Summer is coming and that means that the school holidays will soon be upon us. For some of us, the prospect of a week way with the kids in warmer climates is something to look forward to. For others, it fills us with dread.

It’s true, family vacations can be a nightmare. That’s probably why more and more families are looking at alternatives to a week on the beach. From house swapping to back packing, there are plenty of options out there for the family who want to try something a little different summer.

Here are four family vacations to make this summer memorable.

The house swap
An entire family camped out in a hotel for a couple of weeks is fun to start with, but after a while you’ll begin to miss the comforts of home – your own room, a kitchen to cook in, a proper bathroom. That’s where a house swap comes in. With the huge growth in Airbnb across America and the world, it has never been easier to rent an entire home for your vacation. It’s so simple – simply pick a city or location you and your family have always wanted to go to, find a suitable home available to rent for those dates and book it up. All you have to do on arrival is unpack and enjoy living in another home for your stay.

The backpacking trip
When people hear the world backpacking, they assume it is for college graduates or young people. It doesn’t have to be. Why not throw everything you and your family need for a vacation into a backpack and explore an entire country on your vacation? You’ll explore and create far more memories than staying in one place for a week. Why not travel up the East Coast of Australia, go hunting for Mexican Alien Artifacts in the temples of the Mayan’s or take a continental train journey across Europe? It’s far more educational for your kids than lying on a beach, to boot.

The cruise
If a backpacking trip sounds like it is for a younger generation without a family, then a cruise probably sounds like it is for an older generation who’s kids now have their own kids. That’s a pretty ancient view of a cruise holiday. Multi-generational travel is now one of the biggest selling points of a cruise You spend a few days onboard gorging on food and drink - you won’t get bored either as the entertainment is top notch – and then you pull into a beautiful, exotic location to explore for a day, ready to experience a new country, culture and way of life.

The skiing trip
Snow, adventure and exercise – three things a skiing trip will provide you with. The best part about a skiing holiday though is that it gives everyone focus. Whether you are a wannabe Lindsey Vonn or someone who has never set foot on a snow covered mountain before, there is always an improvement target to aim for by the end of your stay. There are other positives – with each day taken with an activity you are highly unlikely to end up bored and if you are one of those people who can’t stand hot weather, then you’ll be escaping the heat as well.