“What should we get Dad”? This is a question that’s doomed to come up at least a few times each year. It’s hauntingly simple, which makes it that much more insulting when no one seems to know the answer (especially Mom). What does the guy like?
Maybe Dad isn’t high maintenance, but he’s sort of mysterious in a very practical way. Whether your father is a classic handy dad, or a tech guy, bookish and likes a good mug or to grill or fills any of the other cliches of Daddishness—you can never go wrong with an experience. Yep, a little adventure.
So, in honor of father’s day coming up this Sunday, we decided to sum up a few of the best Dad trips possible—and then recommend some locations for them. And hell, if you go on a trip maybe you’ll get to know the guy a little better and figure out some gift ideas for next time.
The Great Outdoors—Camping/Nature
Mother Nature is just a figure of speech in my experience, it tends to be Dads that really dig the classic camping trip adventure (at least in my family). But in all seriousness, a rugged adventure may be the most prototypical Dad trip you can take.
Now there’s varying degrees of “rugged”. Your Dad might be a glamper… That is okay. Does not make him any less Dad. I’m a proud glamper. The modern world has left me soft and pale and I like nothing more than a tent with a wood floor and an air purifier.
On the other hand, maybe your Dad is itching to get his hands dirty. He thinks poison ivy “builds character” and a run in with the wild animals thrills him in ways that scare you a little. For either type, here are five locations that can’t go wrong.
Five Biomes, Five Spots
- Forest – Redwood National and State Parks, USA (California)
- Mountains – Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand
- Beach – Lafayette Beach, Tahiti
- Desert – Atacama Desert, Chile
- Jungle – Daintree National Park, Australia
The Long and Winding Road—Road Trip
Yep, it’s time to go full Easy Rider with Dad, take that Jack Kerouac adventure across the country. It’s a Road Trip. There’s an unmistakable bond that forms between two (or more) people who sit cramped in a car for days and days on end, stopping to pee on open roads and passing odd landmarks and Hills Have Eyes type towns. And then of course there are the peaceful moments, when the openness of the road or maybe the transient nature of the passing landscape hits you and you see that this trip, like all of life, is a passing journey you’re taking together with your Pa.
- Route 66, USA
- Pacific Coast Highway, USA
- Autobahn, Germany
- Route 40, Argentina
Trip Back Home—Hometown/Home City
This is that trip you’ve been meaning to take. The one that Dad drops hints about. Maybe it’s time you finally met all that extended family you’ve heard stories about. Or maybe Dad’s a history buff, and even though he‘s never been there himself you both trace your lineage back to this place. It’s the trip back home, to an area with plenty of memories and sentiment for you both.
Now, this location could vary wildly between each family, so I decided to highlight five of the greatest Ancestral Cities as well—places that were formative to the history of humanity. (There are way too many for this article, maybe I’ll write a separate just on this topic).
Five Ancestral Cities
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Rome, Italy
- Varansi, India
- Dublin, Ireland
- Cusco, Peru
Urban Adventuring—The Big City
So, maybe your Dad isn’t the outdoorsy type. He doesn’t love being trapped in a car and he’s dying to get away from his hometown. On the other hand, he loves the energy of passing people and nothing lights him up like a classic civic skyline. Sounds like you might have a city slicker on your hands.
Between museums, restaurants, live music and fancy breweries—the list of urban activities is nearly endless. And besides, even if you both already live in a city, no two cities are identical. The unique culture and history of each metropolis makes it distinct. Here are four of our favorite cities for that father son visit with your Dad.
Four Big Cities
- New York, USA
- Tokyo, Japan
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Dubai, UAE