9 Fantastic Graduation Vacations The Whole Family Will Love

1. African Safari

Having the chance to see the world’s most majestic animals in their home environment is irresistible for many travelers


Safari means “long journey” in Swahili, and while arduous in terms of planning and travel, those who’ve been on one know there’s nothing like going on a game drive to see the “Big Five” — elephants, leopards, buffaloes, lions, and rhinos.

2. Grand European Tour

Embarking on a multi-city, multi-country tour of Europe has been popular for generations.


Consider cities that are well-connected by rail or regional airline to make the most of your time in each place. London–Paris–Amsterdam is a great choice, with great and direct train connections.

We’ve also enjoyed an Eastern European swing combining Vienna and Budapest.

3. Galápagos Cruise

The Galápagos are far-flung, some 600 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific Coast, and feel much like Jurassic Park come to life.


A cruise of the island chain will take the guesswork out of a graduation trip, and allow you to see different species and experience different landscapes, both above and below the water.

The cruises will also handle most if not all of your meals, as well as snorkel and scuba gear upon request.

4. Costa Rica Celebration

This small central American national punches above its weight when it comes to things to see, do, and experience. Exploring a rainforest? Check. Hiking a volcano?


Costa Rica is one of those magical destinations that appeals to both thrill-seekers and those truly looking to relax and unwind.

The resorts range from luxe to budget. It’s also a short flight from the southern U.S. and is in the Central Standard time zone, so no jet lag is required to make you feel like you’re a world away.

That’s a win in our book!

5. Go Whale Watching

If the graduate in your life loves kayaking and is up for adventure, consider an all-inclusive trip to British Columbia for an unforgettable experience.


You’ll be surrounded by the lush rainforest, and each day head out for paddle adventures where you might very well glimpse otters, whales, seals, bears, and all sorts of birds.

Some tours offer luxe glamping at a base camp, others set up camp on a different beach each night.

All are remote, offering you a chance to truly unplug for a few days.

6. Explore Down Under

Australia is a destination unlike any other — making it perfect for an unforgettable family trip.


Sydney is a great starting point for any Australian adventure with its museums, sites, and of course, world-famous Bondi Beach.

From there a 3-hour flight will land you in Cairns, close to the Great Barrier Reef.

Grab another flight 2-hour flight to Brisbane, where you can visit the world’s largest koala sanctuary.

7. National Parks Sampler Tour

A bucket-list tour of some of America’s best-loved national parks, elevated by posh stays and experiences, could fit the celebration bill nicely.


An itinerary connecting Glacier to Yellowstone and on south to Grand Teton is unforgettable and can include paddling, hiking, and of course, gazing at those iconic hot springs.

A grand loop of Utah’s big five: Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef national parks is also doable — depending on the time of year — and will offer you jaw-dropping views.

8. Big Island Adventure

If your gang is a more adventurous bunch, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more gorgeous setting than Hawaii’s Big Island.


From its famed black, white, and even green sand beaches, the majestic and active Kilauea volcano, and the sometimes-snow-capped Mauna Kea, the topography of the place is breathtaking.

Here, you can tour a coffee farm, snorkel clear and gorgeous waters, chase waterfalls, and see some of the most spectacular sunsets on Earth.

It’s simply paradise, and would be any graduate’s dream trip.

9. Finding Your Roots

Reconnecting with your roots can be a powerful experience, especially when multiple generations are involved.


Interlacing your family tree with celebratory travel plans packs a powerful emotional punch, no matter where in the world that travel might take you.

Having a couple of goals for the trip — perhaps to see the church where an ancestor was baptized, or to learn more about a region of the world where a branch grew out from — can make it all the more meaningful.

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