Spring Break is Coming! | My Top 5 Tips for an amazing Spring Break on a Budget | The Motherhood | T
It's February and as all moms (and college kids) know, that means Spring Break is just around the corner!
Many families have Spring Break traditions, Disney, a beach trip, a trip to see family or like us, you are those crazy people that leave the beach and head to the mountains! Admittedly, I was so excited when we saw snow over Spring Break last year.
Well, as my family and I are on a quest to be good at this adulting thing and be debt free, I thought, maybe some of you are too. Maybe you are trying to figure out how to give your kiddos the greatest gift of Memories, but without overspending.
I want to help.
In this day and age of all time busy-ness, our kids want the one thing it seems many of us parents have a hard time balancing. Our time.
Spring break is a great chance to fix that. Put down the devices (except for photos) and focus on your family. Cherish the moments of who they are, at this point, at this age, with all the curiosity that fills them. Take all that in for a day or more.
Living right smack in between Jacksonville and St Augustine I decided to start there for easy day trips or short trips an some activities for the budget minded, memory making family.
1. "A camping we will go"
Not a happy camper? I get it. Unless you have a fancy camper, camping can be rough. BUT, it is an affordable way to spend a night or two, with your family. And you know what? Seeing your kids away from TV, video games and actually playing with their siblings, riding bikes, using their imaginations. Hiking, climbing, enjoying nature. It kinda makes it worth it. Ok, it definitely did for me. There are some great camping spots just a short drive and perfect for a s'more filled Spring Break mini-adventure.
I may write more on this later as we have a few trips planned, but for right now check out: Little Talbot Island, Hannah Park or Anastasia Island for camping near the beach. If you're willing to make the drive, the Florida Caverns State park west of Tallahassee has trails, a fresh water swimming pond and caves. What kid doesn't like walking through a cave?
For more ideas, CLICK HERE for Free Campsites in and around Jacksonville.
2. Groupon and Local Flavor
We all subscribe to at least one of these (if not, you should!) Groupon, Local Flavor and other similar sites can easily give you ideas all around Jacksonville or St Augustine for a staycation on a budget OR switch your location. Use the app to find deals in Orlando, Savannah, Tampa, Chattanooga where ever you go! Activities, dining, even hotel or condo deals can help you save big while traveling.
3. Travel Somewhere that ISN'T in peak season (extra savings if you drive)
We live in Florida. Where most of America comes for Spring Break. We can enjoy the beaches, Disney all of yet year round. Why not ditch the beach and head somewhere that while popular during the summer, is not a top travel place in March. This probably means heading north, but Tennessee, North Carolina, the Pacific Northwest won't be as crowded and you can find hotel deals as it it's not in peak season. Always check Airbnb, Homeaway and other home rental sites too. Many times I have found a house or condo for CHEAPER than a hotel room when we travel. And with all the comforts of home.
4. Orlando without Disney
Don't tell the mouse. But there is more to Orlando then the major theme parks. AND it's all MUCH cheaper. Disney is getting more and more expensive each year. Sure you can find ways to Disney on a Budget.
But there is so much more Orlando has to offer and for WAY less. Starting out, hotels off property often have deals running. If you're not a planner, check the day before you head down and see what hotels need their rooms filled. Deals on the deal sites are everywhere for last minute bookings. Refer to No. 2 and use the savings apps. Deals on mini golf, Orlando Eye, all of it can be found. My recommendations with kiddos are Fun Spot where you can ride a few rides, race go karts AND if you are a parent who will only ride with a smaller child, you can pay even less to get in. The kids will have fun and not even miss the mouse. But if they do, head to Disney Springs, it's free to get in, walk around go through the stores. Want to diminish the "I want that"? Order a Disney plush on Amazon or head to the Disney Store before the trip if they have a bogo deal. This was how my girls got their plush when they woke up at the hotel or condo and as they carried it around the park, they weren't as inclined to ask for another for 3 times the price.
More than just Fun Spot, there are deals on Wonderworks or Ripleys and even just walking around the Florida Mall can be fun! The Orlando Science Center is amazing, hands on, educational (which makes the ticket not seem as bad...you know, they're learning) and my girls have loved it for years.
I know. You are itching to leave the house. BUT there has to be a place nearby you haven't been to in awhile. A dolphin tour, the Pirate cruise in St Augustine, The Alligator Farm and of course the Jacksonville Zoo (the new tiger cubs will be on display by then!) are all great day trip ideas. Plan a beach day, park day, Zoo day, and overall just spending time together will make Spring Break enjoyable, even when on a budget. Even eating at a vacation feeling restaurant can make your day. The photo above is from Beaches of Vilano. Good food and the kids can play in the water. Perfect.
For more ideas I found, check out the links below. Have a wonderful Monday and happy Spring break planning!