Typically I’m a glass half full, positive person. My motto usually is something like “even your worst day traveling is better than a day not traveling.” And, I suppose, it is still my motto for spring break. However, I have pretty clear guidelines on where I want to plan my travel.

Why am I cautious when I plan spring break travel? Well, for a couple reasons. The first reason is that most popular destinations charge their highest rates of the year. Does this higher rate equal a premium experience? No! In fact, often we’ve had negative experiences when paying the most for our vacations. Secondly, with so many people traveling for spring break, delays are inevitable.

Of course not all Spring Break destinations should be avoided, but here are 5 places NOT to go for Spring Break:

  1. Mexico: Specifically this year. Although Mexico has always been an American tourist hot spot, and personally I am a big fan…the travel warnings are worth heeding. Currently, the entire country is under a level 2 travel warning (meaning “exercise increased caution.”) But recently several Mexican states’ levels were increased to the maximum travel warning. This puts them on par with MiddleEastern war-torn areas. When I look at it like that, I just don’t feel like a family trip to Mexico is currently worth the risk.
  2. Disney: I LOVE Disney. So, so much. But I don’t love Disney during Spring Break. It’s ridiculously crowded and you aren’t getting anything extra for your money and hassle. For example, Disney at Christmas is also crowded. But it’s also extra special. I understand that I’m paying extra (and dealing with increased crowds) for the Christmas experience. But Spring Break? It’s nothing special. I’d rather wait a few weeks and go when the whole world isn’t there. If you REALLY have to have the Disney experience, I highly recommend that you consider taking a Disney Cruise instead. At least on a cruise the number of people are considerably limited. Read more about the DCL experience, here
  3. Northern Beaches: There is nothing more disappointing than planning a fabulous beach trip, and then not having the weather cooperate. Of course, this can happen at any time of the year. But spring can be especially volatile- especially if you don’t go far enough south. Unless you are prepared to do activities other than swimming and playing on the beach, don’t risk ruining your vacation by booking a trip too far north.
  4. Eastern Ski Resorts: Likewise, Eastern Ski resorts are hit or miss in the spring. Because of their lower altitudes, there is really nothing the resorts can do if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Spring skiing can be really fun, but I highly recommend planning to go out West. Otherwise, be flexible enough to change your plans at the last minute (for example: cool weather, head to the mountains. Warm weather, head to the beach.)
  5. College Hot Spots: Since this is a family-friendly website, I will caution against planning to spring break to a popular college destination. Unfortunately, we’ve been there and done that. And it wasn’t our best experience. A good rule of thumb…budget friendly = college student friendly. Think of places like Panama City Beach, FL; Myrtle Beach, SC; Las Vegas, NV; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; etc. While I have nothing against these locations, I’m just not a big fan of taking my children there during peak inappropriate college weeks.

Have I just eliminated ALL of your potential options? Here are a few of my favorite Spring Break destinations that I DO suggest:

Chicago

New York City

Orlando (but not Disney)

Hawaii

Hilton Head Island

San Diego

*If you are interested in having one of Mom With A Map’s preferred Travel Agents help in the planning of your trip, leave a comment below (include your email) and someone will contact you. This is a completely FREE service and I highly recommend taking advantage of a professional planner!*

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