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Family vacations can be some of the most fun, happiest times in anyone's life. They offer lifelong memories that will stick with both the parents and kids for the rest of their lives. A lot of family vacation spots are great for grandparents as well.

Where should you take your family this year? What kinds of activities are everyone looking forward to?

Here is an overview of some of the top destinations for family trips:

Disney World

Disney has always been, and probably always will be, the number one getaway spot for families. It's known for its parades, rides, performances, and overall experience. Everyone should visit Disney World at least once in their lives. If you haven't yet taken your kids there, it's never too late to do so.

Grand Canyon

This large, infamous national park is an admired family destination. There is plenty to do here - it's not just about sightseeing. You can go rafting, hiking, kayaking, and take a trip on the Railway. If possible, don't go during the summer, as you will have to deal with crowds.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

What kid doesn't love dinosaurs? Located NW of Glen Rose in Texas, this park covers over 1,500 acres. It offers a wide variety of outdoor opportunities for family activities. Take the kids through the area and check out the best-preserved dinosaur tracks. This is not only a fun vacation, but a highly educational one as well.

Monterey Bay Aquarium

This is the place to go if you want to see beautiful scenery along California's coastline. It showcases local wildlife and sea creatures. The tank design makes it so that kids can get close to the sea turtles, bat rays and even sharks! There are plenty of fun activities as well, such as humpback whale spotting and penguin feeding shows. Stay at one of the many affordable family-friendly hotels in the area.

Gatlinburg, TN

There is plenty of family fun to be found in Gatlinburg. In this historic southern town, you can play mini-golf, go skiing, enjoy rides at an amusement park, visit museums and aquariums, check out Ripley's Believe it Or Not: Odditorium, and more.

London, England

London is among the best family vacation spots in Europe. There are no language barriers and plenty to discover and experience. Even though the city is known for high price tags, there are still budget lodging options at chain hotels and small inns.

Family-Friendly Cruise

Why not enjoy yourselves on a cruise ship? There are fun activities available for parents and kids of all ages. You can also easily arrange for family-oriented excursions in port cities. In addition to the Disney Cruise Line, there are some Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Carnival cruises that cater to families. Look over the itineraries and select one that you think everyone will enjoy. Visit several family vacation spots in 7 - 10 days on a cruise ship!

Author: George Botwin

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Are you thinking of heading to Las Vegas for a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon? You won't find a better adventure, but even so, there are some things you can do to make sure that your trip goes ahead smoothly and according to plan. To ensure that you get the most out of your trip, I've put together these 5 simple tips that you can follow when you're organizing your next vacation.

#1 Book Early

It goes without saying that you should book in advance, but when it comes to Canyon tours, this might be even earlier than you're used to. I recommend at least two weeks in advance, because air tours are some of the most popular tour packages in the region. Booking early will also ensure that you don't experience any price changes at the last minute.

#2 Book Online

Booking online makes things simple, and also ensures that your seats are secure. Also, booking online will get you the best rates, as you don't need to worry about any additional booking fees or commissions from travel agents. To be eligible for the online discount, you will have to complete the purchase with your credit card.

#3 Book A Deluxe Tour

Deluxe tours cost a little more, but they provide exceptional value, and the best touring experience that is available from Vegas. Deluxe tours provide a complimentary limousine service, which adds the VIP touch that is missing from the basic tours. Deluxe also gets you tickets to a newer and more exclusive helicopter. This helicopter is the EcoStar 130. It is larger than the Bell Ranger helicopters used on basic tours, and it has a bigger, 180-degree front facing window. It also has large stadium-style seats, a quieter cabin, and more cabin room. Deluxe tours also include a Las Vegas Strip tour, which will take you on a flyby journey over all of the famous attractions on the strip. When you choose the last tour of the day, this is an especially exciting sightseeing opportunity.

#4 Choose A Landing Tour

Want the best adventure possible? If so, a landing tour is the way to go. A landing tour gets you closer to all of the action. When you fly from Vegas to the West Rim, you can choose to land at either the top or the bottom of the Canyon. This opens up some other touring options, such as the Skywalk, or a Colorado River tour. When you land at the National Park, you also get a chance to explore all of the hiking trails in the area.

#5 Dress For The Weather

Helicopters use climate control, so you will need a light sweater for flying. On a landing tour, check out the weather beforehand. It can get chilly at the Canyon during the winter, and can be extremely hot over summer. Always dress appropriately, and pack some snacks and drinks if you will be exiting the helicopter.

I hope these tips were helpful as you plan your Grand Canyon heli ride. Keep in mind that we are in the summer travel season. Thus these flights are subject to quickly selling out. My recommendation here is to always book in advance - like right after you book your hotel room. And do the booking online. That way you'll get the best trip at the lowest price possible.

Author: Lea Fallon