Are you a spring break slacker? Sometimes it can be easy to let the spring holiday sneak up on us without plans. And while there’s nothing wrong with spending spring break at home, it can also be a great opportunity to sneak a trip in and recharge your family’s batteries before the barrage of end-of-school-year activities and parties hits. However, if you’re currently struggling to afford a break for the spring holidays, don’t worry. Staying in your own backyard can be relaxing too. Instead of wasting money on a short break away, you could always consider using it to get some composite decking installed in your backyard instead. That way, you can place some sunbeds outside and enjoy your family time together in your own backyard. It’s not necessary to go on a break somewhere else, but it can be nice to have a change of scenery. If you’re choosing where to go for spring break, there are a few comparisons you can make that might help you make a decision.
Near versus Far. The first thing to decide is how far afield you’d like to go. While I’m always a fan of hopping on a plane (and in fact recently made no secret of the fact that I’m dreaming of a spring break in Provence) I also believe that it’s perfectly OK to stick close to home. I wrote last spring about the benefits of quick and close family getaways, which can be more affordable and less of a headache (especially if your kids hate long rides) but no less rewarding than going farther and longer.
Staying closer to home also offers the benefit of giving you more flexibility, something I need this spring since our holiday will take place after the Little League season has started. Right now I’ve got my eye on two possible destinations, either the Eastern Shore of Maryland or perhaps a quick getaway to Washington D.C. Depending on how many games and practices are scheduled, we may do both!
Warm versus Cold. I might just as well call this one Sun versus Ski. If you’re a downhill skiing family, spring break can be a time to find some end-of-season deals on packages. If possible, you might want wait to plan a ski trip at this time of year though – personally, I like to make sure there’s going to be good snow. (Just be sure to have a backup plan.)
If warm weather is more your speed, you of course have many options from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. Orlando is a popular spring break destination for many families, but if you’re considering Florida, might I offer Fort Myers as an alternative? You’ll find gorgeous beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and loads of opportunities for wildlife exploration.
And don’t forget the possibility of visiting locations that offer seasonal spring weather. The Midatlantic and southern United States are fragrant and blossoming at this time of year. If we could get away this year, I’d be considering a visit to Asheville, North Carolina which offers great food, gorgeous hiking, and the Biltmore.
City versus Country. Urban destinations often get left out of the spring break equation, but many cities are lovely in the spring with parks and public gardens all abloom. Last spring we spent three days in Los Angeles and had a great time visiting aquariums and museums. With museums and attractions aplenty, New York City would make a great spring break destination and although it can still be chilly in Chicago in the spring, you might get lucky (capriciousness being the defining quality of Midwest spring weather). And to paraphrase a famous song, you’ve never known the charm of spring until you’ve seen April in Paris – or London, Barcelona, Rome….
If your family is like mine, than another factor in your decision making might be using spring break as an opportunity to visit far flung relatives. Last spring we visited two sets of grandparents (one of them great). The advantage of this kind of vacation? You can slip away unnoticed for a few days for some child-free R&R.
For lots more spring break tips and ideas, please be sure to visit the Where Are You Going for Spring Break carnival at Best Family Travel Advice, where the panel of travel experts is sharing links to their posts. For even more ideas and inspiration, see Top Ten Spring Break Destinations for Families.
And if you’ve got some great spring break plans, I’d love to hear about them! Please feel free to share in comments.