road_april16April gives me the chills. The weather in Michigan is just cold enough to keep me from putting the patio furniture out, but warm enough to entice me to plant flowers. I blame it on the fever. And the birds busily singing and preparing for something I can’t yet see. If you listen to them long enough, you will understand what the world is trying to tell you: Something big is about to happen, and you are at the center of it.

April is the perfect time to finish up travel plans for the summer and catch a new current. Why not try one of these family-friendly trips for a summer to remember:

American Can Can

Let’s face it. Your kids will only put their cell phones down for so long, so driving gives them time to text friends while mixing in some high impact exciting adventures, like river rafting, mountain biking or even rock climbing. I highly recommend Rocky Mountain National Park with a side trip or overnight to the haunted Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo.

Catch a Wave 

Fly to San Francisco, rent a van and head down the 101 to San Diego. Make sure to go whale watching in Monterey, hiking at Big Sur, surfing in Malibu and hit the big attractions in San Diego, like the zoo.

Baked Alaska

Cruise to Alaska in June to whale watch and enjoy the sun and breathtaking views. You can mix a water/sea vacation through Princess Cruises, which offers a wide variety of shore excursions like a “bike and brew glacier view” in Juneau.

Paris on Pennies

Paris may seem like a stretch, but it can be surprisingly affordable for families. Attend a free concert in the summer like the Paris Jazz Festival in June, or plan your favorite picnic, complete with French baguettes, in the Luxembourg Gardens or along the banks of the Seine for the best people and poodle-watching.

I once visited Paris without ever going up in the Eifel Tower. I do not recommend this — instead, save your money to make sure your kids put down their cell phones and see the entire city, all the way to Montmartre and beyond.

Happy Travels!

Tags: family vacations, summer trips, travel

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