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Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

St. Louis, MO
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Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

I usually start planning spring break for the next year after getting back from the previous year's trip. We usually have an idea of where we want to go the next year too, but not this year. Any thoughts suggestions for a trip for a family of three (mom / dad / 17 year old) for spring break 2014? Note: We are looking for a four to seven night trip and have a budget of about $5000 (not super huge, but big enough to open up some possibilities). We live in St. Louis, MO and would prefer somewhere we could fly to directly and would also prefer to pick one place to stay the entire time vs. traveling around. We aren't really big beach people, but a beach vaction is definately on the table. We'd just want there to be more to do than just beach. We enjoy the west and National Parks, but usually do trips like that in the summer when temperatures are at least in the 60s or 70s. (e.g. are doing Yellowstone, for example, August of 2013) This past spring break (2013) we went to Las Vegas for two nights to see a concert and then spent six nights in Sedona, AZ.

Note too, DH does not like amusement parks and super crowded places. DS had two have two knee surgeries this past year and walking is fine now (although major walking day in and out wouldn't be good) and hiking is out unfortunately.

The summer trip we have planned in 2014 has a little bigger budget than we usually do and will be a trip to Kauai, HI. We'll have 14 extended family coming on that one too.

We just don't have any great ideas for March 2014, though. I appreciate any and all suggestions.

Toronto, Canada
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1. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Consider a few days visiting the Riviera Maya, around the town of Playa Del Carmen....beach plus lots of activities/excursions as well............all types of accommodation here from small independants to large resorts and everything in between...the town of Playa Del Carmen itself is interesting......click on the blue links in this post for information on the area.....

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

I have a friend who took her family to San Francisco on Spring Break last year. They spent a few day seeing the sights of San Fran then took a drive to Sequoia National Park. Enjoy your planning!

Washington
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3. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Costa Rica is a fabulous choice for an family with an older teen. Outstanding national parks, interesting wildlife, and you can choose from mountains, beaches, and historic sites. Unfortunately, you won't be able to fly direct from St. Louis, but connections are good.

Have you ever driven the Pacific Coast highway from San Francisco to LA or San Diego? One of the outstanding, iconic drives in the world (IMO). Plenty to do in the cities on either end, and terrific places along the way. You could fly into one city and out of the other. Or go north from San Francisco to Mendocino and beyond, as indicated above.

Because you like the West, perhaps consider the far southwest, i.e.; Tuscon, before it gets too hot with the summer temps. One of our boy's favorite trips was to a dude ranch outside of Tuscon. Temps were perfect in March.

What about New Orleans? Plenty to do, such an interesting culture, music, art, not to mention fabulous food.

St. Louis, MO
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4. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Thanks you all for the suggestions. I appreciate it. You can fly directly from St. Louis to Cancun. We aren't interested in Cancun per say (too much like the US for being in Mexico), but I'll have to look at River Maya and Playa Del Carmen (would fly into Cancun for those). They might be good options. // I was thinking about San Francisco too believe it or not. I only thing that didn't fire me up is that average highs for our dates of travel are about 66. It would probably be just fine, but a little colder than average and it wouldn't be as ideal weather wise. Definately a contender, though. // We did a trip (quite a while back) to Manual Antonio, Costa Rica and that was great (actually one of our most memorable trips). There is only one place in Costa Rica that you can fly to directly and it's more of an all inclusive area. That is a good choice though if I give up on direct flights. The only thing I really didn't like was the recommendation not to drive at night, which means a really early flight or an extra night at the airport before getting to your destination. Might be worth it though. Will maybe look into that. // Have never done that CA costal drive // Looked at San Diego too (wasn't totally sold though). // New Orleans might be good. It's been about two decades since I've been there and DS has never been there.

Definately some more possibilities to look at. I appreciate all the suggestions. If you're interested I'll let you know what we decide once we finally make a decision.

Washington
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5. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

The problem with staying in the US in March is truly there are very few places that have consistent and reliable warm weather. As much as we northerners crave warm temps at that time of year, March is still a crazy weather month - take this year for example! I have planned many spring break trips for our family, and if warm temps and a direct flight is the primary goal, you have some limitations. Florida, Hawaii, southern Arizona, southern Texas, states along the Gulf coast, southern California, perhaps the Georgia or South Carolina coast, but many places temps will hover in the high 60s. You are correct, temps along the California coastline will still be chilly in March, particularly in northern California, and while you will enjoy the sunshine, a light jacket is most often needed. Temps are pleasant during the day, chilly at night. One March at higher elevations in Napa, we even had unusual snow.

San Diego is a wonderful place to visit, and I would certainly recommend. Though do remember the Pacific is always cold. Though not the beach, March is a very nice time, perhaps the ideal to visit the California desert parks - Joshua Tree National Park, Anza Borrego State Park for example. Maybe you would like to consider staying in Palm Springs or Palm Desert?

We always enjoy Mexico, and if you can waive the non-stop requirement, there are many areas that are terrific to visit and have reliably nice weather. Same for the Caribbean.

