Contemplating a Spring Break vacation with the family in 2018? It’s not too late to get a great deal on a family vacation, whether a beach or city trip is on your mind.
Here are a few of our top ideas this year!
The nation’s capital is always on our shortlist for best value – with most of the top attractions being absolutely free of charge, including the Zoo! If you can only hit a few of the city’s offerings, we can enthusiastically recommend the White House, the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum along with the Museum of Natural History, as well as any of the major monuments along the Mall (we’re partial to the Lincoln and the Martin Luther King Memorials. Don’t bother to rent a car – most of the city is walkable and inexpensive accommodations/dining options are everywhere. As a bonus, you might be there in time for the brief, but spectacular Cherry Blossom season. Follow @cherryblossomwatch on Instagram for the latest sightings and updates.
Airfare: Nonstop flights from Los Angeles as low as $207 on Spirit and $237 on Alaska into BWI.
Accommodation: The Holiday Inn Washington-Central/White House for $192/night.**
Orlando has no low season, but you can still score a deal on just about everything other than your Disneyworld and Universal tickets. There are ways to be economical while not sacrificing the fun. First – go in with the right expectations. If you’re traveling during Spring Beak, there will be crowds. Do your homework ahead of time to figure out where you’d like to concentrate your time – and then hit the parks! We recommend a day outside the “Orlando bubble” to just relax and enjoy your time in this fun little city without the pressure of the parks.
Airfare: Nonstop flights from Seattle on Alaska from $333 and from Chicago under $100 on Spirit.
Accommodation: The Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas in the Disney Springs area of Orlando has family rooms from $222/night** and the Radisson Hotel Orlando near Walt Disney World has family rooms for just $154/night.**
Maui is often thought of for honeymoons, but it’s a fantastic spot for families too whether you’ve got little ones or teens or any age in between! Take the older kids on a zipline adventure or to cycle Haleakala volcano at sunrise. There are tons of flat, nearly waveless beaches for the littles to splash safely around in (we like Napili beach in particular), and many budget accommodations for the whole family, whether you like a full-service hotel or a condo/airbnb experience.
Flights: Nonstop flights from San Francisco (SFO) on United or Virgin America for $397.*
Accommodation: The Maui Seaside Hotel in Kahului has family rooms for $175/night.**
San Diego, California
San Diego is a day trip from Los Angeles and is often overlooked in favor of its glitzier big sister up the coast. Here’s why you should consider it for your family Spring Break vacation over L.A. San Diego has more of a small town vibe, a fraction of the L.A. traffic and is still within driving distance of both Disneyland and Universal Studios. Plus, the cozy and walkable downtown is tailor-made for families on a budget, and both Sea World and the San Diego Zoo are world-class attractions in their own right.
Airfare: Nonstop flights from New York (JFK) on Delta and American for $281.*
Accommodation: The Kings Inn San Diego at Sea World has family rooms available for just $79/night** and the Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter has them for $205/night.**
Chicago is one of the most-family friendly cities to visit, no matter how old the kids are. There’s affordable accommodation, the Art Institute for museum-lovers, delicious restaurants at every price point, the amazing Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and the always-popular Navy Pier. We do recommend purchasing a City Pass ticket that will give you VIP entry at many of the city’s top attractions at a big discount.
Airfare: Nonstop flights from Boston on American and United for $119.*
Accommodation: The Hyatt Regency Chicago has family rooms available starting at just $135/night** in March and April.
Phoenix is too hot to handle in the summer, but the spring is one of the best times to experience this extremely family-friendly city. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails for the active family, and come March the Boys of Summer descend to kickoff Major League Spring Training games. Tickets are less expensive than the regular season games and the relaxed setup means you can often meet the players during practice before the games. The Phoenix Children’s Museum has some of the coolest interactive exhibits this side of the Colorado River. The museum is free on the first Friday of every month from 5-8pm.
Airfare: Nonstop flights from Detroit on Delta and American for $279.*
Accommodation: The Clarendon Hotel and Spa in downtown Phoenix has family rooms for $234/night.**
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Hilton Head blows up in summer time for families, but spring break is still mild enough to keep the big crowds at bay. Coligny Beach is the place for the your wee ones. The waters on Coligny are shallow and placid, with tidal pools where you can wander and collect sand dollars at low tide. Another popular family activity to partake in is renting giant tricycles and tooling around the boardwalk. Get your whole brood to Hilton Head and let the family fun begin!
Airfare: Flights from New York (from either JFK or LGA) from just under $250 on American.*
Accommodation: The Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort has family rooms available starting at $156/night.**
If you’re flying, you might want to check out our post on Flying with Kids, as well. Great tips for a smooth, stress-free journey. Happy travels!
*Airfares include taxes and fees and are valid as of 2/5/18 on select dates between 3/1/18 and 4/30/18. Lowest fare seats are capacity controlled and may not be available on every airline, flight, or date. Fares subject to change without notice.
**Avg. nightly rates are for family accommodation (two adults and two children) per room unless otherwise stated and exclude tax recovery charges and service fees.