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Family Micro-adventures: Last Minute Travel Ideas


Author, adventurer and motivational speaker Alastair Humphreys coined the term “microadventures” to help those who feel at home in the great outdoors find the means to getaway without the constraints of daily life.

Microadventures turn those lazy weekends into two-day hiking trips, a ride along hidden trails in your own backyard and family camping getaway that end with sleeping under the stars. If you’re looking for some last minute travel ideas, take your family on these five unforgettable microadventures.

5. Explore the White Mountains in New Hampshire

If you want a quick family getaway without the muss and fuss of packing a lot of gear, explore the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Spend the weekend at The Highland Center in Crawford Notch. The Highland Lodge provides daily hot and cold breakfast, a 4-course family style dinner, and a summer Sunday BBQ buffet.

During your stay, explore the White Mountains area and take advantage of the miles of hiking trails. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor and recreational activities for folks of all ages:

Not to mention the abundance of wildlife sightings such as the white-tailed deer, moose, fox, bear, and other native animals. So don’t forget to bring a camera.

4. Walk through Time along the Ice Age Trail

Take your family on a journey through time along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. In the northwestern region of Wisconsin, you can follow in the footsteps of wooly mammoths and saber tooth tigers that once roamed this area over 15,000 years ago.

The 1,200 miles of trail we know today was carved out by a gigantic glacier, leaving behind a remarkably beautiful landscape surrounded by forests and glacial formations. This is the perfect place for a quick one-day backpacking trip or to spend a few days camping on private campgrounds.

The Ice Age Trail provides excellent opportunities for sightseeing, wildlife viewing, and bird watching. If you need to make a pit stop, there are primitive camping areas where no permits or reservations are required, but there are no facilities, so you’ll be roughing it like a true outdoorsman.

There are also traditional, developed campgrounds that require a fee and reservation, as well as car-camping sites.

3. Take Bike Riding to a New Level in Big Bear Lake, California

Home to the world’s best mountain biking trails, Big Bear Lake in San Bernardino, California guarantees a great ride each and every time.

If you and your family are active bikers, there are a number of trails, routes and summits you can explore at your leisure. Visit Bear Valley Bikes, a full service bike shop where you can rent a few bikes for the whole family and grab a couple of maps for your ride. Trails range from easy to difficult, so choose wisely.

Big Bear Lake is also a popular destination for many other outdoor family activities, such as: fishing, water skiing, kayaking, canoeing, boating, bowling, mini-golf, go kart racing and more.

But your microadventure doesn’t have to stop there. Here are a few other places of interest in Big Bear:

2. Fly High at Berkshire East in Massachusetts

Is your family full of adrenaline junkies? Then boy, do we have an adventure for you. Take your average day trip to new heights at Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Massachusetts

You and your family can take a zip line canopy tour high above the Berkshire Mountains with a scenic view of the valley floor below. The resort is home to two of the countries longest zip lines and has been rated one of the top 10 zip lines in the U.S., so know this place is the real deal. And the best part is, prices start as low as $20 for youth and seniors. Military discounts are also available with ID. Reservations are highly recommended.

But don’t limit yourself to zip lining. With over 52 trails and 162 acres of skiable area, take advantage of other outdoor adventures and attractions at Berkshire such as white-water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, biking or taking a ride on Thunderbolt, North America’s longest mountain coaster the combines the thrills of an alpine slide and a roller coaster.

Wildlife abounds in Massachusetts, so keep your eyes peeled for moose, bobcats, black bears, white-tailed deer, coyotes and beavers.

1. Cast a Line in the Famous Blackfoot River in Montana

Ample mountain ranges, rich river valleys, and vast prairies are just a few reasons why people travel near and far to visit the great state of Montana. Home to well-known national and historic landmarks, Montana is also a gold mine for anglers and fisherman alike.

For this microadventure, visit the Blackfoot River. This snow-fed river has many deep spots, making it the perfect environment for varieties of trout such as Cutthroat, Bull, Rainbow, Brook and Brown.

If you’re coming in from out of town and want the most epic fishing trip of all time, hire top-notch angling guides at the Blackfoot River Outfitters. These highly skilled guides will take you camping along the river, and even show you secret river spots. You can plan a day trip or stay overnight.

Aside from fly fishing, the Blackfoot River is renowned for other recreational opportunities such as rafting, canoeing, kayaking and inner tubing.

No matter where adventure takes – or how soon you may have to pack for one – make sure you have the proper travel protection. With NASW Endorsed Emergency Assistance Plus, your family will have access to emergency and travel assistance if you become hospitalized during your microadventure.

With 24-hour emergency assistance and more than 20 emergency and medical services, EA+ lets you and your family travel with confidence.

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