6 Ways to save money on your family's spring break trip
If you’re a parent, your spring break trip looks a lot different than it did in your college days. You’re likely less concerned about the club scene and more concerned about whether the resort that you’re considering has a kids’ club that serves a wholesome lunch, preferably organic!
And then, there’s the issue of price, which of course, is based on supply and demand. Lots of American families want to travel between mid-March and mid-April, and the airlines, hotels, resorts, theme parks, and cruise lines know it. Getting a good deal on that all-inclusive beach resort is darn near impossible.
To save money on a spring break vacation, we parents need to “zig” when we’re expected to “zag;” we have to think beyond the obvious destinations. When we do that, we’ll not only save money, but we just may have a more memorable experience as a family.
1/Visit a national park
In the USA, we’re blessed with perhaps the finest national park system in the world, and you don’t have to wait until summer to explore it. In fact, some national parks - like Death Valley and Joshua Tree - are better visited during winter and spring.
If you really want to leave the crowds and peak pricing behind, head to a national park that’s still blanketed in snow, like Yosemite, Yellowstoneor Grand Teton for spring break. You’ll feel like you have the park and its immense beauty all to yourself.
Looking to get out into the Great Outdoors? Consider renting an RV or camper with our friends at Outdoorsy. It’s the Airbnb of RVs, matching RV owners with would-be renters. Use this link to book, and you’ll get a $50 discount just for being a KidTripster fan.
Note: When you book through KidTripster’s link, we get some coffee money from Outdoorsy at no additional cost to you.
2/Stay in a city
While most people head to a beach or theme park during spring break, consider a concrete jungle adventure; in other words, head to one of the USA’s major cities. In general, you’ll find hotel rates are lower than in the summer.
Having a hard time choosing? KidTripster has developed family-friendly city guides that identify the Top 10 Plays (activities), Top 10 Stays (hotels), and Top 10 Eats (restaurants) in urban areas around the country. In most cases, these guides have been written by parent-journalists who actually live in those cities, so you’ll benefit from their insider information.
3/Head to the mountains
Even though most people pack their skis and snowboards away in March, there’s still powder to be had at many ski resorts, especially in Colorado, Utah, California, and Canada’s Whistler. You’ll find great deals on spring lift tickets and lodging. Pick a resort that also offers plenty of activities off the slopes to fill out your week. For ideas, check out KidTripster’s recommended ski resorts for families, including our Top 10.
Photo courtesy: Julia Vandenoever/Keystone Mountain Resort
4/Grab your passport
Most American families travel abroad either during the summer or the holidays. Instead, go during spring break. If you count the weekends, you’ll have at least 9 days. Plus, you could always pull the kids out of school a day or two early. Let’s be honest, not much happens on the Thursday or Friday before a break.
Where to go? You’ll find better rates for spring than summer anywhere in Europe, but the weather is more unpredictable. If you’re planning a visit to a large European capital, like London, Paris or Amsterdam, you’ll likely spend a fair amount of times indoors anyway. Or embrace the outdoors and go to a place like Iceland and explore ice caves and glaciers… in a really warm coat!
5/Travel with friends
Some of my family’s most memorable vacations have been spent with other family friends. In addition to having built-in playmates, multi-family vacations can be more economical by splitting the cost of lodging.
In addition to websites like Airbnb, look at our friends over at Tripbound. It rents multi-room vacation condos in places where families want to visit. Typically, you’ll save about 30% over renting these units directly. In addition, when you book with Tripbound using this KidTripster link, you’ll save an additional 10% just for being a KidTripster fan.
Note: When you book a Tripbound property using KidTripster’s link, we get some coffee money from Tripbound at no additional cost to you. Just wanted you to know.
Photo courtesy: Tripbound
Decide where you want to spend spring break by November. Why? Because then you can take advantage of the best travel deals of the year on Cyber Monday. You’ll find deep discounts on both resorts and some international flights. Think half-priced tickets on Air New Zealand to the Cook Islands!