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Avoid the Typical Tourist Traps: Try These 4 Vacation Spots for Your Next Trip With the Guys
Summer is officially here, and travel abounds. Nearly half of Americans will take a vacation this summer, totaling 657 million long-distance trips.
The earth is a beautiful, vast place, so why does everyone seem to end up on the same four beaches?
Places like Las Vegas, New York City, and Niagara Falls consistently top both U.S. and global charts as the most popular tourist spots. Last year, Disney’s theme parks actually had to close due to overcrowding! Beyond your more traditional spots, people are flocking to where the latest “Bachelor in Paradise” was filmed and looking to their Facebook friends for ideas.
It’s tempting to follow the trends, but in pursuit of a perfect guys’ trip, we find ourselves lining up with the rest of the crowd rather than charting our own course. While everyone else is spending the summer heading south, I recommend going north. Canada is beautiful in the summer, and it’s the perfect destination for a weekend with the boys.
Here are some of Canada’s best-kept secrets in travel:
1. Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Forget glamping! When you’re surrounded by the beautiful scenery in this remote location, you’ll want to dust off your rucksack and sleep under the stars. With its rewarding hikes for all abilities, campsites with different levels of amenities, and views of just about every type of landscape imaginable, Gros Morne National Park is hard to beat if you’re looking to become one with nature.
2. The Canadian Badlands of Alberta
The Badlands of Alberta are a dinosaur heartland and a great place to learn about and enjoy the beauty of nature. More than 70 million years ago, this part of North America was subtropical; now, it’s known for its maroon-striped canyons and cottonwoods. You can go horseback riding along cowboy trails and learn about early pioneers and settlers in the area. If you and your friends are history buffs, you’ll be astounded by the Badlands.
3. Cavendish, Prince Edward Island
With beautiful beaches, friendly locals, and all the fresh lobster and clams you can stand, Cavendish is an ideal summer beach destination. The best part? Cavendish is one of seven Provincial Parks where tourists can camp directly on the beach. You won’t get much closer to the water than you do on Prince Edward Island.
4. Kelowna, British Columbia
If you want to relax and enjoy great food, weather, and views, Kelowna is the place for your guys’ trip. It’s the largest city in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, with all the amenities of a major city. You and your friends won’t be more than a 10-minute drive from orchards, vineyards, golf courses, wineries, and more. Although the nearby mountains are skier favorites in the winter, the hiking trails are an outdoorsman’s dream in the summer months.
Putting the Plans Together
You only live once, but making the most of it sometimes requires careful planning.
Whichever destination you and your friends end up choosing, it’s important you take a few preparatory steps before you hit the road — particularly if you want to avoid the crowds. When researching your location of choice, answer these four questions:
What’s the best time of year to visit?
What are we looking to do while there?
Are there discounts for booking ahead?
What are your deal breakers?
Then, make a “vacation goal” checklist of what you and your fellow travelers want out of the vacation, and look for the destination that fulfills as many items as possible.
If you (or someone in your group) is dead set on visiting a tourist trap, look for the best time to do so. Every hot spot has an off-season, whether it’s Monday mornings or the middle of winter. Visiting during these times will help to reduce crowds and make the trip more affordable.
When planning your next vacation with the boys, do your best to stay away from the places everyone else will be. You’ll save money, see amazing views, and have a much better traveling experience — trust me.
What’s your favorite spot off the beaten path?