Last-minute spring break travel tips

March 2, 2011 8:11:20 AM PST
It pays to plan early for spring break travel.

Spring Break for families may seem far off, with Chicago Public Schools off the week of April 18-22. But for travelers looking to take advantage of good prices, now is the time to plan and book your trip. Why? Spring Break is a high travel period, which means flights will start to fill up and hotels and attractions may sell out the closer you get to your travel date. And if inventory is lean, prices will go up. So book now while you have plenty of choices and can still get a fair price.

Here are some family-friendly Spring Break destinations and the deals worth booking:

1. Orlando -- If your kids hearts are set on Disney, you won't be able to avoid the crowds during the Spring, but you can still find some great prices on packages to Orlando, even staying on-property at Walt Disney World.

A Disney Vacation: Airfare from Chicago and 5 Nights at Disney's Pop Century Resort -- $544/pp; and keep in mind that Disney provides free shuttle transportation to/from the airport and to all of their parks for their hotel guests; they also offer discounted meal plans for hotel guests, and early entrance into the parks!

2. San Diego / Anaheim -- A great family alternative to Orlando, southern California has so much to offer, from the theme parks to outdoor and water activities.

Chicago to San Diego: Airfare and 5 Nights at The Dana on Mission Bay -- $514/pp. Family-friendly waterfront resort w/ kids bikes, kayaks, etc, fridges in all the rooms, complimentary shuttle to Sea World

3. Fort Myers, FL -- Families looking to hit the beach and enjoy beautiful weather will find many affordable options in Fort Myers, FL on the gulf coast. This is a great family-friendly destination with something for everyone in the family, from fishing, golfing, shopping or just playing the beach.

Chicago to Fort Myers: Airfare and 5 nights at the Best Western PLUS Beach Resort -- $543/pp. A family friend resort, beachfront location with daily continental breakfast.


Spring break for Chicago families comes much later than college Spring Breaks, so travelers who want to relax in destinations like Cancun and Miami, won't run into the co-ed party crowd. Also look for resorts/hotels that are known for being family-friendly to help avoid any unwanted party scenes.

Chicago's Spring Break week actually comes at a really great time to get tremendous deals at ski destinations. It is the last week that Breckenridge, Vail and Heavenly (in Lake Tahoe) are open, which means great deals and no crowds!

Book your airfare and hotel together as a package to get the best savings (hotels with excess inventory deeply discount rates to move rooms via packages), and also look for hotels that are running promotions, like 5th night free and 'kids stay free', 'kids eat free'.

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