The other day, my friend casually mentioned her spring break destination and I felt slightly panicked. Even though I plan vacations for a living, my husband and I haven’t talked about spring break yet, and it will be here before we know it. I stopped and reminded myself that we can still have a fun week, even if nothing is booked way in advance.
If you’re in the same boat and have no idea where you’re going for spring break, don’t fret. There’s plenty of time to plan, and no, you won’t get the short end of the stick because you waited until the “last minute.” To get started, choose your destination, then determine how long you want to stay. These two decisions will also help you set a budget for activities to do once you get there.
Every vacation is an investment of your time and money. Save yourself both by making sure you know exactly what you’re getting from your accommodations, admission to attractions, etc. No one wants to walk into a room and see two double beds when they were expecting two queens—the details matter. Decide what amenities are important to you and keep those in mind as you look over your options.
If you have someplace tropical in mind, flights aren’t always a necessity since we live less than a day’s drive from warm, sunny beaches. While a road trip might not sound especially fun, it could be a nice opportunity to have a great conversation with your spouse and bond with your kids during a silly game of MadLibs.
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive option, consider theme park destinations and cruise lines. Many theme park resorts will offer a package with the option to have dining included in your total price. Cruise lines may also offer a beverage package or an upscale dining experience to add-on to your cruise fare. This is a convenient way to travel without bundles of cash or accumulating credit card receipts.
While I understand the joys of planning, a little bit of flexibility goes a long way. We all need to be more spontaneous on vacation. Give yourself free time to just relax and see where the day takes you. I make a mental bucket list of a few activities that I absolutely want to do, and fill in the gaps with spur of the moment decisions. Sometimes the picture in our head doesn’t match how things actually play out and we get disappointed when the day doesn’t go exactly as planned, but we make some of the best memories when we let go of our expectations.
Splurge on the little things. Say yes to the cheap plastic knick-knacks, the cringe-worthy snack, or the upgrade for an extra perk at an attraction. How many times have we said no to our kids in the check out line because what they’ve asked for is a waste of money? How many times have you said no to yourself because you couldn’t justify spending the extra money? Sometimes saying yes to buying the item is really saying yes to the recipient rather than to the purchase.
It doesn’t matter where you go to escape your everyday routine when you get the chance. One of the many perks of living in East Tennessee is having the Great Smoky Mountains in our backyard. There’s still plenty of time to plan a staycation, experience the magic of Walt Disney World Resort®, sail away on a cruise ship, or sip margaritas at an all-inclusive oasis. After all, the most important thing we can do with our lives is create memories.