Winter may have just arrived, but it’ll only be a few short weeks until the much anticipated spring break has made its triumphant return for another year.
It may have felt like it was only yesterday that you were jetting off for your Christmas vacation. Well, despite the chills being sent down your body and the bitter snow engulfing your driveway right now, it’s close to being spring break. This is why it’s imperative to start preparing for that brief hint of warm weather, sunshine and good times.
Soon after the two-week holiday break has come to an end, it’s best to start looking for the best deals, vacation hotspots and your budget. Now is the opportune time to begin searching for early bird specials as airlines and hotels want to get as many people as possible in the March getaway.
Being on the lookout for ticket discounts and hotel deals around this time of the year is especially important when you have kids, who inevitably add to the expense, organization and planning.
Here is what Kathy Buckworth writes when you have to incorporate children into your travel plans:
“But some of the most stressed holiday bound folks are those travelling with children. Not only is there an added expense with each little person, but there is also the stress of organization, finding all the right activities for each age to enjoy, and actually finding the time to relax. It’s why all-inclusive holidays are perfect for families.”
If you’re one of the average consumers to spend more than $2,000 on spring break then you’ll need to do plenty of due diligence, careful planning and extensive research to get the most out of your few days away from work or school.
Unsure what steps to take right now ahead of that one-week reprieve? Here are seven steps to get ready for your spring break vacation:
Prepare for the Weather (to and from)
If you’re in the east coast then you likely know how cold it is as you’re reading this article. In order to escape frigid temperatures, you’ve decided to head somewhere warm for the week (Florida, Mexico or the French Riviera). Be sure you dress for the occasion, to the destination and from the destination.
In other words, don’t just put on your shorts and t-shirt. Instead, wear your spring clothes getting to your vacation spot and wear your winter clothes returning home. Sure, it may be spring, but we all know how winter overstays its welcome in most places across North America or Europe.
Get Ready for the Travel Itself
We all love vacations, but we’re not too fond of the traveling part. Costs, hassles and rules can deter the quality of your travels. This is why it’s imperative to be prepared for the travel itself. Here are a few things to consider:
If you’re traveling by car then be sure to give your vehicle a check up, fill it up with gas and ensure you have the proper tires for travelling.
If you’re going by train then understand it’ll be a longer journey.
If you’re vacationing by airplane then be ready to have all of your necessary documents and tickets with you at all times. Also, have something for the kids (if applicable), like books, snacks or an electronic device.
Depending on where you’re going, spending even a minimum of two hours can be stressful enough!
Have a Family? Make it Educational
Whether you’re going to the remote parts of Mexico or across Italy, try to make it as educational as possible. This can consist of visiting museums, ancient ruins, cathedrals or a part that has any sort of historical significance. Sure, your children are out of school, but this is a perfect time to learn something. Who knows? Perhaps you’ll have a Renaissance man in your family when returning home!
Make Sure Your Home is Protected
How many people do you know have had their homes burglarized while on vacation? Chances are high that you know at least one person who has experienced this devastating ordeal. Heck, criminals are even using social media to plan their crimes in advance! Don’t let it happen to you; protect yourself and your home while you’re away.
Here a few tips to think about using while you’re away:
Create the illusion that someone is home while you’re away (set your lights on a timer, hire someone to mow your lawn once a week and/or leave toys out in the yard).
Don’t let others know that you’re going on a holiday for a little bit.
Hire a housesitter or ask one of our friends or family members to stay at the home.
Alert your alarm company that you’ll be away from your home.
Advance your security settings in advance to deter potential burglars.
Pack Your Luggage Using Strategy
The best and easiest type of traveling is light. What this means is that when you pack your luggage, be sure you’re only packing the essentials, such as underwear, socks, a couple of shirts and a couple of pairs of pants. One doesn’t need a brand new outfit for every day you’re gone, and you certainly don’t need to bring along 10 pairs of shoes. Remember, only the essentials!
Bring Extra Batteries for Mobile Devices
You don’t want to be caught stranded with a dead mobile phone. Indeed, nobody wants to bring their mobile devices with them on a vacation (you’re on vacation to unplug!) but it’s still important to carry one around. As you pack, bring along an extra charged battery for your phone, camera or any other electronic equipment for your kids.
Just imagine the fright they’d have if it was discovered their PSP had died. Oh the humanity!
Spend as Little as Possible (here’s how)
A vacation is about creating new memories and going through new experiences. It isn’t about spending a lot of money. In fact, during your vacation, your objective should be to spend as little money as possible. Here are a few tips to spend only a few extra dollars on your holiday:
Carry around a lot of snacks and water to avoid eating at a restaurant.
Take free tours so you can see the best sights without wasting time.
If possible, purchase groceries for your dinner at the hotel.
Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk as much as possible without taking transit.
Spring break is probably the best type of holiday around. You’re not required to visit distant relatives or in-laws, you don’t have to buy anyone any gifts and you’re getting ready for four months of beautiful weather back home instead of Old Man Winter. It can be even better if you’re fully prepared for your March Break. Are you ready? If not, you have a few weeks to be.