Spring Break in the United States runs from the end of February to the beginning of April. For most students, it lands during mid-to-late March. While you might not have your child during the whole break, you can make the most of their time off. Here are three ways to maximize Spring Break dates, even if you haven’t spent any time planning:
Set a responsible budget.
It makes sense that you want to wow the kids when they’re at your place, but going overboard can be a security risk. Financial experts recommend curbing your travel budget at 4 percent of your annual income. If you’re paid twice a month, that’s a little less than one of your paychecks. Travel enthusiasts might bump that to 10 – 15 percent, knowing they’ll have to make sacrifices from their expendable budget.
Use your budget to pare down your options.
Flying to Walt Disney World for a week can cost $1,000 per person or more. Cancun and Punta Cana will run $500 per person and up. If you live near a cruise port already, short cruises might get you out of the cold for less. Otherwise, you might consider a road trip to a state or national park, or score a super cheap hotel nearby using a service like Priceline’s Name Your Own Price bid.
Clear your plans with the other parent.
No, you don’t usually need permission to take your child on most vacations. Telling your child’s other parent what you plan to do during Spring Break is a courtesy, and we know some exes don’t seem to deserve that courtesy. They may even use the information to guilt your child or try to interrupt your plans. Unfortunately, some custody agreements call for pre-notification. In other situations, you might have to deal with Border Control. Even if you aren’t going out of the country, if your trip impinges in any way on the other parent’s usual parenting time, you can be hauled in for parental kidnapping.
While having a permission slip from your child’s other parent is not a requirement of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, it might be for the country you plan to visit (say, Canada, for instance). Companies can have their own rules as well, so be sure to check with any airline, cruise line or tour company you’re using before your departure date.
Traveling with your children is an easy way to get to know them on a deeper level and to create memories that really will last a lifetime. It also doesn’t have to break the bank. Plan a fast getaway on short notice using the simple tips found above.