Spring break isn’t just for college kids jetting down to Cabo San Lucas or Lake Havasu, Arizona – it’s also for families! Unfortunately though, a lot of families needlessly balk at the idea of a spring break family vacation simply because of the fact that they can be difficult to organize as well as expensive.
It doesn’t need to be this way. The five quick tips below show you how to cut down on vacation costs, put together an itinerary without a sweat, and have the trip of a lifetime with your family this spring break.
1. Break the Stereotype
Why go where everyone else goes? During spring break, families flock to hotspots such as Disneyland, Disneyworld, New York City, and national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon. Break the stereotype and select an uncommon spring break destination to beat the crowds (and the prices). Most good-sized cities have their fair share of attractions that are fun for everyone in the family.
2. Book Flights and Accommodations Early
No matter where you’re going, it’s always best to book airline flights and hotel accommodations in advance. Doing so ensures that you have reservations and helps you score the best deals. According to Kayak.com, looking into alternative sources of lodging such as short-term apartment rentals, bed and breakfasts, and even campsites with cabins is one of the best ways to really save big bucks.
3. Look for Hotel/Attraction Combos
Part of the pleasure of traveling with kids is that it doesn’t take a lot to keep them entertained. Hotels with built-in attractions, like waterparks or game rooms, go a long way towards providing this entertainment. According to the Water Park of America, the world’s tallest indoor waterpark, staying at a hotel/attraction combo not only makes for a fun time, it also saves money. Guests at these hotels often score steeply discounted deals on the attached attractions.
4. Set a Meal Budget
Food spending is one of the hardest areas to monitor while on a family vacation. It’s so easy – and so much fun – to eat out at different restaurants for each meal every day. However, the costs quickly pile up if you’re not careful. It’s always a smart idea to set a pre-determined meal budget before your vacation rolls around. Attempt to stick to this budget at all costs. A great recommendation is to buy fixings for breakfast and lunch to store in a refrigerator in your hotel room. Then set aside a daily budget for a dinner out.
5. Use Mobile Apps
Smartphone apps aren’t just for fun anymore. They can help make your spring break family vacation run much more smoothly. Mom Maps is a particularly useful app. It locates family-friendly places (including parks, restaurants, play areas, and attractions). It then provides reviews for these places and directions on how to get there. This is an incredibly handy app if you’re traveling somewhere a bit more off the family vacation map than, say, Disneyland.
Taking a family vacation during spring break doesn’t have to be a struggle. Yet it too often is. The five tips above will help you better plan your next family trip, stay within your budget, and keep things running smoothly from the time you depart until the time you arrive back at home.