Sick of bundling up your kids in a snow suit complete with a hat, gloves, and boots? We hear you. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones who live in a temperate climate year round (we’re jealous), the daily routine of getting your kids suited up and out the door can feel never-ending.
And while warmer weather is (slowly but surely) coming, why not plan a family destination vacation over spring break to give you something to look forward to during those brisk winter days?
Plus, since your little ones already have the week off of school, you’ll get to avoid hearing “Mom! I’m bored!” for what will seem like an endless seven days. Yep, a family vacation during spring break is just the ticket.
Need more convincing? Here are four reasons to plan some fun things to do during spring break with your family instead of waiting until summer.
Vacation Spots Can Be Less Crowded (Really)
All schools are off during the summer, but spring breaks are staggered around the country. Sure, if you’re headed somewhere hyper-local, there are bound to be other kids on spring break there, too—but if you’re planning something out of town, chances are it won’t be packed.
If you want to be sure, check the local school district’s website for the area you’re visiting to see if its spring break matches up with yours. With any luck, your kids will have the place all to themselves.
You’ll Save Money
As we mentioned, all schools are out in the summer so airlines raise rates, gas prices increase, and hotel rooms are pricier. But since spring breaks are staggered, the chances of getting a better deal are higher in the spring.
Tip: Instead of looking at flights from Saturday to Saturday, check prices for leaving on Monday or Tuesday and returning on Sunday. If you leave and return on slightly less desirable days, you could save big.
Additionally, try to book your travel on Tuesdays, as that’s when airlines tend to lower their rates. Or, skip the flight and head on a road trip. It’s the cheaper option if you’re traveling with a large group or are traveling to a relatively close location. Your biggest expense? Gas. So, use Gas Buddy to help determine how much the drive will cost you.
We also recommend planning your hotel stay during the week. Many places have higher rates on weekends, so plan your check in and check out on weekdays for the best deals. And while you might think you’ll snag the best deal on a discount site, try calling the hotel directly or visiting its website to negotiate a better deal. Many hotels are happy to discount if asked, especially if you’re booking off-peak times.
You’d Probably Take Time Off Anyway
We know how valuable PTO days are but… with kids home from school, you or your partner are going to have to take time off anyway. Or, you’d need to pay for childcare, which can cost as much as a mini-vacation.
And while spending quality time with your kids at home during their break can be nice, it can also feel claustrophobic depending on the weather. If you can, take advantage of that PTO to make some special memories.
Keep in mind that when your kids get older, they may want to go to camp during the summer or hang out with friends during the spring break, and before you know it your family vacation has taken a back seat. In short: Don’t wait for next year to do what you could have done this year. Because the statement you’ve probably heard from parents with college-aged children is true—they really are only little once!
It’s Something to Look Forward To
Are you still feeling the post-holiday malaise? Summer seems like a long way off, and by March, you know you’re wishing warm weather would hurry up and arrive.
Knowing you have a vacation coming up will keep you (and the kids) from going stir crazy. Studies have shown that booking tickets, planning your itinerary, and just anticipating your trip can boost your mood. Not to mention, it’s been found that people are generally happier after buying experiences than buying material things.
Plus you can build the excitement with your kids, too. Show them pictures of your destination, talk about the activities you have planned, and ask them what they’re most looking forward to. Or even whip out a relevant game that will get them excited about the trip. That way, when they start with the “I’m bored”s you can reply with: “Only 3 more weeks until you’re splashing down the water slide!”
If we’ve convinced you to plan your family vacation for spring break, start planning! Spring will be here before you know it—we promise.