Top 5 Destinations for This Year’s Summer Vacation From Family Adventures Await

Have you been waiting for your kids to be “old enough to appreciate” a truly amazing family vacation? Jen Shanks, Founder of Family Adventures Awaits believes this is one of the biggest mistakes a family can make.

So often parents get caught up in the idea that their child needs to remember every event of a vacation to truly appreciate it. Jen thinks the opposite is true.

“I believe that children truly gain so much more from travel at a young age. Giving your child epic experiences and adventures will help shape the person they become and the desires they will possess as they grow older. It becomes a piece of their narrative and their favorite photos to look back on. They may not remember the exact details of a trip, but they will always remember the feelings of those incredible moments with their family fully engaged in a journey together.”

These are Family Adventures Await’s favorite summer vacations spots for families this year.

vacation in iceland with green fields and snowy mountainsICELAND

There is a reason why it seems like everyone you know is talking about Iceland lately. It is a spectacular destination. How about learning about the geology of the country, and seeing the place where two tectonic plates meet  walking on glaciers?  Or walking on moss-covered lava fields, watching geysers erupt, playing in black sand? Maybe boat rides through glacier lagoons, and walking behind waterfalls? These are only a few experiences in nature you can find in Iceland. You can experience all of this and more by staying in Reykjavik and taking day trips out into the countryside. But I recommend renting a car and driving the Ring Road, which is the road that takes you in a circle around the country.


The Azores is a group of islands off the coast of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean. They have a few international airports on the Islands and offer nonstop flights to the Azores from Boston, MA and Oakland CA. The Boston flight is only 4 ½ hours, which is closer than most Caribbean Islands. For those who are unable to fly direct, I would recommend flying through Lisbon and spending a few days in this charming historical city. Combing a few days enjoying nature and relaxing in the breathtaking Azores with the culture and history of Lisbon is sure to please every member of the family. And did I mention the wine?

Hawaii vacationHAWAII

If you are looking for a tropical paradise filled with natural wonders and cultural appeal but do not have passports for the whole family, Hawaii is the perfect destination. One of the all time best experiences Hawaii has to offer is watching lava flow into the sea. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience for everyone. What makes Hawaii so special is that it is made up of 5 islands, each with unique landscape and mind-blowing activities for all the members of your family. By combining more than one island in your vacation, you are able to experience something for everyone.

vacation Montana with moose at a Glacier National ParkMONTANA / WYOMING

There are so many amazing National Parks in the US that it is impossible to choose just one. However, there is a reason Yellowstone National Park tends to jump to the top of the bucket list for so many families. There are hikes for all levels and huge variety of wildlife, and scenery; It is truly magnificent. Going on a sunrise wildlife spotting adventure will be the event that your children will talk about for years to come. In addition to this national gem, the area offers so much more. Adding a Dude ranch stay to your National Park visit is the perfect way for your family to disconnect, and make memories to cherish forever.

vacation San Jaun Islands watching Orca breechSEATTLE / SAN JUAN ISLANDS

Seeing Orcas in the wild has become increasingly more popular with families who want to teach their children about our animals in their natural habitat. Once your little animal lover has this experience, they will never look at ocean animals the same. There are several places to see orcas in the wild, but San Juan Islands are a gorgeous stop and only a few hours from Seattle. Creating a vacation spending time in both Seattle and San Juan Islands is a perfect way to combine an amazing city and a life changing experience in the wild.

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Dad’s Know Your Rights! Paid Family Leave

dad with newborn twins

A major concern for dads expecting twins is being able to be there for the birth, and those first few weeks home when their partner may need a second set of hands the most. It can be extremely stressful to feel torn between being home with your new babies or staying at work and bringing home a paycheck.

Be the father your child deserves and get paid while you do! Men with a baby on the way or a child about to join the family might be curious about their options when it comes to taking time to bond with their new addition.

 California Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of partially paid leave for fathers to bond with a new biological, foster care, or adopted child during the child’s first year in the family.

 With Paid Family Leave, you can receive approximately 55 percent of your salary (from $50 up to $1,173 per week) to bond with a new child.

This Father’s Day, consider the following reasons why you should take Paid Family Leave:

 1.     What’s good enough for Mark Zuckerberg…

Mark Zuckerberg had the Internet buzzing when he took paternity leave to take care of his new child, and if the founder of Facebook thinks this is a good idea, it must be worth looking into. He is also in good company with celebrity dads like Justin Timberlake, and Jimmy Kimmel, all of whom took time off from work to bond and care for a new child.

 2.     Bonding leave for fathers is on the rise.

Since 2007, the number of fathers who have taken Paid Family Leave has nearly doubled – reflecting a shift in California culture as well as our expectations for new fathers. But the fact remains that mothers still outpace fathers when it comes to taking Paid Family Leave, meaning there’s still more work to be done to make sure fathers use these benefits, which are already paid for.

 3.     Leave doesn’t have to be taken all at once. 

Paid Family Leave was created to help families take the time they need – and it takes your schedule into consideration. Paid Family Leave can be staggered or split up as necessary to get the most possible use out of it in the first year after a child joins your family.

Taking time off allows you to bond with and contribute to your child’s upbringing in a hands-on way. It is something that, as a father, you are entitled to. So if you are preparing for a new child this Father’s Day, remember: Paid Family Leave is an option.

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