Editor’s note: This article appeared in the March issue of Grand Rapids Magazine and was published before the recent COVID-19 outbreak that forced travel restrictions.
Hopefully, you’ve booked your spring break vacation already, but if not, don’t fret. Shelley Kohtz, manager of vacation travel services for Witte Travel, said it’s not too late to book a terrific vacation.
“If you can be flexible when it comes to things like your travel dates, the length of your trip and your destination, then you can take advantage of some great last-minute deals,” Kohtz said. “For example, you might find better rates on resort packages with charter flights from Lansing or Detroit instead of flying out of Grand Rapids. Your travel adviser will know exactly what to look for to get you the best value for your budget.”
While Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and all-inclusive hotspots like Cancún, Riviera Maya, Jamaica and Punta Cana continue to be the hottest spring break destinations for West Michiganders, Kohtz said April is actually a great time to visit European destinations.
“In places like Germany, Italy or London, the weather is very mild with temperatures in the 50s-60s, and there are fewer tourists to contend with, so the cities are a little less crowded and you can get better prices for hotels and airfare.”
Whatever your destination, if you are hoping to visit a top attraction like the Vatican, Pearl Harbor or the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, you’ll want to get your tickets early because many of these popular tourist spots limit the number of visitors allowed each day and tickets can sell out months in advance.
The travel part of vacation is often the least appealing aspect, but Kohtz has some helpful advice.
“If you’ll be flying, bring some things for the little ones to do at the airport in case you end up waiting longer than anticipated, avoid packing too much into one day, and schedule some breaks or pool time so the kids don’t get too worn out.
“If you’re planning an all-inclusive vacation, look into family-friendly resorts that offer complimentary kids clubs, which are professionally staffed and offer tons of fun activities and entertainment for children of all ages.”
Another piece of advice: next year, plan ahead. “If you want to visit one of these busy destinations during spring break, then it is very important to book your vacation as early as possible because things do sell out! I recommend planning your spring break trip 11-12 months in advance to be safe,” Kohtz said.