Whether you take advantage of last-minute travel deals or organize a shared experience, make a family trip a top priority. Here are five reasons to plan now.

1. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE Things are heating up at the office. Projects are underway. The family budget is stressing the seams. But what is more important than time away with the ones you love? Your plans need not be elaborate. Consider nearby festivals, camping, house trading, hiking or biking trips.

INFO koa.com

2. THINGS CHANGE Kids grow up. Grandparents age. Before you know it, that family reunion that sounds like fun, the lake you long to fish or the resort that has captured your attention will have somehow altered and no longer be possible or appealing. Plan now to capture the memories unique to this era in your family’s evolution.

INFO gunflint.com

3. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING TO LEARN Do your kids yearn to learn to surf or sail? Are they eager to fly-fish? Perhaps they want to know more about their own family history and the places that forged the bonds of your clan. Whether you opt for magnificent museums or nature’s classroom, give them the gift of knowledge by taking advantage of their current curiosity. Who knows where it will lead?

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INFO si.edu, visitmt.com, nps.gov

4. CREATE A ‘FIRST’ MEMORY Many adults can readily recall a “first” they experienced while on vacation with their own families: a first glimpse of the Grand Canyon, the towering skyline of New York City, the White House. Often that moment will be recalled as life changing. Consider sharing such a moment with your own children. Talk about it. See what renders a sparkle in their eyes. Then make it happen.

INFO colorado.com, visitarizona.com

5. SHARE AN EXPERIENCE Shared experiences make for powerful memories. Consider changing someone else’s life through a volunteer vacation. Take on a challenge together like running or walking in a 10K in a neighboring town. Horseback into the backcountry. Travel the Oregon Trail or explore Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail and spend time talking about what it means.

INFO bwca.com, virginia.org