In previous articles, we discussed the creation of a “Vacation Dream Calendar” and the importance of scheduling your holiday travel now. If you missed either of those, then you can read them here.
If you have followed my counsel and created your calendar and scheduled your holiday season travel, then CONGRATULATIONS! I am so proud of you. Now let’s discuss Spring Break travel which is of course, all about spring breakers.
Spring Break 2020
I cannot stress enough, Spring Break travel with children can be very expensive depending on where you live and when you book your arrangements. So consider the zip code/town you live in and think about “what everybody else does”. Then... DON’T do that! We need to look at the whole Spring Break picture in the following terms: If your children are out of school March 16-20 then...
March 16-20 (Mon - Fri) 5 days - School is not in session
March 14 - 22 (Sat to Sun) 9 Days/8 Nights - Vacation Window
What do most people do? Well, it’s pretty logical. Families leave on Saturday the 16th and come back on the 21st. The airlines know this, the tickets are priced according to demand and YES they are higher even as early as January 1. The roads will be busier these days, as well. The hotels (or destinations) within a moderate distance from your home zip code will also be priced accordingly.
First, consider a different week and yanking the kids from school. It is not my best recommendation, but it is an option to save money and avoid the mad rush from your town. My best suggestion is to slightly adjust your schedule around the Spring Break dates.
March 12-18 (Thurs - Wednesday) 7 Days/6 Nights
If you are driving, you could opt to pick up the kids at noon or the moment they are out of school and begin your drive. This way they are only missing Friday the 13th from school. Just remember, if you do this be sure to get back on the next Friday or at the latest very early on Saturday to avoid the mad rush back to town.
Another option to consider is to skip Spring Break all together. Instead, plan a MAJOR trip with the kids over summer break, when you’ll have more flexibility with the dates, as well as the rates. In my opinion, and if you can afford it, position this (with your children) as a move to allow the family to take a HUGE trip this summer. Think Hawaii, Europe, Alaska, The Caribbean, Cleveland! (Maybe not Cleveland, but you get my point.)
Consider the Locals
If you are traveling over peak Spring Break weeks and have narrowed it down to a few destinations, it’s wise to consider the locals in those destinations. Some cities and towns have February and April breaks instead of a March Spring Break, like many colleges have. Since many families travel by car, look at the local Spring Break dates of your desired vacation destination and it’s surrounding communities. Ideally, look for a Spring Break destination where the local communities are still in session. This is a nifty trick to avoid “local crowds” on your Spring Break.
I have written extensively on different types of vacations. But here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
Theme Parks (Disney, Anaheim or Lake Buena Vista)
Themes Parks Orlando
Theme Parks - Dollywood
Theme Parks - Six Flags or Cedar Point
Las Vegas (with the kids? YES)
Big City Sights (Miami, New York, LA)
Big City Sights (Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington DC)
National Monument Tour
Hall of Fame
The Canadian Rockies
Canada - Big City (Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto)
And please, people, save yourself the headache and heartache and plan and book these trips now! Time is money. I cannot stress this enough. And, as always, no thanks are necessary!
In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss Summer Travel Planning. If you have any additional thoughts or questions, then please leave them in the comments below.
About The Author
Erik Hastings, a.k.a. Erik the Travel Guy is an EMMY award-winning television personality who is rapidly emerging as “America’s Travel Expert”. He is the host and managing editor of the internationally syndicated television series "Beyond Your Backyard" for public broadcasting stations (PBS) and other networks/VOD platforms. Erik leads an incredibly talented team of industry pros as the driving force of his platform. Erik understands and believes travel makes the world a better place and the industry directly supports millions of families all over the world. He wants his viewers to experience the potentially life-changing positive power of travel.
Read Erik's Full Bio
TV Series: Beyond Your Backyard
I am on a mission to get you traveling more often. As the host of the Emmy award- winning, nationally syndicated television television for PBS and the Create channel, "Beyond Your Backyard," I travel (on average) 25 weeks per year. I am very grateful for the opportunity to meet cool people, experience new places, eat delicious food and work with the best production crew in the world. Hopefully, through this blog, you will join me on my travels and be reminded just how exciting it is to be alive!