(BPT) - Yearning to go on an adventure this summer? If you are, it’s a good idea to spend extra time planning for a successful vacation. A lot has changed over the past year, so a bit more planning, along with extra patience, will help make your family’s vacation as fun and as memorable as you want it to be.
Here are tips to help your summer vacation go smoothly — and safely — this year, so you’ll all have a blast.
1. Spend more time and effort making preparations
Even if you're the “get there and wing it” kind of vacationer, this year you’ll be happier making as many reservations ahead as possible. With the travel season quickly heating up but many venues experiencing major staffing shortages, you’ll help lessen delays and wait times by planning ahead.
Help make everything go more smoothly by making reservations for everything from your lodgings and rental cars to dining out and tourist attractions. Check venue websites or call to ask if you can reserve (or must reserve) ahead to help avoid long waits.
2. Plan for shifting protocols
As everyone has learned this past year, things can change quickly. To prepare for changes in safety policies, check websites for airlines, hotels and venues you’ll be visiting for their current guidelines. Bring enough masks and hand sanitizer for your whole family and keep them handy when venturing out. Continue wearing masks at indoor venues and crowded outdoor venues where social distancing is not possible — and remind your family to continue washing hands frequently. When in doubt, ask employees about their current protocols and be sure to comply with their requests to keep everyone safe and comfortable — staff and visitors included.
3. Focus on outdoor fun
Summer is all about getting outdoors, and while health is still a concern, outdoor venues offer the safest opportunities to enjoy your family trip. Fortunately, you can find something for everyone in your family at The Beach — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Here are great options for family fun at Myrtle Beach:
- The Beach: Beyond the 60 miles of wide-open beaches throughout the Grand Strand, check out lesser-known spots including laid-back Pawleys Island or Litchfield Beach, a quaint area with just two resorts. You can also find unspoiled beach access at Huntington Beach State Park and Myrtle Beach State Park.
- Fishing: Myrtle Beach boasts endless opportunities to cast your line, from freshwater and inlet fishing to deep sea charters. The area’s eight piers offer day passes for fishing, and many also provide fishing rod rentals.
- Biking and birding: Hit the trails on foot or on two wheels at Waccamaw Neck Bikeway, a 12-mile multi-purpose path between Murrells Inlet and Huntington Beach State Park. Or you can visit The Horry County Bike and Run Park (known as The Hulk) in Carolina Forest, or Vereen Memorial Historical Gardens in Little River, with 114 acres of salt marshes and woodland. Bike rental options include electric bikes at Pedego at The Market Common. For a more relaxed outdoor excursion, Huntington Beach State Park is home to one of the best birding spots on the East Coast, with over 300 species of birds on its grounds throughout the year.
- Golf and miniature golf: Perfect your swing at one of nearly 100 championship golf courses, including the iconic Pine Lakes Country Club, the area’s oldest course. If putting is more your speed, check out one of the over 35 elaborately themed miniature golf courses depicting swashbuckling pirates, volcanoes, dinosaurs and more.
- Historic walking tours: The charming inland town of Conway features historic buildings listed on the National Historic Register, and Georgetown is one of the state’s oldest cities on the south end of Myrtle Beach, offering an unmatched historic waterfront. You can grab a self-guided tour brochure at the visitor center or sign up for a Strollin’ on the Sampit Walking Tour led by a local guide for just $8.