When you’re planning where to go and what to do for a vacation this summer, water parks are the place to be. Visitors can snorkel, swim, play with sea creatures, get a great workout and catch some rays without having to spend half a day on an airplane. With so many great options for water parks around the USA, there’s a place within driving distance to make a fun weekend getaway for families of all ages.
The Top Ranked Water Parks
According to this article on CNN, nearly 11 million Americans visited a water park in 2013. The top two water park attractions are Disney parks, while the remaining eight parks are operated by a variety of chains and independent travel and tourism businesses. The highest ranked water parks offer thrills such as water slides, wave pools, waterfalls, indoor beaches, surfing, kayaking and tube races. If you’d prefer something less thrilling, most water parks also have lazy rivers for gentle floating that are fun even if you don’t swim.
Packing for Your Water Park Adventure
When you’re packing for your water park adventure, keep comfort in mind. If the park is outdoors, you’ll need plenty of waterproof sunscreen, a cover-up and a spare swimsuit. Be sure to bring along one nicer outfit, suggests this Designer Vault article, so you and the family can enjoy a relaxing dinner. If you have young children, you’ll need swim diapers. Bring your own goggles so you can enjoy the tourist attractions like snorkeling and diving. This article on USA Today suggests leaving your valuables locked up and hidden in the hotel vault, your car trunk or at home. You can also rent a locker on site to store your keys, phone, wallet and day clothes.
Finding Discounts on Water Park Admission
If you’d like to save a few dollars on your travels to a water park, this article on Cheap Flights suggests looking for day packages and all-inclusive stays. You won’t have to spend your time driving between your accommodations and the park, and the food is always ready. Most facilities offer other entertainment as well, at no or a minimal cost. Some even offer complimentary childcare or swimming instruction so the grown-ups can have a few moments away from the kids. Look for a room with a sleeping area that’s separate from the living area for added privacy for the adults.
The Benefits of a Water Park Vacation
Water parks offer a travel destination that allow like-minded tourists to come together. You’re likely to find plenty of families with children to play with yours and parents to enjoy a fruity grown-up drink while you watch the kids playing in the water. According to this article on Family Fitness, you’ll also get a great workout during a stay at a water park. Climbing the stairs to the slides and swimming help you stay fit without breaking a sweat. Early summer or fall are ideal travel times.