Edited: 9:20 am, March 26, 2013
North Las Vegas...
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6. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Have you decided where you are going? We spent Spring Break in Puerto Rico Last year and like you I am trying to figure out where to go this year. Not sure what my budget is or if my husband will be able to go? He applied for a new Job and may be in school during Spring Break. :-(

Atlanta,Ga
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7. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

I usually start looking into my next year trip also.

You mention that Las Vegas was your trip this year. How was it? I'm thinking that's where we will end up. Tired of the Florida trips.

St. Louis, MO
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8. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Thanks for the posts everyone. Some great ideas!

Since I posted, DH received a rewards freebie deal from Carnival cruises for a 3 - 10 day balcony cruise for two (Caribbean, Alaska, or Mexican Riviera) for a sailing before March 31st 2014. We are only obligated to pay taxes/no other requirements for us (and of course tips and expenses on board) and probably will have to pay federal income taxes on the freebie cruise part too. Anyway, we went ahead and called about doing this out of San Juan for DSs spring break week and for about $500 we added DS to our room, covered taxes, and upgraded to mid ship balcony (I like to sleep midship with a little less motion). My brother (too bad his college age kids don't have the same time for spring break), his girlfriend, and my mom and dad decided to join us on the cruise too. Wild that DH and my brother both in the back of their mind wanted to do a San Juan cruise (very rare for them to have a first choice of a vacation destination that is the same). The cruise freebie portion keeps this trip right around our budget level of $5000, given that airfare was around $500 pp and we'll be staying in San Juan for two days before the cruise in a room that goes for about $200 a night including taxes and only doing one full day excursion. For most of the ports we will be doing some exploring on our own, little attractions, or beach and we like some less crowded ship time when every one else is in port so actually this fits pretty nicely in the budget. I don't like it that we can't fly direct from St. Louis there, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the offer. WillRich 99 -- too cool that you went to Puerto Rico last spring break. It's actually kind of hard for me to cruise out of there instead of just stay because I like the island so much and am more of a land than sea person too. My brother, his girlfriend and my mom and dad aren't tied to the school schedule and are staying in San Juan four nights before the cruise and two nights after the cruise.

All, Your suggestions for spring break for us will not be wasted. I'm just love a spring break trip, so am already thinking about 2015.

thil908,

We were quite fortunate with our weather in Las Vegas and Sedona last March. It was way warmer than normal. OMG it was 83 in Las Vegas and sunny. I would have added an extra day to fit in a little pool time if I had known, but usually it's only in the 60s that time of year. I really do in general like Florida better than Las Vegas for a spring break destination (but like you like to mix things up). Also DS (18) is a big Celine Dion fan and seeing her in concert was such a rush for him. Excellent concert I have to admit. I was impressed. Pricey, but what a great venue and show. We also while there visited the Hoover Dam, the Titanic Artifact Exhibit, and the Wax Museum. We did the Stratosphere tower and rides too (wasn't too impressed with that), but can highly recommend the other activities. In Sedona it was in the low 70s and partly cloudy which is really lovely for there. Great for doing some scenic walks / exploring. With DSs knee injury we kept to pretty flat stuff.

9. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

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Barcelona, Spain
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10. Re: Ideas for spring break 2014 (mom/dad/17 year old)

Hi kathy884,

I am so sorry I'm so late in responding to this one... still for 2015 you (and others!) might want to consider crossing the Atlantic to BARCELONA and its region, the jewel in Europe after London, Paris and Rome (not my saying... tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Destinations… ;)

Anyhow, just to open everybody's appetite...

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, an area the size of Belgium or the state of Maryland with very different landscapes, from impressive mountain ranges and high peaks in the Pyrenees ( infocatalonia.eu/w/… ) to picturesque coastal towns in La Costa Brava ( infocatalonia.eu/w/… ), endless golden sandy beaches in El Camp de Tarragona ( infocatalonia.eu/w/2013/12/03/costa-daurada/ ), medieval castles in Central Catalonia ( infocatalonia.eu/w/… ) or the biggest nature park in Europe in the Ebre river wetlands ( infocatalonia.eu/w/… ) among other things. If you feel like it, staying a few days in Barcelona and then renting a car to move up and down the region can be a great plan. Have a general idea here: infocatalonia.eu/w/… and a view of where's what here: www.infocatalonia.eu/w/map-of-catalonia/

If you prefer more traditional text-based advice:

http://catalunya.com/ -Catalonia’s Tourism Agency

http://www.barcelonaturisme.com/ -Barcelona’s Tourism Agency

http://en.costabrava.org/ -Costa Brava Tourism Agency

http://www.lleidatur.com/ -Lleida and Pyrenees-Aran Tourism Agency

http://www.visitpirineus.com/ -Pyrenees-Aran Tourism Agency

http://www.turismeamposta.cat/en -Terres de l’Ebre Tourism Agency

http://www.bcn.cat/ -Barcelona City Council

http://www.girona.cat/turisme/eng/index.php -Girona City Council

http://www.tarragonaturisme.cat/ -Tarragona City Council

Enjoy!