Who doesn’t look forward to taking some time off from the everyday stresses of life for a summer getaway? Unfortunately, we often discover that things can be just as hectic on a holiday. If you are planning to escape the rat race for a little while, why not skip the tourist traps and find something more laid back and rejuvenating? Sometimes, it’s all about location but, usually, it’s just about timing. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Coastal Maine

If you head up to New England in June, it might not be as warm as Florida but the sparse crowds (who typically start showing up in July), temps in the low 70s and blooming wildflowers will be worth it. Kick back and relax or enjoy a leisurely stroll through a natural park. Incredibly, the rates at the charming local lodges will still be significantly lower in June than they will be over July and August. This makes Maine a win-win situation.

Greenland

It may not have been on your radar but if you are looking for a laid back, eco-friendly getaway, consider Greenland. It’s beautiful, quiet and chilly even in the summer but it will be an experience that you will never forget. Consider booking at the new Natural Habitat Adventures base camp where you will rest on luxurious, high-thread-count linens, feast on meals prepared by a gourmet chef and warm up with hot showers after a day of whale watching, kayaking or hiking through the Tundra.

Huntington State Park, South Carolina

If your family is planning a trip to Myrtle Beach, keep in mind that you can venture a little further into the part of the beach that is actually a protected state park. Instead being elbow-to-elbow with the person beside you, ditch the surf closest to the resorts and explore the area that offers sea grass and sand dunes. You will be amazed that this gorgeous terrain exists so close to the hectic pace of the boardwalk.

Istanbul, Turkey

Everyone is talking about how inexpensive traveling to Europe is this summer which, undoubtedly, only make the crowds in the most popular areas even crazier. Fortunately, Istanbul is a beautiful, unique and intriguing city that continues to be overlooked. Separated into two sides by the Bosphorus, each side has its own character which, really, gives you a city within a city to explore. While it won’t be a ghost town by any means, Istanbul will give you that great European experience without being as overwhelming and expensive as Paris.

Munich, Germany

When people think of Munich, they tend to imagine Oktoberfest, a very busy time when beer and happy times flow in abundance. If you are interested in visiting the city but want to see it during a less crowded time, the summer months are perfect. You will still be able to find great local food and drinks without having to fight throw a mob for a table. Plus, as mentioned, Europe is pretty affordable this year so it’s a great time to visit this historic and charming city.

Are you planning a vacation this summer? Will your family going to brave the crowds or find something a little quieter?