Although winter brings its share of fun, there’s something special about the start of spring. As the weather warms up and the snow begins to melt, most of us can’t help but fantasize about our next getaway. With spring break right around the corner, many families will look ahead to a vacation with the kids.
Now is the time to start thinking about where you’d like to go, which sights you’d like to see, and how much you’re willing to spend. Although making getaway plans may seem overwhelming, it can actually be a lot of fun. So check out our tips on planning a spring vacation the whole family will love!
Tip #1: Ask your kids where they’d like to go
It may be tempting to spend hours online searching for the perfect destination but what you think would be a fun spot may not necessarily entice your little ones. Whether you’ve got toddlers or teenagers, ask your kids where they’d like to go. This will give you some insight into their wishes, and also give you a good place to begin your research.
If, for example, your kids want to go canoeing, consider a trip to Algonquin Park. With 2,000 kilometres of canoe routes, this national park is perfect for both the novice and experienced canoe tripper. If your children would prefer a family resort with tons of daily activities, then a place like Ontario’s Blue Mountain may be right for you.
Getting your kids involved in the planning process will get them excited about the trip. Once you learn what interests them, let your children explore affordable destinations with you. This will give them a sense of responsibility. The process will also teach them valuable life skills, like planning and budgeting.
Tip #2: Consider how far you’re willing to travel
Most Canadian children get one week for spring break, sometimes two. Although this may seem like a big chunk of time, it can feel a bit limited. This is especially true if you’d like to spend part of this spring break just relaxing with the kids at home, or if the parents can’t afford to take as much time off work.
Consider how far you’re willing to travel for this family vacation. Although a trip to the Bahamas may seem like a good idea, you’ll have to factor in the days that’ll be lost travelling there and back. If you have young kids, they’re not particularly known for long attention spans. Unless you want to spend most of your time calming a frantic child on the plane, pick a destination that’s closer to home.
If you live in Toronto, for example, consider a getaway to Loughborough Inn. Located near Kingston, this is the perfect distance for families who want to cap travelling time at three hours max. A three hour travel period is just long enough to feel like you’re really ‘getting away’ — yet short enough that it can be broken up into two smaller journeys.
Tip #3: Look outside family-friendly destinations
Sure, Disneyland is magical. But not all parents are going to be stoked about spending more than a month’s salary to hang out with Pluto. Consider looking outside the usual family-friendly destinations. There are tons of cities and towns that offer activities for both adults and children.
If you’re willing to travel south, consider a destination like Martha’s Vineyard or the picturesque city of Portland, Maine. If you live in Ontario and want to stay closer to home, places like Niagara-on-the-Lake or Prince Edward County offer attractions for both young and old.
Tip #4: Budget for unexpected costs
It can be hard to stay on budget, especially when travelling with kids. Unexpected expenses like souvenirs, attraction tickets, and after-dinner treats can really add up. Although it’s important to keep your spending in check, budget a little extra money for these surprise costs. If it’s helpful, use a budgeting software on your smartphone to keep track of spending during the vacation.
Tip #5: Have some distractions prepared beforehand
No child likes to sit still in a car or stand in a crowded airport waiting for the next flight. Be prepared for moments of downtime, even when you’re at the destination. You may have to kill an hour in the room before dinner or sit around in the hotel lobby waiting to check-out. Keep your kids busy with some small toys, colouring books or an iPad with their favourite movie. Although you may a jam-packed itinerary planned, there will be times when distractions are necessary.
For more ideas for your next family vacation, call Loughborough Inn at 1-833-317-0063 or contact us here.