Six Tips to Make Your Spring Break Trip Great

I doubt we'll be wearing shorts, but we're looking forward to some winter snowshoeing.

I doubt we’ll be wearing shorts, but we’re looking forward to some winter snowshoeing.

Believe it or not, for many travelers, spring break is right around the corner! This year we’re headed to Glacier National Park and are excited to explore it in the winter. We’ve found that a little organization and planning can go a long way when it comes to getting the most out of your spring break time and budget. Here are six tips for reducing pre-travel stress and maximizing spring break fun!

1. Purchase Airline Tickets.  It’s never too early to start thinking about airline tickets for your trip. It’s probably a bit late to find the best deals for this year’s spring break trip, but a little flexibility, research, and planning can stretch your travel budget.

Tip: compare fares from nearby airports (e.g., Milwaukee instead of Chicago, Burbank instead of LAX) when planning your trip.

2. Find Lodging. The sheer volume of lodging options can be overwhelming, depending on your destination. Let the purpose of your trip shape your lodging choices.

Tip: to maximize your lodging value, consider alternatives to traditional hotel stays, such as Airbnb, VRBO, or a home exchange.

Can you believe that there are two sets of fins, snorkels, and masks in there, too?

Can you believe that there are two sets of fins, snorkels, and masks in there, too?

3. Plan Your Packing. As travel guru Rick Steves says, “pack light, pack light, pack light.” Doing so can save money (airline baggage fees) and prevent backaches.

Tip: don’t pack with every possibility in mind; remember that you can probably make those types of purchases once you get to your destination.

4. Make a Pre-Travel Checklist. A few weeks before your departure, make a list of what you need to do before you leave — and when. Checking a few things off of that list every day will decrease stress as your trip approaches, increasing the chances of a relaxing vacation!

Tip: consider putting some services (e.g., newspaper delivery, garbage pickup, cable TV) on a vacation hold to save money.

It's a rental!

On the road in Western Australia

5. Research Rental Cars. It’s well worth visiting multiple websites when researching rental car prices, as they can fluctuate wildly from one source to another. Use discounts you’ve earned through memberships in organizations like AAA and Costco.

Tip: since there’s no fee for canceling a reservation, check prices again once or twice after you’ve booked — we’ve saved hundreds of dollars this way!

Moon Guidebook

Moon handbooks are among our favorites

6. Get Some Travel Guidebooks. Learning a little bit (or a lot) about your travel destination not only adds to the anticipation of your trip, it can make your trip that much better — by knowing ahead of time about sights, lodging options, and discounts that you otherwise would have been unaware of.

Tip: pay attention to the days of the week certain sights and restaurants are closed — and plan your itinerary accordingly.

We find that travel planning can be almost as much fun as the trip itself, and it’s turned us on to sights and experiences that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. Enjoy planning for your next travel adventure, whether it’s for a week or a weekend!


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