Amanda Brown
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With the first day of summer just a few months away, now is the perfect time to start thinking about vacation ideas. If you’re someone who likes to spend the summer months traveling, if you’re looking to take a break from the grind, or if you just want to avoid the rising prices at Disney World (seriously?! $135 per person?!), then you’ll want to take a look at these wonderfully unique vacations—no theme parks allowed.

1. The Book-lover’s Getaway

You may have seen this Japanese hostel making the rounds on Facebook. At the Book and Bed Tokyo, the proprietor admits that you won’t find fluffy accommodations, but you will find capsule-style reading nooks nestled within a bookshelf, equipped with a reading light so that you can drift off with your nose in a book.

2. Find Your Inner Zen

For the yoga or meditation lover looking to spend her vacation working on her practice, the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island in Hawaii offers a variety of options, including “Flo-yo:” floating yoga, where the flow is practiced on a standing paddle board. Seaside yoga is also available for anyone uninterested in testing their balance—and having an unforgettable experience.

3. A Family Vacation on the Water

As a destination largely frequented by an…older population, an Alaskan cruise is quiet and kid-friendly. From dog sledding with real Malamute and Husky competition teams to the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show in Ketchikcan, there is never a shortage of family-friendly events to participate in. (Aside: From personal experience, I can also say that an Alaskan cruise in the summer makes for a romantic honeymoon—a few glasses of champagne, a hot tub, and beautiful glaciers as a scenic backdrop.) With small children, consider a Disney cruise, where the ships have short-term babysitters and daycare services by appointment—making it an ideal family vacation spot.

4. Going Off the Beaten Path

If you enjoy getting away from it all and exploring remote areas, you can take a relaxing trip through the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer leisure train. The most popular trip appears to be a five days/four nights trip starting in Vancouver, Canada, and the train company will assist in helping you to select hotels and notable stops along the way. With a clear, domed railcar, this trip offers a wonderful view of the Canadian landscape.

5. Destination Not for the Faint of Heart

Certainly one of the more unique vacation ideas, The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, is the oldest hotel in the city, frequented by presidents and celebrities alike. With a pedigree like this, it’s not surprising that there are tales of “suicide brides,” crying and whispers in abandoned hallways, and sounds of children playing in empty rooms. For a haunted experience, stay in Room 525 or on the fourth floor…

6. They’ll Be Eating from the Palm of Your Hand

At a small hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, you can spend your morning with endangered Rothschild’s giraffes, who will join you for breakfast or occasionally say hello through the bedroom windows. Giraffe Manor is a boutique hotel on 12 acres of private land, shared by a Giraffe Centre with dedicated breeding and reintroduction programs to return the species to the wild.

7. Touring the Seven Kingdoms

Black Tomato is a “set jetting” company known for its on-location set tours. Whether you’re interested in the Southern English castles of Downton Abbey, the desert landscapes of Westworld in Utah, or seeing the Game of Thrones Iron Isles in Ireland and Iceland, Black tomato has a location tour to bring your favorite television backdrop to life.

Disclaimer: neither the author nor Fairygodboss is affiliated with or paid by the vendors and destinations listed. Always check travel restrictions and warnings before traveling.

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