Beach Conditions

How to Combine Adventure + Relaxation into your Vacation

Some will say there are two kinds of vacationers: the kind that wants to lie on the beach and relax, and those that want to go-go-go! How you prefer to spend your vacation days says a lot about your goals: do you travel for relaxation and de-stressing, or do you travel for adventure and new experiences?

Research shows that adventurous travelers tend to make stronger lasting memories and have fewer regrets about their vacations. However, travelers who prefer to lounge and relax when traveling, tend to come away from their trips feeling more revitalized and rested.

Chances are, if you’re a parent vacationing with kids, you’re traveling for both relaxation and adventure. Luckily, those two concepts are not mutually exclusive and it is possible to achieve both on your next trip.

Here are a few tips on how to have both an adventurous and relaxing vacation with kids:

Choose the right vacation destination

The destination you choose will ultimately guide your activity choices, so it’s important to look for a location that offers both the opportunity for adventure, combined with a place to take breaks for relaxation and lounging. Consider the activities you want to try, and then choose a destination that offers those with kid-friendly amenities.

As a family that loves spending time outside, all water activities, and fishing, we gravitate towards beach towns that give us the opportunity to do what we love in new locations. Beach locations that also have access to a bay or calmer body of water are even better, as that can sometimes double the number of activities you can do. On a recent trip to Destin-Fort Walton Beach we were able to experience just that over a weekend, heading offshore in the Gulf charter fishing one day and exploring the Santa Rosa Sound and Spectre Island on a pontoon the next.

Two kids fish from boat in Gulf of Mexico

Sprinkle activities throughout the trip

While spending time at the beach with kids is an adventure all on its own, it’s a great idea to plan a few activities throughout your trip to break up the monotony of endless beach hours and keep the boredom at bay.

Take advantage of the unique activities your destination has to offer. Some destinations are famous for particular activities and others have a plethora of activities that take advantage of the natural environment in that location. Do a little research on what’s available during the time of year you’ll be there.

Don’t forget to ask your kids about their favorite activities and new ones they’d like to try. As kids get older, they’ll have much stronger opinions about what they want to do and taking their suggestions into consideration can make for a much smoother trip. Who knows, they may suggest something new that becomes your family’s new favorite activity!

Book your activities in advance of your trip (so you don’t have to worry about that while you’re there) and try to schedule them early in the day. This will give you plenty of time to spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and not worrying about having to pack up and get somewhere.

Kid digs in sand next to pontoon boat

Spend time outside

Whether you’re seeking out adventure or relaxation, spending time outside immersed in nature will do both. Just being outside is a full-body sensory experience, that’s not only good for you physically, but does wonders for your mental health and well-being. Simply being in nature and sharing outdoor experiences with your family can be an antidote to our day-to-day stresses.

It goes without saying that finding unique experiences and participating in activities that bring you joy will elevate any vacation destination to the next level. Peppering adventure and activities into your relaxing vacation can improve your overall experience of the destination significantly and make your vacation feel…well, like a vacation!

This post was written by Sara McCarty, founder of Run Wild My Child, in partnership with Destin-Fort Walton Beach.

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