Spring Break: Vacation or Staycation?
Spring break’s coming up sooner than you think…and no, that no longer means Cabo and wild Daytona Beach parties…(Sorry, Moms!!!)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, whether you’re staying home or going afar.
I was overjoyed to discover the Association of Children's Museums Reciprocal program. The ACM has a pretty sweet deal for those who travel with kids a few times a year. If you buy a family membership to your local children’s museum, you’ll have reciprocity with over 50 other museums around the country.
It’s not unlimited - most cities cap visits at four times a year - but boy, it can make a big difference in your options. Here’s how it played out for us: Our local children’s museum is Port Discovery, in Baltimore.
A family membership, good for a year from time of purchase, is $129 and covers six family members. It can have three adults, in case you’d like to list a non-custodial parent or caregiver.
AND we can use it at any other cities we frequent, like New York or Philadelphia. Since each visit to those museums (which we love) is at least $80 for my family, this pass pays off for us the very first visit.
Here’s a list of the museums that currently participate.
You can also start watching local deal sites now, like Groupon and Living Social. They have a wealth of lessons, meal discounts, and even camps on occasion. If you sign up for your area, they’ll send you a steeply discounted deal every day- and sometimes, you hit the jackpot. For Christmas, I bought my 14 year old a year long movie a day pass to our local theatre- for $199. Believe me, he’ll get our money's worth. Though they require some pre-planning, they can help save a heap of dough.
BUT, if you do want to hit the road, here’s a few ideas-
1. Comparison Shop for airfare up the wazoo – fares vary wildly. Use a site like www.kayak.com, which allows you to shop the same route for multiple carriers.
2. If you don’t find a fare low enough to suit you, and you have a bit of time, set a Fare Alert that will notify you when the route drops below the lowest current. Then, jump on it!
3. Join the e-mail lists of individual carriers, such as Jetblue and Southwest. Also consider downloading Southwest’s “Ding!” application, which will kick down some sweet deals for the airports you list as home base- as many as ten.
4. Sign up for points/rewards programs, but don’t let them tempt you into behaviors you wouldn’t normally engage in to get points. They work best when they co-exist with current behaviors, as opposed to you getting a shiny new card for the extra 10,000 points.
5. Take a good look at the package deal of combined airfare/hotel. These can save you a considerable percentage off of the individual prices..
Whatever you do, have fun with those babies! And remember, they’ll go back to school soon enough.