Warm weather and some much-needed family time.
Although spring break does not apply to us, we are getting ready to head North to visit family. Ah, an entire week of visiting the folks we left behind. This sounds like it will be interesting. The good thing is, most people have stopped complaining about the cold and are warming up their hearts to the idea of stepping outside for some fun.
So, how do you survive that week your kids are off from school? Well, according to Coca-Cola, these 9 tips should do the trick:
1. Relax. No matter where you go or what you’re doing, it’s enough to give yourself and your family a fun respite from the day-to-day. Just make sure you’re not going anywhere popular with college beer busts, 24/7.
2. Drive. With gas prices lower than they’ve been in a long time, it’s cheaper than flying. And the more people you take, the bigger the savings (compared to buying more airplane tickets). Plus, who doesn’t cherish childhood memories of road trips with the folks?
“If flying to the beach isn’t your main goal, consider other American icons: New Orleans, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Orlando…” suggests Melissa Sutton, a travel agent in South Dakota. “These wonderful cities and more may offer off-peak deals before the summer rush.”
3. Unplug. Consider leaving those smartphones, tablets and laptops at home – and ask the kids to do the same. Not only will it help the family members engage with each other and appreciate their surroundings more – but it’ll also keep you from wanting to check on office emails all the time. And your Facebook updates can wait. More and more travelers are hoping for time away from home and all the constant reminders and distractions gadgets can bring, says travel agent Lori Herren of Las Vegas. “You can go for a few days without your phone,” she adds.
4. Stay. Spring break at home can be an adventure in its own right. No matter where you live, there are sites and attractions nearby, probably some you’ve always mean to check out. “Look for unique historical sites, a new restaurant you haven’t tried, a museum or art gallery,” Sutton adds. “Or try something that you always thought was only for tourists — and become a tourist in your own backyard.” Alternatively, volunteer with a local charity, service organization or your place of worship.
5. Camp. Find a campground far enough away to make it a journey, but close enough to keep it casual. The kids will remember Dad snoring in the tent for the rest of their lives.
6. Budget. Whether you’re staying close to home or flying to Maui, remember to add 10 percent to all your expected expenses. You’ll be glad you did when the credit card bill arrives.
7. With Kids. Make little travel kits to keep young ones occupied during long flights, Herren suggestions. Fill an inexpensive backpack with crayons, paper, lip balm and other low-cost treats can be more entertaining to youngsters than an iPad. “Just don’t give it to them till they’re on the plane,” she says.
8. Without Kids. Travelers without children can make a quick getaway to adult playgrounds like Las Vegas or New York City – or, with enough notice, book time at an adults-only resort.
9. Splurge. Maybe you planned ahead and have a fabulous trip in store – plane tickets, resort reservations and the works. Good for you! Now: Enjoy it. Don’t fret over unexpected costs, delays or bumps in the road. Someone might get an upset tummy; you might take a wrong turn; a waiter might be in a lousy mood.
When you get back home, it’ll soon be time to apply what you learned this year to next year’s Spring Break. “Summer isn’t too early to start planning,” Herren advises.
How do you get the most out of your family spring break?