Sometimes you want a vacation just so you can "check out." All you've been dreaming of for months is doing nothing but sit on a beach somewhere and drink umbrella drinks. The reality is, this works for the first few days, and then you're bored and you start looking around for something to do. Why not choose a different type of vacation; one where you won't ever get bored because you're occupied with something you consider worthwhile and fun? I'm talking about those vacations that are outside the box. River rafting - You can decide which trip you want based on the number of days, how rough the water will be, and the level of "roughing it" you prefer. Some float trips offer gourmet meals and don't expect you to do the dishes. Houseboat - All you need is a big body of water such as Lake Havasu or Lake Shasta, your food supplies, friends, and your swim trunks. You can also rent jet skis for your trip. Ski huts - In some mountain ranges, such as the Rocky Mountains, there are ski in and ski out huts you can rent. Stay every night in one hut, or cross country ski from one hut to another. In the summer you can hike from hut to hut. Train - There are train trips you can take where the fun is in the getting there, not necessarily the final destination. You'll see beautiful scenery and probably take in some history too. Sports camp - Rock climbing, surfing, scuba diving, extreme sports, snowboarding, snowshoeing, softball, triathlon training, and many more sports camps are available. You can drill down even further - say hiking camps for women over 50, and find what suits you. Dude Ranch - Just like Billy Crystal in the movie City Slickers, you can vacation at a working ranch. Some ranches allow you to help out, while others are just a nice place to stay with rustic decor, good food, and outdoor activities such as horseback riding. Lighthouse - You can sign up to do a working stint in a lighthouse. For example, be the lighthouse keeper on Dungeness Spit in Washington state for a week. Duties include giving tours, shining the brass, and watering the lawn. Special interest camp - Do you have a desire to learn more about photography or film making? Do you like to hike and are interested in plants? There are camps for all these. Do a search on the Internet under your specific interests and you will be amazed at what is available. Bicycle - Here's how it goes - you ride your bike during the day (the number of miles depends on which package you choose), and a van carries your things to the next hotel where you will find a hot shower and dinner awaiting you. These packages can be local or international, and believe it or not, seniors are big on bike touring. Volunteer - You and friends or family can take on a special volunteer project for your vacation. Install house ramps for those who need assistance, help build a house, teach at a rural Sunday school, give assistance after a natural disaster, or teach life skills to unwed mothers. Theme - Put a theme to your vacation, such as making it a goal to stay at every campground in the western half of the state. One family I know plans their vacations around attending a baseball game. Their goal is to visit every stadium in the US.
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