s Wharf. You can’t miss the bay, and of course, you should walk or drive through Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. Parents will love to visit Sausalito and the well-known prison island, Alcatraz. San Francisco also has excellent places to eat, shop, and even drink- don’t miss the famous coffee at Bellini’s. And if you want to feel like you’re visiting another country while you’re still in the US, try going to San Francisco’s historic Chinatown!
This city is a huge combination of attractions, with both Disney World and Universal Parks. You should know that one of the most visited attractions in Orlando is the incredible Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal – this is a Florida attraction to rival the best in California. Besides the amusement parks, Orlando also has the perfect weather for a full day and night of entertainment. You can definitely plan a perfect itinerary filled with outdoor activities, visits to art galleries, visits to shopping malls, regional cuisine, and exciting cocktails – an overall unforgettable experience!
Founded in the early 1870s, Riverside is a city in Riverside County located approximately 60 miles east of Los Angeles. You might wonder, why visit this city? Well, citizens say that they live in relative tranquility with a quality, well-balanced life. That’s why many people are feeling Riverside’s pull. It offers a relaxed stay, and you may even be tempted to buy a house in Riverside and forget about all that big-city-chaos.
8. Washington, DC
Don’t let yourself be intimidated by this city’s reputation as the home of high-profile politicians. Nowadays, DC is transforming itself from a purely politics-centric city into a thriving cultural hub. You can go the traditional route: visit the White House, Capitol Hill, and the monuments to America’s founding fathers. You can follow a more educational route and visit the numerous museums that the capital is home to. The Natural History Museum is highly acclaimed, and importantly, all museums in DC are free of charge for both national and international tourists. If you visit there in April, you cannot miss the National Cherry Blossom Festival — a gift that Japan gave the US back in 1912, this event is now a national festival that attracts people from all over the country. If satisfying your palate is of more importance, try the foodie heaven Eastern Market, where Capitol Hill residents search through the stands to catch the latest clothing trends and find the freshest local produce. Keep your eyes open and you will be able to see a mile-high stack of pancakes from afar.
This is another place with an endless list of things to do. You and your family can go to an amusement park (like Hersheypark or Dutch Wonderland) or learn something about Gettysburg Battlefield at the Military Park. If you want to visit a different kind of place and also feel a little thrill of fear, you definitely need to go to the Eastern State Penitentiary, one of the most famous prisons in the world.
10. San Antonio
Theme parks, water parks, outdoor activities and places for family fun are all among San Antonio’s highlights. San Antonio is a city where fun, beauty, and tourism meet to give families an excellent vacation. You can take a tour around San Antonio’s city or maybe get a little contact with nature by visiting the Zoo and the Natural Bridge Caverns. Your family will definitely want to visit the Guinness World Records Museum and feel some adrenaline at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
You also need to remember that the best fun and enjoyment will always happen wherever the family is – sometimes there is no need to go too far. Spend your free time with your loved ones, and you will always find it memorable. If you have visited some other cool US locales that are not in the article, please mention them in the comments below.
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.