Americans are gearing up to travel in record numbers for Spring Break, with searches for March and April flights up 40% compared to last year. Despite the best efforts of looming inflation, flight delay meltdowns, and the lingering threat of COVID, travelers are determined to make up for lost time.
For families looking for the perfect Spring Break destination, the world is your oyster for the first time since 2019. Thanks to lessening COVID-19 testing requirements, searches for international destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe are up double-digits compared to 2022. Whether you choose to splurge on an exotic beach locale or stay closer to home with a more budget-friendly trip, experts from Family Destinations Guide put together a list of the best Spring Break destinations for families.
1. Panama City Beach, Florida
Panama City Beach is a great family vacation destination for Spring Break, with more than a dozen shimmering green beaches to enjoy on the Gulf of Mexico. Take a ride on the SkyWheel at Pier Park for a spectacular view of the Emerald Coast, or visit Shell Park to spot dolphins, bald eagles, and alligators.
Ashlee Fechino, a travel writer and enthusiast, is a big fan of Panama City Beach for family trips. “Panama City Beach is so much fun. If you like the outdoors, St. Andrews State Park is a must. We absolutely loved camping at St. Andrews and taking the ferry to Shell Island. We were blown away by the color of the water and had one of the best beach days ever on Shell Island.”
2. Dominica, Caribbean
Dominica is a great family choice if you’re looking for a beach vacation with a range of activities. The volcanic island of Dominica is full of English speakers and sits between Martinique and Guadeloupe. Traveling from the U.S. would include two pit stops in Barbados and St. Martin before landing on the island, where you’ll find rainforests around the Indian River, waterfalls, rafting, and hiking trails.
Karen, an avid traveler, has taken her family to the Caribbean on multiple trips and highly recommends the experience. “We love taking the kids to the blue waters of the Caribbean for Spring Break,” she said. “The weather can’t be beaten, and we love all the activities available for them. They have done paddle boarding, snorkeling, fishing excursions, and of course, long beach and pool days with lots of swimming.”
3. Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
If staying stateside is important, Wisconsin Dells has a range of things to do, including what’s considered the water park capital of the world, Mt. Olympus Water Park.
“The Wisconsin Dells is a great family-friendly getaway right here in the heart of the American Midwest,” notes Sanjana Vig. “There are water activities, including jetskiing, boat rentals, hiking, biking, and scenic drives to name a few of the things to keep you and your family busy. There is something for everyone. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is relaxed, and best of all, it’s affordable!”
4. Indianapolis, Indiana
In the Midwest, Indianapolis is home to the largest children’s museum in the world. The city is a great Spring Break destination if you or the kids are interested in dinosaurs, weather, outer space, and much more. Indianapolis has one of the largest convention centers in the world, with 745,000 square feet of exhibition space and a train-themed hotel.
5. Mayakoba, Mexico
Mayakoba is a gated community just 45 minutes south of Cancun International Airport. Translated to ‘village of water,’ Mayakoba is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the Caribbean’ and is home to plenty of canals, freshwater lagoons, and beautiful beaches. For a luxurious experience, consider the beautiful Rosewood Mayakoba near downtown Playa Del Carmen. It was named the best hotel in Mexico by U.S. News & World Report.
6. Grand Cayman, Caribbean
Another location with great beaches for children, Grand Cayman, is an excellent place for a glass-bottom boat tour. You can visit the Stingray City Sandbar to snorkel with the friendly local water creatures. For great food and accommodations, plenty of hotels and restaurants can be found in George Town, while Seven Mile Beach is a great place for lovers of white sand and blue waters.
If you’re looking to make a Caribbean destination more budget-friendly, consider comparing timeshare rental rates to nearby hotels. You can sometimes score a deal in a beautiful resort for less than the cost of a hotel room.
7. Ogden, Utah
Utah is a great destination if you favor white snow over white sand. Thirty minutes north of Salt Lake City, Ogden has skiing programs for children, hiking, and mountain biking. Ogden also offers many shopping, dining, and nightlife options, as well as art at the local community theatre.
8. Titusville, Florida
Titusville is just a few miles from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Florida’s Space Coast is highly recommended and has some of the most beautiful beaches along the Canaveral National Seashore. A great option for the whole family is the nearby lagoon. Kids can keep a lookout for manatees and dolphins, while parents can enjoy relaxed paddling in the water.
9. Puerto Rico
As a United States protectorate, you don’t need a passport to go to Puerto Rico, and the islands offer many exciting adventures. Enjoy the bike trails in the Cabo Rojo Salt Flats or bird watching at the National Wildlife Refuge. San Juan and Castillo San Felipe del Morro have a rich history, and the culture and cuisine are not to be missed.
“Puerto Rico is a great choice for a family getaway. It’s an easy flight from the U.S. and doesn’t require a passport. It’s a great way to experience the beautiful blue beaches of the Caribbean without the headaches of international travel,” said Emily Stringer, a travel writer at Wealthy Nickel. “One thing that saved us at least $100 a day on our last trip to Puerto Rico was skipping the car rental. Most hotels charge a hefty parking fee, and San Juan is very walkable. Uber is available in the city for longer treks.”
10. Florida Keys, Florida
Turtle Hospital in Marathon is a great place for the whole family if you are a fan of sea creatures or head to Looe Key National Marine Sanctuary for a snorkeling tour. Enjoy cocktails as you relax under the warm sun at one of the many beautiful beaches along the coast.
After three years of heavy restrictions, travel demand is finally rising. As you plan your perfect Spring Break getaway, consider these destinations that offer the ideal blend of location and family-friendly activities for your next trip.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Andrew is the founder of Wealthy Nickel where he writes about all things personal finance. He has a passion for helping people pursue financial freedom through saving money, making money, and building wealth. Andrew documents his family’s journey to financial independence through side hustles while raising 2 kids on a single income