9 Best High School Graduation Trip Ideas

Congratulations on graduating! Celebrate this momentous occasion with a graduation trip to cement your achievement, make new memories, and be ready and rearing to start the next chapter of your young lives! Here are some ideas to get you started...

1. Disney Parks

If this is your chance to go to a Disney park for the first time, seize the opportunity! Whether it's Disneyland or Walt Disney World on the docket, you won't be disappointed by the vast array of rides, food, shows, happy smiles, and all-around magical atmosphere. They call themselves the Happiest and the Most Magical Places on Earth, and really it's very true. Meet all your favorite Disney characters, take a ride down Splash Mountain, drop several stories in the Tower of Terror, sample some world-class seafood and Mickey-shaped desserts, and leave feeling happy and refreshed. It may include a lot of walking, but the parks are worth the effort!

2. Straight to the Beach

Who doesn't love the beach? If you live away from the coasts, which a lot of people do, you probably don't get to sample the beach very often. Well, here's your chance! Head somewhere warm like Alabama's Gulf Shores or the Gulf Coast region off of Florida and Texas with pleasant waters and plenty of sand to stretch out on, not to mention the sunny attitudes and words of welcome. Cities like Galveston, South Padre Island, Corpus Christi, and Florida's Panama City Beach, Destin, and Pensacola raise the bar for relaxing beach vacations. Florida's coastal cities tend to be a little more lively while Texas has a history, food, and a family-friendly atmosphere on its side. No matter where you pick, there are plenty of attractions to keep you busy and having a blast!

3. Hollywood

Whether you're looking at Los Angeles proper or simply the exotic-sounding Hollywood, you're bound to have a great time on this graduation trip! Truly, the entire city of L.A. revolves around the entertainment business - but that's not all you'll find! Hit up Hollywood first with a visit to the Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and plenty of filming locations before you tour the La Brea Tar Pits, the Getty Center and Villa, or the incomparable Griffith Park which includes the Los Angeles Zoo and the Griffith Observatory. Many of the famed attractions of L.A. are free of charge, including tickets to see live tapings of TV shows. How cool would that be?!

4. The Big Apple

New York City is a time-honored staple of student travel. It's on nearly everyone's bucket list and remains one of the most important cities in the world, certainly one of the most important in our nation. Today it is the financial, business, and sometimes culinary capital of the U.S. with other contenders, making it a well-rounded option for your graduation or educational trip. See all the famous sites from the Statue of Liberty to Times Square, or get off the beaten path and tour some of the lesser-known sites like Fort Tryon Park, Roosevelt Island or Fraunces Tavern where George Washington negotiated peace with the British. You can make your own adventure in New York, so what do you want to do?

5. Puerto Rico

You don't need a passport traveling from the U.S. to Puerto Rico and back which means you practically have to visit Puerto Rico! Incredible Caribbean views, soft sandy beaches, warm weather, and endless touring opportunities elevate this grad trip idea to a new level. Plus, how many of your friends can say they've been to Puerto Rico? You'll be wanting to race back home to tell them all about the jungle treks, canopy zip lines, and plantation tours, or the animal encounters off the coast of San Juan, the beautiful and historic capital of this lovely U.S. territory. Make sure you at least take a walk through Old San Juan, see the staid and historic La Fortaleza as well as the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

6. All About the Food

Go where your taste buds lead you, on a culinary adventure around the U.S. There are tons of food tours specializing in local flair, or annual food festivals complete with cooking demonstrations and celebrity chefs. If what you crave is Mexican food, obviously head south to Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona where proximity to the border gets you more authentic, spicy foods. If what you love is pizza, New York, Chicago, and St. Louis all have famous representations of that gorgeous pie while barbecue lovers have Kansas City, Memphis, and Austin to choose from, all with different styles. Of course, it's all up to you!

7. Camp Out

If you're a nature nut, why not grab your trusty tent and some hiking boots and head on out to a choice national park? You'll encounter the great outdoors, incredible hiking or biking opportunities, wonderful camping spots where you can sleep under the stars, and animal encounters! Yellowstone and Yosemite are time-honored favorites but the most popular park in the U.S. is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with its rolling misty hills, historic landmarks and Appalachian history sprinkled throughout the forests. Go for a lesser-known national park, like Lassen Volcanic National Park in California or Arches National Park in Utah where the geological formations, volcanic geothermal features (in Lassen, not Arches), and star viewing opportunities make it hard to pass up.

8. Hawaii

Though it might not be the most budget-friendly destination, if you have the means and opportunity, you should travel to Hawaii. With more islands than you could hope to in one vacation and millions of things to see, Hawaii constantly wows visitors into coming back as many times as possible. It's a tropical oasis complete with active volcanoes, pristine beaches, incredible wildlife viewing experiences, and close encounters, plus cultural and historic attractions. Visit Honolulu first and get a taste of the island life and Hawaiian history at the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, and hula dancing lessons. See the rolling lava at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island or hop over to Kauai to visit the many state parks and preserves!

9. Where Have You Dreamed of Going?

While this option is a little vague, it bears asking. Where do you want to go for your graduation trip? Wherever that is, be it Alaska, the U.S. Virgin Islands, New Mexico, Philadelphia, or beyond, we can make it happen! Give us a call, shoot us a message, or simply visit our site and take a look at the other ideas and itinerary suggestions for graduation trips. We can make the trip you've been dreaming of reality, on any budget!