It’s that time of year once again! The kids are back in school and we’re all settling into the new year, adjusting to new schedules and pouring over the upcoming school year calendar.
And while March and April may seem waaaaay far off into the future, savvy family travelers know that NOW is the time to be planning Spring Break travel to get the best pricing and to secure availability at the most in-demand destinations.
So what’s hot for Spring Break this year?
There are a few very cool uncharted and undiscovered experiences out there for families right now. Here’s what’s on my radar for the best 2019 Spring Break ideas for families.
Of course Costa Rica continues to be a bucket-list family travel destination, Panama is finally coming into it’s own as a top Central American destination as well. Thanks to a plethora of new flight options into Panama City, also nicest airport in Central America, and some exciting new hotel developments, Panama is now a great Spring Break option for families.
Spend a few nights in Panama City, checking out the canal and famed old town, then head to the beach. Within a quick 2 hour drive you can reach several lovely resorts, or hop on a quick flight north to Bocas del Toro or head East over to the islands near Boca Chica.
Panama has beautiful beaches on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
The Pacific Coast beaches closest to Panama City are easy to access and a perfect choice for a relaxing beach getaway.
Bocas del Toro, a remote Caribbean archipelago in the heart of the Panamanian rain forest, is a fabulous opportunity for kids to learn about jungle wildlife.
Finally, Boca Chica is the hopping off point for several intimate island retreats, as well as the fabulous new property Isla Palenque.
While all this new development is encouraging, Panama still has some quirks and challenges so working with a knowledgable operator and great guides here is a must. (And it goes without saying my people here are the best!)
I know Paris isn’t exactly “uncharted or undiscovered” BUT I am recommending France to my clients for Spring Break instead of the more common summer trip for a few important reasons.
First, the summer of 2018 was one of the hottest on record across France, making things a bit uncomfortable for travelers. The weather in the Springtime months, March and April, will offer cooler temperatures, perfect for spending days walking around Paris, biking around gardens like Versailles, and staying cool and comfortable in accommodations without air conditioning.
Also, in June/ July 2019 France will be hosting the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament which means added crowds and inflated hotel pricing this summer. If France is on your family’s bucket list, consider heading there for Spring Break, before these crowds arrive in June.
While there are plenty of museums, historical sites and even amusement parks to explore in Paris and further afar in France, it’s often the little moments and experiences that families remember most when traveling.
If you’re looking for something offbeat and non-touristy for your family trip to France, here are just a few of the unique experiences I organize for my clients in Paris.
Pristine beaches, barefoot luxury accommodations, unique activities and an opportunity to give back to the local community … sounds like a perfect family beach vacation, right? If you’re considering the Caribbean for your Spring Break getaway, Puerto Rico is back and is one of the best 2019 Spring Break ideas for families.
Not only will you enjoy the pristine beaches and luxury accommodation, but you can feel good that your tourism dollars are directly supporting an economy that has been through an incredibly challenging time over the past year.
Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is the best option in Puerto Rico for families. This property carries a rich legacy in Puerto Rico, originally the Laurence Rockefeller estate. Set apart from the island’s main tourist areas, the experience at Dorado Beach has always been rooted in privacy and offers a unique opportunity for families to experience authentic Puerto Rican culture.
If you would prefer to stay a bit closer to home, Arizona is an ideal Spring Break destination. Though it’s best to consider if your family has an April Spring Break (Easter is late this year!) as March can still be a bit cool in Sedona. Here you can spend an active week, hiking and mountain biking in Sedona or exploring an authentic dude ranch near Tucson.
End the week with a few days relaxing at a fun resort in Scottsdale for a perfect Spring Break getaway.
I also find this destination works well for families with hectic or fluid youth sports schedules. Should changes arise last minute, we can more easily adjust plans in Arizona vs international destinations further afar.
Finally, consider spending a week in Vancouver. Here you can combine a few days in the city, enjoy a few days of skiing at nearby Whistler, and the round out a fun and active week on Vancouver island. This is a week that offers a little something for everyone in the family!
In Vancouver, I adore the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, a fully restored grande dame combining 1920s grandeur with contemporary elegance in the heart of Vancouver. The Hawksworth restaurant, located on property, is one of the best in Canada and definitely worth experiencing during your stay, but reservations early and in advance are a must.
Then, hop in a rental car and head to Whistler for a few days of Spring skiing followed by a few days on Vancouver Island. You can take a car to the island by ferry, and will be glad to have the car on the island so you can freely explore. Here, The Wickannish Inn is perfect for families!
In March each year the grey whales return to the coast, inspiring the annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which offers lots of educational and wildlife excursions through Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park nearby. Additionally, Hot Springs trips, kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing – just some of the fun activities available in the Spring (with no crowds!)
With unique perks like complimentary babysitting for children under 12 while parents dine at the on-property restaurant and “Kids Night Inn” in-room movie set up for kids, this is the perfect way to end this unique Spring Break itinerary. (Plus they have an amazing spa!)
While I’m particularly excited about these 2019 Spring Break ideas for families, there are of course plenty of options! Please contact me today to get started planning your family’s 2019 Spring Break travels. I look forward to hearing from you!
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