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There's a Spring Break For everybody with Good Planning

Photo courtesy of PNW Production.

Spring is here! The birds are chirping and the daffodils are in bloom. If it snuck up on you like it did me, you're probably wondering “What am I going to do with the kids for Spring Break?” No worries! We still have a little time and here are some tips to make your Spring Break delightful, regardless of budget or time constraints. 


There are three major things to consider when planning your Spring Break: location, budget, and capacity. Considering them upfront can save you energy and money.


How you choose a location can be based on a lot of varied factors: How much time—if any—do you have off? Do you have caretaking responsibilities that require your presence (family member or pet)? What is your bank account or savings goals saying about travel? What work-related projects sandwich Spring Break week? It’s tempting to ignore all these questions and Supermom it all out on the back end, but getting clear on these questions can help you plan something memorable, affordable, and compassionate to yourself. You will be able to enjoy your time more if you aren’t taking work calls and working on projects due when you get back, or having to zip home to feed the dog or tend to a family member. It also helps to not have to stress about overspending and returning home to unaffordable monthly expenses.

Regardless of your situation, there is a Spring Break option just for you.


1.     Home-based Spring Break:


Spring Break at home is all about seeing your space with new eyes and focusing on quality time and creativity. Make a schedule of activities, whether you choose to skip every other day (highly recommended) or go full throttle and plan something every day, planning makes a difference. 


Sample Schedule:

Sunday: Tidy and Plan

Monday: Cook Together/ Try a New Recipe

Tuesday: Game Night 

Wednesday: Karaoke and Dance Party

Thursday: S’mores and Stories

Friday: Build a Fort and Movie Night 

Saturday: Outing- Picnic, park, hiking, museum, trampoline park, day trip, bowling, 

More activity ideas are here.


Making the first day a tidying and planning day is important. Spend some time cleaning, de-cluttering, and giving items away to make space for fun. The children will be much more motivated to clean knowing that the reward will be a week full of magic. You will be less stressed without tripping over items on the floor or yelling about the condition of the house. It won’t be perfect, and it will likely get messy again, but at least the mess won’t be compounded. And cleaning doesn’t have to be boring. Check out these creative ways to make cleanup with your little ones fun.


You can provide some options within your budget and decide together what the activities of the week will be. If the children are old enough, giving them some responsibility (and guidance) over coordination is a good way to get help and let your little people practice some executive functioning skills. Don’t forget to check websites for free or discount days at museums, movies, and attractions. Also, everything is better with friends! See if there are friends your child may want to invite to the festivities,  


2.     Staycation:


Staying close to home is an option for those with loved ones and pets in need of check-ins and care.  Explore your local scenery with a tourist's eyes. Book a hotel; bonus points if it has a pool, and pretend you are new in town. Visit outdoor scenery by finding hiking trails, kayaking, zoos, and parks. Check out local attractions like museums, escape rooms, arcades, and events at your local library. Groupon has amazing deals on kid-friendly activities near and far, so enjoy food at a new or favorite restaurant and maybe culminate the evening with a good old-fashioned pillow fight. Have all the frills of traveling while eliminating the cost and time of the commute.


3.     Travel:


If traveling out of town lines up with your schedule, capacity, and budget there is still time to plan an enjoyable trip even on Spring Break Eve. You can often find last-minute deals on resorts and hotels looking to fill vacancies. If flying out, check flights leaving Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the best deals. All things above still apply for out-of-town trips: A tidying session before departure will ensure you return to a clean home and are better prepared to transition back to school and work. As always, planning activities ahead can keep you within your budget. Some of the stay-at-home activities can still apply here, especially if your lodging has a homey feel.


Allow yourself some “spring grace” while you plan. Stop comparing yourself to others and enjoy your own family. Making memories doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you are fortunate enough to have the resources to make memories, enjoy it. And don’t feel bad about it.


4.     Take care of yourself!


It is a common phrase to hear parents say they “need a vacation to recover from the family vacation.” Here are a few ways you can take care of yourself during the trip: 


  • Take rest days with light activities or onsite activities.

  • Invite a friend or family member to co-vacation with you to support and/or trade-off on activity supervision.

  • Plan a day to do something you enjoy (with or without children). 

  • Plan a buffer day between your return and the start of school to rest and acclimate, so you don’t have to launch right back into work.

Merry Spring Breaking!!!

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