by Heather Meliski
I love to travel. And if you know me personally then you also know that I love to talk about travel – like, a lot (sorry friends and family!). I’m always thinking about my next vacation, my next trip for work, where I want to go next. And every time I get a request from a client for a new, exciting destination – um, hello Thailand! – I find a new place and experience to add to my ever-growing bucket list.
If, like me, you’re already envisioning your next vacation for winter break or spring break now is the time to act on those dreams to make it a reality. I know you might be thinking ‘wow, it’s only October!’ but availability is already limited for some destinations for February through April. Some resorts and cruises are already sold out. I have had several clients reach out for vacation planning for various winter break and spring break dates and in some cases, we’ve already had to look at their second and even third choice options due to availability.
My most-requested winter and spring break destinations are the Caribbean, Mexico, theme parks, cruises, and ski vacations. All of these are great choices, but they do tend to have higher crowds during these times because they are so popular.
Mid-December to mid-April is peak season in the Caribbean and Mexico because the weather is consistently great, it falls outside of hurricane season, and people want to get away to somewhere warm while it’s cold – particularly if you live in the Midwest or Northeast. Resorts, flights, and cruises book up fast so ideally you want to book at least nine months in advance for the best selection. There is still availability remaining, but I recommend booking sooner rather than later if you have a specific destination in mind.
For theme parks, particularly Disney World, winter break and public and private spring breaks fall during busier times as well. I recently quoted a client for the week of February 1-7 at Disney World – which is historically a slower week – and the resort they had their heart set on was completely sold out as of the second week of September! If you don’t want to fight the crowds at Disney World or Universal Orlando, consider Disneyland. The weather in Southern California is great year-round, it requires less advance planning, and you can see and do most everything at their two theme parks in less time.
Early January through early March is ideal for a ski vacation so if you’re thinking about a vacation to Colorado, Utah, or Lake Tahoe winter break might be a good option for you. One thing to keep in mind about Cobb County winter break is that it occurs during the week of President’s Day and is one of the busiest of the year, so expect crowds. Most ski destinations have good powder through the first week of April. If your spring break falls at a later date you run the chance of having less than ideal ski conditions.
If you’re looking for something less crowded, I recommend some – but not all – destinations in Europe. The weather in the Mediterranean is mild in March and April, and since this is shoulder season the crowds and prices tend to be lower. The downside is that some businesses, particularly in port cities, can be closed during this time. If you don’t mind the cold, then England and France are also good choices. For these destinations February is low season and the weather tends to be colder and rainier; March and April fall in shoulder season so you begin to see warmer temperatures and less rain.
No matter your ideal destination, now is the time to plan your winter or spring break vacation – don’t wait!