As Spring Break fast approaches, it might seem like you’ve run out of time to put together an epic family trip.
Don’t worry: you haven’t.
However, some “last-minute deals” online might be less than choice. Beachfront properties where the pool scene has been taken over by “Spring Breakers?” No thanks. A ski-in/ski-out property that hasn’t seen a renovation since the Carter Administration? I’ll pass.
To avoid a one-way ticket to disappointment, Inspirato has three key tips to help you navigate your options.
Don’t Dismiss Popular Destinations — There is Still Availability
“I personally booked last minute Spring Break trips to Cabo and Vail this week, there’s still a lot of great availability. I’d recommend reaching out directly to your Member Services team as they’ll proactively search out availability and deals on your behalf.”
At first blush, it would be easy to assume that the best accommodations at such popular destinations as Los Cabos, Wailea or Vail would be booked up by now. Not true says Mark Ury, a Member Services Team Manager at Inspirato.
Throughout the month of March, there are still a few windows of availability at the club’s Auberge Private Residences in Los Cabos, especially if you are flexible with your travel dates. The same can be said for a handful of the club’s residences at Ho’olei at Grand Wailea and rooms at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui. Again, being flexible with travel dates can open up a lot of possibilities.
And at the ever-popular ski resort of Vail in the Rockies just west of Denver, the club’s large portfolio of residences ensures club members can still take advantage of last-minute spring skiing getaways without compromising on the quality or luxury of their accommodations.
“Spring Breakers” Can Be Avoided Even at Popular Destinations
Obviously, you won’t be taking the kids to Panama City Beach, Florida or Las Vegas for their Spring Break. But even the Bahamas, the Riviera Maya and Dominican Republic — as tempting as they may be for family-friendly beach activities — can become raucous during Spring Break.
So should you completely avoid these destinations? Not if you stay at the right place. The trick lies in the selection of your accommodations. Look for resorts that offer more of a secluded sanctuary appeal than a center-of-the-action vibe.
For instance, instead of Cancun, take your family to one of the luxury resorts north of Playa del Carmen, such as the Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa. And in Punta Cana — where Spring Breakers take over the all-inclusive resorts near the airport — head instead to the Cap Cana Resort further south for peace and quiet on the resort’s beach.
In the case of some destinations, an adjacent alternative can mean all the difference between 2am parties and actually hearing the waves lapping on the beach. Instead of Nassau or Grand Bahama, head to Abaco for unspoiled beauty, quiet beaches and tranquil waters that are ideal for young children (and fishermen pursuing bonefish). And if you are craving a dose of Puerto Vallarta’s Pacific magic, head one-hour north to the enclave of Punta de Mita, where the tranquil shoreline plays host to magnificent sunsets, easy-going surfing and the tail-end of whale migration season.
Unconventional Destinations Offer Just as Much (and Sometimes More)
Of course, Spring Break doesn’t have to be all about beaches, snorkeling and sunsets on the sea. Plenty of unconventional options abound, and if you’re a spur-of-the-moment type, you might look to these four alternatives as you plan.
Austin, Texas – Perfect for families traveling with teenagers, the Texas Hill Country and the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World” — Austin — offer an intriguing mix of nature and culture. Stay at the Waterstone Lodge and spend your days boating, golfing or touring through rolling fields of blooming blue bonnet flowers. As evening falls, head to the city for an incredible sight as the largest urban bat population in North America takes flight for the night from underneath the Congress Avenue bridge.
Ojai, California – Nestled in a valley east of Santa Barbara, the community of Ojai has long been a magnet for Angelenos looking to restore their spirit. The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa offers the perfect base camp for families seeking a different kind of Spring Break. While Mom and Dad unwind with a wine tasting or spa treatment, kids can participate in the resort’s Camp Oak kids programming, which encourages creativity and nature exploration.
Big Sky, Montana – During Spring Break, lift lines tend to get long at many of North America’s popular ski resorts, but Big Sky Resort in Montana combines its scenic and remote location with its massive size — 5,800 acres — to allow families a magical ski experience without the wait times.
Portland, Oregon – When it comes to urban exploration, Washington DC, New York City and San Francisco often top the wishlist of most families. But Portland, Oregon offers a unique and intriguing experience all its own. Stop by the legendary Powell’s City of Books, enjoy free admission for kids at the Portland Art Museum, run through the gardens at Washington Park, or head up the scenic Columbia River Gorge for waterfalls galore.
If you are an Inspirato member, you have a team of Personal Vacation Advisors at the ready to help you make any last-minute plans. They have all the intel you need to put together an incredible Spring Break trip for your family, even this late in the game. Learn more about membership.