The road trip is back: Gas prices are at record lows making road trips more affordable. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that the national average cost of gas could drop as low as $2.65 a gallon in July 2015 — a huge drop when you consider the average in July 2014 was $3.61 a gallon. Families will be mapping out trips that take them across multiple states to top American attractions. They'll be opting to drive to favorite destinations such as Disneyland and national prices because taking the car is more cost effective than buying plane tickets for two parents and several kids.
Historical spots are hot: From the Alamo to Gettysburg, families will be visiting top historical sites to expose their children to American history. Today's parents are always looking to enrich their children's lives and deepen their educations, even on vacations. Moms and dads will be putting together themed road-trips that string together history spots.
Kids are over fast-food chains: With American kids being drawn to TV cooking shows such as Masterchef Jr. and Chopped, young palates are becoming more adventuresome and wanting more than fast-food. Families are now seeking out local eateries, whether it's an old-school burger joint serving milk shakes and malts made with fresh berries to a crab shack specializing in fresh seafood.
Families want wi-fi: Moms, dads and their kids want to log onto their computers while on the road, whether to check in with friends over email or hop online to do some trip research.
Active travel keeps families fit: America is on a health kick. The soaring popularity of FitBit is a sign of this. Today's families are keeping active on the road, whether hiking through national parks or riding their bicycles along beach boardwalks.
Popular destinations for families in 2015
Alaska: Anchorage is celebrating its centennial and planning a host of events from special museum exhibits depicting the regions rich history to hikes showing off the spectacular scenery.
Houston: The first phase of a major new theme park called Grand Texas will be opening in summer 2015. A 40-acre water park, modeled off a 100year-old fishing village harkening back to the days when Texas life was centered on the river, is included in the first phase.
South Dakota: Set in the beautiful pine-clad Black Hills, Custer State Park is celebrating 100 years of its roundup when the ground rumbles and dust flies as cowboys and cowgirls round up thundering herds of bison. Nearby visit the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Old West landmarks like Deadwood and Wounded Knww.
Miami Beach: This resort area offers a more relaxing, less gritty taste of Miami and this year the area's celebrating 100 years. Spend your days at the beach or take day trips to Parrot Jungle, Monkey Jungle, the Miami Seaquarium and the Everglades.
San Diego, Calif.: The city of San Diego hosted a huge party in 1915 honoring the completion of the Panama Canal. The city will mark the 100 year anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition with cultural events centered around Balboa Park As the largest cultural park in America, this 1,200 acre expanse is filled with open spaces, gardens, walking paths, several theaters and museums and the San Diego Zoo.
St. Augustine, Fl: America's first city is celebrating 450 years since Pedro Menéndez landed on its shores in 1565.
Greece: American children are fascinated with the Greek Gods. We can thank author Rick Riordian for that. This young adult author wrote the hugely popular Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, about the adventures of a young boy who is half Greek god, half human. These educational and engaging books delve tweens and teens into the world of the Greek Gods.
Iceland: This geological land of fire and ice offers families a magical outdoorsy vacation with more than 200 volcanoes, 600 hot springs and endless cool rivers and streams — set in a cool spot where the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans converge.
Morocco: Safe yet exotic, Morocco offers a taste of Africa with vibrant cities and majestic mountains. Families can spend a few days shopping the souks in Marrakech, then travel only an hour to the Atlas Mountains for a multi-day trek before heading to the seaside town of Essaouira where you can ride camels on the beach.
Nicaragua: Move over Costa Rica. This Central American hot spots has the same sugary beaches, exotic wild life and zip lines flying through the jungle at lower prices — plus there are fewer tourists.