PhotoWhere will 2017 take you? Have you booked a vacation or are you still exploring? Will you return to a favorite destination or try something new? A new year offers the opportunity for fresh experiences. Here are six vacation ideas to consider:

Airbnb
Why stay in a hotel when you can rent a room, an apartment, a villa, or even a castle? Airbnb offers accommodations in more than 34,000 cities and 191 countries. You can stay for a night, a few days, a week, or a month in the center of the city or out in country. Check out their guidebooks to see the range of locations and rentals here.

Visit a national park
Our National Park Service has some of the most gorgeous sites in the world. Find them in every state, including monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers, and trails. Choose a park nearby or faraway or plan to see several within traveling distance. Check out the range of accommodations both inside and outside the parks from lodges to campgrounds, RV rentals, nearby hotel/motels, or condos. Find a park using the National Park’s website.

Book a cruise
If you have never taken a cruise, this could be the year to try one. You can visit multiple destinations in one to two weeks, unpacking your bags just once. Cruises are all-inclusive with your lodging, entertainment, and meals fully covered. If you are concerned whether a cruise is for you, try a short two- or three-night trip. Check out our cruise guide.

Switch cruise lines
If you are loyal and stick to the same cruise line, try a different one. Usually book large cruise ships? Then try a smaller ship that can navigate different ports. Or book one of the mega ships with neighborhoods, multiple shows and activities, and a wide range of restaurants; these cruise ships are essentially your destination. Each cruise line has something unique and it’s fun to sample different ones.

Take a train
Trains offer an array of options and are an efficient and fun way to travel. Use a train as your primary mode of transportation, day or night. Amtrak offers sleeping accommodations on most long-distance routes and Eurail has an extensive network of night trains. Or take a train to visit a specific tourist site or experience nature on a domed coach with oversized windows. 

Go solo
If you usually travel in a group, try planning your own trip and going by yourself or with a travel partner. Part of the fun of travel is the planning phase; if it intimidates you, use a preplanned itinerary from a travel book or website, experiment with a short trip, or use a travel agent. If you’re uncertain, test the waters with a weekend or choose one city and explore it thoroughly.

Whatever you choose to do, travel will enrich your life. Make 2017 your year of exploration.


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