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12 Amazing Trips to Take with Your Dad

We can’t say exactly when each of us on the AFAR staff was bitten by the travel bug—but we sure think these travels with our dads have something to do with it. From fishing in the mountains of New York to roughing it in West Africa, here are 12 amazing trips to take with your dad.

1. A Sports and Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip
“When I was 13, we lived in Michigan, and a bunch of my friends were having bar mitzvahs. We aren’t Jewish, so instead of a big party with awkward limbo contests and pimply kids dancing to “Shout,” my parents offered me a trip. I drove with my dad to Cooperstown, NY, to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame, then to Springfield, MA, to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame, then to New York City for my first visit there. What I remember most was how, when you get to the end of the Basketball Hall of Fame, you get to shoot baskets on a conveyor belt that carries you past all these hoops at different heights and distances. We also saw the Flying Karamazov Brothers comedy troupe at Lincoln Center. And finally, I scored the most coveted item of clothing for middle-school Michiganders at that time: a T-shirt from the Hard Rock Café. When I look back, I realize that sports, humor, and music are probably the three things my dad and I have bonded over the most.” —Jeremy Saum, executive editor

2. Back to His Roots
“My dad grew up in Granada, Spain, and his parents lived there for most of their lives. The city is an incredible place in its own right, but was made even more special by the personal connection. I would wander the streets with my father, and hear about the mischief he got into as a kid—kicking his soccer ball in Plaza Nueva, just below the Alhambra; getting lost in the labyrinthine streets of the Albaicin. We would hop into the ancient tapas bar where he knew of the proprietor as el gordo, and would both delight in finding newer places that weren’t there when he was young.” —Davina Baum, digital director

3. Seeing the Giant Turtles in the Galapagos
“My dad has always been goofy, and when traveling his humor never falters. From his perfectly rehearsed ‘How to Snorkel’ speech, to his masterful sand drip-castles, he always makes beach vacations a family favorite. When he came to visit me in the Galapagos, he outdid himself by bringing along a giant sea turtle float. He blew it up and hung it on the back of a boat Christmas morning. You can only imagine how surprised the rest of the passengers and staff were when they saw it floating in the wind.” —Samantha Juda, audience marketing specialist

4. Skiing—and Wine
“Not long after I started walking, I was skiing with my dad—Lake Tahoe, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and even abroad in France, Italy, and Switzerland. But perhaps my favorite ski trip I’ve taken with him was about ten years ago, to Portillo in Chile. After a lifetime of his insisting on skiing till dusk regardless of the weather, I could finally keep up with him. He was ready to start the après portion of the day with a bottle of Chilean wine in the lodge before the lifts had shut down.” —John Newton, senior editor, branded content

5. Sticking Out in Spain
“Most summers growing up, we would go visit my dad’s family in Madrid. I loved seeing the “funny Spanish guy with a strong accent” seem so American in context with his baseball cap, backpack, camera, and (gasp!) shorts.” —Alex Palomino, photo assistant

6. Adventures in West Africa
“When I was a teenager, my dad took me and my brother to West Africa for a couple of weeks. I’m still not exactly sure why. But it was my first great adventure and possibly my most memorable. One morning I woke up and realized one of my eyes was completely swollen shut. It was the weirdest thing. It didn’t hurt, and I didn’t even realize it until I looked in the mirror. And then I looked at my dad and he had the same thing! We found a pharmacy and just pointed to our eyes and they gave us a tube of ointment. I still don’t know what happened but I like to think of it as a father/daughter thing.” —Lily Soysal, marketing and special projects director

7. A Long Journey on a Vespa
“In 2008 my dad decided that he wanted to ride his Vespa from our cabin in Big Bear, California to Boulder, Colorado. I have always been the one who is up for an adventure, so after reading some safety books and getting the right gear, we were off on a 1,200-mile journey. It was just us, the open road, and our red Vespa. We went through the desert, the mountains, cities, and suburbs taking in views and the fresh air (as well as the occasional bug). I got to see parts of the United States that I would never have seen otherwise. It’s something my dad and I still talk about.” —Katherine Kneier, sales director

8. A Great Pit Stop on a Road Trip
“I spent much of my childhood on road trips with my dad. My sister and I played competitive volleyball in Oklahoma, and we were always driving to the next tournament. On one such trip to Colorado Springs, my dad planned a time for my sister and I to watch the U.S. volleyball team practice. It was so memorable, and I’ll never forget the first time I saw the plains give way to the beautiful Colorado mountains.” —Michaela Trimble, brand manager

9. The Long Road to the South of France
“When I was a kid, each summer we would go on a family holiday, usually to the south of France. While I don’t remember the trips so well, I do remember the journeys down. We’d wake before dawn and load up the car with snacks, coloring books, and games like Top Trumps Super Heroes or car versions of I Spy. Everything ran to a strict schedule—imagine National Lampoons if everything had gone according to plan. My dad would drive for what felt like 18 hours straight, stopping only for the ferry from Dover and all-too-infrequent toilet breaks. My mum and I would read, my brother would gaze out the window (I remember he once spotted a lizard on the side of the road), and my poor sister would frantically color in pictures before inevitably succumbing to carsicknesses. The thing that really sticks with me is the soundtrack of the journeys, with the whole family singing along to Dire Straits, Meatloaf, and eerie folk music like Steeleye Span. Despite being enforced, it was uninterrupted family time of the kind that you often don’t get, and l look back on it very fondly. To this day, I still love—and find extremely soothing—the feeling of being in motion. It truly is the journey just as much as the destination.” —Nick Rowlands, guides editor

10. Fishing, Camping, and S’mores
“As a kid, time with my dad meant time fishing. Each summer we’d go to upstate New York to camp for a few days. I’d stand in the river with my rod, hooked with my Snoopy bobber, and my dad would be casting finely tied flies from his. I much preferred the fun of sleeping in a tent and cooking S’mores to the actual fishing. The year we finally brought my then-baby sister it rained. The tent sprung a leak and we woke up to a horrible smell: My sister had puked all over the tent, as well as my poor mom. Needless to say, that was the last camping trip we ever took as a family.” —Jen Murphy, hotels editor

11. A Surprising Trip to Hawaii
“My dad is a big fan of the continental United States when it comes to travel, and tends to stick to only that. Yet, when I was in 5th grade, I somehow convinced my parents that we had to go to Hawaii. I wouldn’t shut up about it. They conceded, and we headed to Maui and Oahu. I got him on a catamaran off the coast of Maui—and he hates boats and the open ocean. To this day, he still tells me Hanauma Bay is the most surprising and beautiful beach he’s ever set foot on. I’ve been a proud daughter ever since!” —Juliette San Fillipo, associate marketing manager

12. Beach Walks on Martha’s Vineyard
“Every summer of my life, my family has taken a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The past five years, my dad and I have woken up at 7 a.m.—long before my mom, sister, and brother arise—and taken a walk amongst the roaring waves of the island’s southernmost beach with a cup of coffee. Every major issue I’ve come to in my adult life—job problems, breakups, a quarter-life crisis—we’ve worked through together while traipsing through the soft sand and admiring the glittering Atlantic.” —Danielle Walsh, associate web editor

First photo by T. Becque