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BYOM (Bring Your Own Meal)

I am loving the bring-your-own-meal (BYOM) trend on domestic flights. If there’s been one improvement to air travel these days, it’s actually the lack of in-flight meals–no more stinking airplane cabins and questionable food lingering on my tray table.

But now snack boxes are proliferating, and not only are they an example of gross over-packaging, but they are also known to be laden with empty calories and artery-clogging fat. I’m telling you now that I don’t ever want to appear on The Biggest Loser, which means you won’t find me “snacking” on chips and cookies at 30,000 feet.

Biking Mt. Haleakala

Getting up at 2 a.m. on vacation sounds crazy, but what’s even crazier is waking up at 2 a.m. to bike down a 10,000-foot volcano. At least that’s what my friends say. My comeback is: how often do you get to watch the sun rise over a crater, then ride a bike 37 miles down to sea level and only have to pedal twice?

The Haleakala Sunrise Bike Ride was early, but it was also one of the most rewarding endeavors I’ve ever experienced on vacation. As we headed out in the pitch of night, we were groggy and a bit cold; however, once we arrived at sea level, my adrenaline kicked in. The tour guides mentioned the annual ride to the top of Haleakala, and I knew I was headed for my next challenge. (Apparently, Lance Armstrong climbed it a few times in one day for training.) The ride is officially named Cycle to the Sun (Haleakala means “House of the Sun”), though most locals call it “Psychos to the Sun” (Cycle to the Sun). Either way, climbing straight up for 40 miles is my idea of a vacation.

Am I off my rocker to think of vacations as adventures that take you out of your element? Or should vacation be about relaxing and recharging? You tell me!

The Thrill of the Ride

Today’s theme park goers have more than 600 amusement parks and traditional attractions to choose from in the U.S. alone, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, leaving adrenaline-seekers a myriad of options for their next vacation. With spring break approaching and vacationers making their getaway plans, Travelocity editors dug deep to compile coasters, thrillers and soakers from across the country that top the list of amusement park favorites.

Family Beaches in the U.S. and Nearby

When it comes to family beach time, the key is that the beach can’t be the only draw. Lets face it, sometimes kids get bored. Sometimes they get antsy. Sometimes one child wants to hang on a beach chair all day while another wants nothing more than to be in the surf. You can argue if you want, or you can look for a family spot that has plenty to do, and if you’re lucky, even some kid –specific programming. A good family beach can mean a great family vacation. From resort playgrounds to beachside rentals here are some of my favorites.