Going on a trip for Spring Break with kids? Get these tips from a travel agent. Spring Break travel tips to maximize your budget AND your fun!

Many of us have been cooped up indoors for a few months now and the itch to escape the cold is growing strong.  I interviewed Ann Valley with Bayside Travel in Bayside, Wisconsin for tips on planning a vacation with your family. Her tips will help with Spring Break travel with the kids.

We did a little Q&A to get the important travel tips you need to make this Spring Break trip with kids the best one yet! (If you are a military family, check out these money-saving spring break tips to help you save money with military discounts.)

Q: Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to start planning for spring break vacations. How far ahead should families start planning?

A: Spring Break is the most popular time for families to travel during the school year.  If you know you want to take a vacation during that very popular time, book as soon as flights are available.

Most cities offer some type of charter air service through tour operators.  These are usually competitively priced and are non-stop flight.   They also fill up quickly.

You will also have the best choice of accommodations if you book far in advance.  Many times if you book early you can take care of “early bird” discounts.  And many tour operators will offer lowest price guaranteed—so if you book and the price goes down, you can get the lower price.  To avoid disappointment and to be assured that you get the vacation you want, book EARLY!  The same can be said for summer vacations.

Q: Traveling with a family can be expensive; can you share a few budget friendly travel tips?

A: Look for flights that don’t charge for seat assignments and checked or carry-on bags.   Those fees for a family can add up quickly.

Look for resorts or hotels that offer no charge for kids.  If it is not an all-inclusive, find a hotel that offers amenities like free breakfast, free shuttle service/transfers, or have kitchen accommodations in the room so you can prepare some of your own meals.

If going to a popular amusement park area, I recommend staying off-property but close by.  The price will be lower and it will only take a few minutes to get to the park.

>>Plan to do these 6 vacation activities on your next trip.<<

Grab some free or cheap kids activities by location to do in your area. This ongoing series shares great resources of free or inexpensive activities for kids in specific areas around the world. Have a great free or cheap activity for kids suggestion? Submit your ideas too!

Q: What are some of your favorite state-side destinations for families during spring break?

A: The West coast offers a bounty of options—you can explore the amusement parks like Disneyland and Universal, Sea World, and San Diego Zoo.  But be prepared to spend a lot of time in line.  It is crowded, especially during Spring Break.   If you can plan your vacation so it is not during the typical Spring break timeframe, you will find it less congested.

If standing in line surrounded by thousands of strangers isn’t really your thing, consider escaping to smaller cities that have activities for kids, such as museums and nature centers. A cabin in the mountains or by a lake is also another way for family members to connect. The national parks have so much to offer as well.  Vacations don’t need to break the bank

Q: What about foreign travel? 

A: Exposing your children to another culture is one of the best experiences you can give them.   One of the first things you need to do if considering a foreign trip is to make sure everyone has a valid passport.

Everyone in the family needs one—kids are good for 5 years and adults for 10 years. Passports need to be valid for at least six months past your planned return travel date.

If you are traveling to an area that will have food your kids might not like, be sure to pack a supply of snacks.  You can always find some of the basics—fruit, eggs, meat—but some of the seasoning might not appeal to their fussy palette.

Q: Do you have any favorite destinations or resorts? 

A: Mexico still offers the best value for a family.  Select an all-inclusive resort that is geared towards families and give yourself a break from the kitchen.  Most resorts will also have activities to keep the kids busy, and some offer special kids clubs.  You should feel safe—use common sense and be responsible when exploring outside the resort.

Q: With so many travel sites available, what are the benefits to using a travel agent?

A: Using a website to book a simple airline ticket makes sense.  However, if you are looking to get the best value for your money, a travel agent is going to do that for you.

They will take the time to find out exactly what you want and expect, and then match that to the right destination.  Often times they will suggest destinations that may have never even been on your radar.

Your agent is your travel advocate.  If something goes wrong, they are there to make it right even in a foreign country.  Many times they have access to special pricing or incentives.  Travel agents are extremely knowledgeable and well-traveled.  Their job is to make sure you enjoy your vacation and create a lifetime of memories.

Q: Any final tips for families during spring break?

A: BE FLEXIBLE.  Don’t get upset if things don’t go exactly as planned.  Enjoy your time together.

If you are in a foreign country, remember it is not going to be the same as at home.   Embrace the culture.  Disconnect. Relax.

Homemaking tips Tuesdays where you find quick tips for keeping a clean and organized home.

Where are you going on Spring Break this year?

Going on a trip for Spring Break with kids? Get these tips from a travel agent. Spring Break travel tips to maximize your budget AND your fun!

Jessica Stremer of Five O'Clock Jelly

Jessica is a stay at home mom of two lovely little girls.  She is also a military spouse and an author of science-based children’s books.  Jessica enjoys staying active and spending time outdoors with her family, cooking, and reading.