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3 fun, affordable spring break trips for families

Are the winter blues getting you down these days? Has the mundane and boring become your daily life, tucked away in your home, hiding from cold winds and frosty snow? Let’s stop all that right now! With the coldest months of winter behind us, many folks are looking forward to and preparing for their spring break travel plans. Though primarily geared toward students, adults with children often rejoice and celebrate a week off from battling to get their littles to school on time.

If you are looking for an ideal time to get away for an extended weekend — or maybe even a whole week if you have the time off — spring break offers students a convenient break from regular school classes while equally offering parents more flexibility in their trip planning. Getting out of town always sounds fun, but with kids and responsibilities, doing so while also being financially responsible can be difficult. Luckily, we have combed and searched, finding three of the best, most affordable, and family-friendly spring break trips.

Family walks on a beach
Christin Lola/Shutterstock

Splish, splashin’ around

Like most travelers across the country, one of the main amenities kids want when going out of town is lodging with a pool. (What is it about a swimming pool that brings out the kid in all of us?) Anyway, pools are often extremely high on a child’s priority list when staying at a hotel or rental property. But what if your hotel was a pool? Enter an indoor water park experience. For those readers who live in the northern parts of the U.S., staying blanketed under snow and ice well into April, indoor water parks are great options to get the full vacation experience without being outdoors.

These specialty-lodging locations offer guests admission to their centrally located water slides and other rides, filling your child’s deep desires to swim all spring break long. Depending on what area of the U.S. you reside in will determine your options for indoor water parks near you, but a couple of well-known resorts are Great Wolf Lodge and Kalahari Indoor Waterpark. The best part about these types of lodging locations are the discounted admission tickets that guests of the lodge receive as part of their amenities, saving you extra cash in the long run.

The words "spring break" written in sand
Lynsey Grosfield/Shutterstock

Take in nature’s beauty

If your family is more into the great outdoors and spending time in it, then we have an affordable option for you mountain-loving families, as well. When thinking about staying in the mountains, spending time exploring, hiking, hunting, and fishing, most folks’ minds immediately go to ski resorts and secluded mountain lodges — and their expensive room rates. Luckily, we have found a much more affordable option for families — state park cabin rentals.

These accommodations are often slept on by many travelers, having them miss out on unique nature experiences. State parks offer guests many options of cabins to choose from, from rustic to modern, depending on your family’s needs and price point. By staying in state park cabin rentals, you are also financially investing back into your own natural ecosystem and environment through conservation and educational programs provided by the state game commissions.

Sunny Studio / Shutterstock

There’s no place like home

In the spirit of family and financially friendly trips, there’s no more affordable way to spend time as a family than will a good, old-fashioned staycation! This is the kind of spring break trip that requires very little prep time, minimal shopping, and zero packing. Does it get much better than that? Talk about a stress-free vacation. Additionally, staycations can be ideal for families with young children, those saving for a bigger-ticket item such as a home or a car, or homebodies who don’t like to travel.

When planning a staycation, prepping the area for the full number of days you plan on “staying” is paramount. This prep work can include a more flexible trip to grocery store — perhaps allowing some special snacks and treats to be purchased for movie nights and snuggle sessions. Pair these events with the makings for exciting and well-thought-out meals, and you have a full-blown vacation experience from the comfort of your own couch.

Spring break, no matter where it might be spent, could be a brilliant time to grow and develop as a family unit. Long and drawn-out public transportation outings, extensive and exhaustive travel, pricey beach getaways, or overpriced resorts are not necessary to create an enjoyable environment for human connection. There are many thrifty and ingenious ways to get away together without breaking the bank. It all depends on how creative you are in seeking out those more moderately priced and family-focused lodging locations. Ultimately, your family’s spring break trip is only as limited as your own imagination.

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Emily Pidgeon
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Emily's work has appeared in the Tube City Almanac, Tube City Online and our Affinity Sites. When she's not writing, she is…
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