Spring break has been the buzz at Romeo's school since the holiday break in December. I completely forgot the joy of looking forward to the next break from school but having a child in elementary school quickly brings those memories to mind. The excitement in Romeo's gestures and voice really moved me to do something special for his first "official" spring break.
Romeo brought spring break ideas of his own to me which included Disney World, Orlando Studios, Chicago (I have no idea where that one came from!?), and New Zealand (I don’t even have a passport LOL!). All of Romeo’s ideas seemed really costly but I wanted to make everything work just for him. After researching his ideas, I quickly realized these were all great places but he wasn’t quite old enough to completely enjoy everything these places had to offer. While thinking about his list, I began to create a plan that would allow him to enjoy what he liked about each of those places in a location that embraced my fly and frugal mindset.
Celebrating Spring break in a special way for you and your little one does not have to be an elaborate & expensive endeavor. Check out my tips below on how you can have an amazing spring break for less than $100!
1. Pick a destination that doesn’t require a flight!
Two of Romeo’s four picks were in Florida which was about a 12-hour drive from us. I began to research closer locations that had child friendly attractions but also made us feel like we were away for vacation. Because I am from South Carolina, I knew that any drive to Georgia or Florida from North Carolina could be broken up into two incremental drives because of my ability to stop, visit family, and rest. The amount of money you would spend on a flight for 2+ people vs. money spent on gas or a train ride is incomparable in savings. I know it may seem intense or time consuming but the conversations with your little ones on the trip are hilarious, you can use iPads, computers, and portable TVs for entertainment; you could also call up family and friends that you haven’t talked to in a while to pass the time, and as always a great playlist will get you through!
2. Choose a location where a friend or family member resides!
Visiting a location where you have family and friends will allow you to save on hotel costs and make more informed choices about the activities in which you decide to engage. Jacksonville, Florida became a great choice for us because, one of my closest friends from Durham relocated the Jacksonville area the previous year. Having her as our own personal tour guide was amazing because she was able to inform us on the safest places to visit, best places to eat, and the exciting places to experience.
3. Grocery shopping is key!
I know this is a vacation and the last thing you may want to do is cook but think about the amount of money you will spend on breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus snacks for you and your little one for a 3-5 day vacation! Ridiculous, right!? I am getting chest pains just thinking about it! I would encourage choosing one meal per day that you would splurge on and for the rest of the meals grocery shop easy to cook meals that our simple but favorites! This tip allowed us not to pack on the weight but also experience divine dining without going broke.
4. Incorporate Free Activities into your Visit!
Some activities that we did cost quite a bit of money. Well, at least to me because I am the definition of #FlyAndFrugal. I sat down with Romeo and showed him a list of all the activities we could do and the cost of each one and a set budget on what I was willing to spend for all activities. I let him choose the activities and he ended up choosing a lot of free ones to do just because he wanted to pack the day. Engaging your child in the process of choosing what you do each day, I found to be very beneficial. Romeo truly felt like this was his vacation. Some of the free activities that Romeo chose were going to the beach, going to a historic park, and visiting an art museum.
5. Capture Memories!
This isn’t really a cost savings but it’s so important to me that I had to list it. Memories tend to fade and science has proven that the best way to keep our minds in tack is to make and capture memories that we will be able to go back to years and years down the line. We should be so grateful for the technology we have to take photos and videos with our phone at any given moment. Don’t be ashamed to take as many pictures as possible with your little one. They will cherish those memories forever!
All in all, we had an amazing time and I love the life that we are able to live now. I’m so grateful that hard work has allowed me to expose Romeo to things I didn’t have the opportunity to experience as a child. I hope Romeo feels like his first spring break was special. I hope he appreciates these memories & the hundreds of pictures and videos captured. I just hope he knows I’m trying. I’m really trying.
Hope you all have an amazing spring break! One that is fun, fly, and frugal!