Planning a vacation often takes a considerable amount of time and research. It also brings with it equal doses of excitement and anticipation. When the weather doesn’t cooperate and upends your carefully cultivated itinerary, admittedly, it’s hard to keep the vacation blues at bay.

Instead of letting a rainy day turn your outdoor excursion or beach day into a marathon of binge watching movies, build a rainy-day contingency plan into your vacation research. It may cause you to stretch into unfamiliar territory, experience a different side of your destination or engage with your family or friends in a unique way. Here are three ideas to inspire your rainy-day planning:

  1. Indoor Exploration. Compile a list of nearby museums and attractions and pick the exhibition or experience that appeals to your group. Perhaps an art gallery, nature center or history museum will appeal to your travel companions. Or a children’s museum, aquarium or indoor water park may be more suitable for your vacation crew. If your destination has a visitor’s center, that’s a great place to start researching ... and looking for discounts.
  2. Gaming (the old-fashioned kind). Pack some playing cards or board games and enjoy each other’s company. Put the phones and tablets away, and gather around a table to compete, laugh and simply engage with your family and friends. Don’t have room in your carry-on luggage for bulky board games? You can always enjoy a classic game of charades.
  3. Check Local Listings. While it’s a vacation destination for you, it’s home to the locals. Chances are, locals aren’t frequenting tourist hotspots, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t living it up in their own community. Perhaps there’s a community theater production, a concert or other indoor events happening during your stay. As your travel dates near, research local events calendars to see what’s scheduled.

By being prepared for whatever curve balls Mother Nature throws your way, you can ensure inclement weather doesn’t throw a “wet blanket” on your next vacation. Also avoid curve balls at the airport by securing your parking reservation! It’s the only way to guarantee parking accommodations when lots reach capacity.

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