As we move through March, I feel as though everyone is planning a trip. Many are getting ready for Spring Break while others are gearing up for the long Easter weekend. Regardless, it seems everyone is ready for a spring family vacation.
While I’ll be planning more of a staycation this year, I did spend time daydreaming about my perfect spring family vacation. Oddly, I couldn’t really pick just one. Spring is the perfect opportunity for two amazing trips – either the beach or the slopes. Here are some pros and cons to each, as well as some frugal tips to get you through your own spring family vacation.
Family Vacation: Ski Trip
Granted, we’ve had a lot of winter this year. By a lot, I mean a whole ton more than anyone was really expecting or wanting. However, this is all good news for the slopes. The colder the better in terms of snow, man made or natural.
So, the slopes are good, but the sticker shock on a ski trip can be overwhelming. Here are some tips for getting a great ski trip on a frugal budget as a family:
- Book out of peak season – Rates are already lower out of peak season, which is another reason that a ski trip can be perfect for March and April.
- Check for kid freebies – Sounds almost too good to be true, but many resorts offer lift tickets free for kids when adults purchase for a certain number of days. Check around in Aspen, Montana and even North Carolina for these kinds of savings.
- Ski mid-week – The weekends are busiest for ski resorts because that’s when everyone local usually gets there too. Skip the weekend and ski Monday- Thursday instead. Not only will you save money, but you’ll have less people on the slopes. *This is particularly good for young, inexperienced skiers.
- Coupons, coupons, coupons – Pay attention to all the coupons online and save immensely on everything from equipment to airfare and lodging.
Family Vacation: The Beach
Ready to have the warm sun kiss your face and hot sand tickle your feet? There is truly nothing like the deep relaxation a family can find at the beach. It can also be a fairly frugal trip if your family spends most of the time by the oceanside.
Here are a few strategies to make the most of your family beach trip while keeping a budget in place:
- Look for deals – Most of us know to search for the best deals online for rooms. However, sometimes if you see a better deal after you book you can ask for that deal and get it.
- Bring entertainment – The beach is the most obvious inexpensive option for entertainment; enhance it by bringing boogie boards, paddle ball, bocce ball, and some materials for making sand castles. Even older kids can get carried away playing by the surf. Pack board games and DVDs for night time activities.
- Eat Out Occasionally – Not planning properly for food costs can quickly ruin an otherwise frugal family vacation. Shop at a grocery store to stock up on snacks and sandwich food at the bare minimum. Opt to eat in if possible most nights. However, sometimes eating locally is part of the fun so go for lunch when meals are much cheaper.
Spring family vacations are a great opportunity to reconnect as a family and get some quality time in together, and they don’t have to cost a fortune. Whether you hit the beach or the slopes, use smart planning to stay well within your budget while having a good time.
Are you staying put over spring break? Here’s a post from One Good Thing by Jillee that has some staycation suggestions for you.