Pulling out the calendar to plan a vacation can be overwhelming. Where to go? What to do? How many hours can the family survive together in one car

Many parents get stuck in a rut of thinking there are only a few places to make a magical family vacation. But the truth is, options for adventure are hiding in unexpected places all over the country. If your family is open to a few days of not-your-average vacation, then pack your bags and prepare to make memories on one of these unique trips.

1. Go Farm-Style

Connect to a quieter pace and experience life on an operating farm. Farm Stay US, allows you to search farms by state and discover the different types of experiences and accommodations each farm offers. Travelers can choose to stay on farms, ranches, or vineyards, and enjoy activities such as cheese making, gardening, cooking, and animal photography. Note: Some farms are adult only, so be sure to check for family-friendly options before booking

2. Hit the Huts

Want the experience of a multi-day family hike with the convenience of a hotel? Then Hut Hiking is for you. Instead of lugging extra gear for setting up and breaking down camp each day, you will enjoy a clean place to sleep each night. Hut trails can be found from California to Georgia to New Hampshire; offering beds under a roof, toilets that flush, and often times, a home cooked dinner. To get an idea of different trails and lodging check out 10th Mountain Division Hut Association and New Hampshire White Mountian Huts.

3. Caveman Adventure

Cave tours can be found all over the US; from the world's longest known cave system, Mammoth Cave, to the fascinating lava tube caves in Orgeon. Explore and learn as a family while rocking a super awesome headlamp. 

4. Glowing Canoe Trip

Paddle through glowing waters on a bioluminescent canoe or kayak trip. Bioluminescence, simply put, is a living orgamism that gives off light. Enjoy nature's underwater firework show while floating along on a night time excursion. Try A Day Away Kayak Tours (Florida) and Discovery Sea Kayaks (Washington State) to start planning a trip.

5. Volunteer

Dedicate some vacation time to helping others by signing up to volunteer with a program such as Outreach 360. This program will help match your family with an opportunity to make a difference for children in need. While much of the focus is on volunteering, Outreach 360 also offers organized excursions for families to spend free time together. What better way for children to see the impact of their deeds while expanding their cultural awareness?

The next time you consider a famliy vacation, think outside the theme park. There is a whole big world of memories out there just begging you to dive in. Go off the beaten path, try something new and leave your comfort zone. It just may be the trip your family will talk about for the next 20 years.