Spring Break Travel, Staycation & Destination Ideas With Eirene Heidelberger! by Donna John
What are you doing for spring break? Whether you plan to travel to some near or far-flung destination or you’re just kicking back at home, you’ll need tips for making your family vacation or staycation a success. That’s why Eirene Heidelberger, founder of GIT Mom, joined us recently! Eirene is not only a certified parent coach, she’s also a seasoned family traveler who navigates the world with three boys in tow. Read on to get her tips so your spring travel blooms!
Q: What are your favorite spring break destinations and why?
- Viva la Mexico! Most direct flights from around country, “guaranteed” good weather and inexpensive lodging.
- Caribbean: Bahamas, Turks and Caicos make family travel simple with many all-inclusive resort options.
- Skiing: Slopes are open through mid-April and most families fly south, so trails are less crowded during spring break.
- Spring in New York City is pretty and there’s so much to do with kids. Mine love One World Observatory. Eyes like saucers!
- Las Vegas: Blue skies, cheap lodging, kids activities plus the Grand Canyon is nearby!
Q: What are your best tips for traveling with kids?
- Allow more time than you think you’ll need when flying. I plan a 30-minute cushion for my family.
- “One cook in the kitchen.” We designate one person to direct the travel day so kids aren’t overwhelmed with information.
- Pre-purchase snacks at convenience stores and pack in a reusable bag to save money at the airport.
- I plan a simple outfit that’s comfortable and put together so I feel calm and collected during a long day.
- Non-stop communication with the kids so they understand the plan and what is expected of them.
- Pre-arrange the first meal upon arrival earlier and make it simple and easily accessible to final destination.
Q: How do you find time for yourself and/or your partner when on a family vacation?
- Boundaries! When putting kids to bed at night, I tell them what time they’re allowed to wake us in the morning.
- Communication! My husband and I pre-plan each day around our needs first so we don’t get run down catering to kids.
- Divide and conquer. We trade off being in charge of the kids to get individual “Me Time.”
- Travel with other grownups. In our family, we take Grandpa with us to share the parenting.
Q: What if you can’t get away? Give us some ideas for a great staycation with kids.
- Any local hotels with a pool and room service so we don’t need to get dressed to eat and can lay around cozy together.
- Be a tourist in your own town. We did this on New Year’s Eve and it was an easy family bonding experience.
- Take a short drive to an indoor water park. The resorts are all-inclusive, so easy to plan.
- Create a theme night at home. Start with a movie, then plan a fun dinner and dessert around it.
Q: What’s the secret to making great family vacation or staycation memories?
- Not over-planning a destination. Small kids aren’t fun on a seven-hour flight. It’s not worth it. Europe can wait!
- Respecting kids’ feeding and sleeping schedule as much as possible. If their needs are met, they’ll be happier travelers.
- Our priority is on being together versus racing to excursions and feeling stressed out.
- Say no. We know our kids’ limitations best and don’t have guilt saying no when they beg for “just one more ride.”