Five Spring Break Ideas from the Ciao Bambino Portfolio

The timing of school spring break holidays are all over the map this year. That’s a good thing when it comes to travel planning as it means it may not be as difficult to book a trip now for an April vacation.

Need inspiration?

My list of favorite 2011 spring break ideas for families from the Ciao Bambino portfolio:

2011 spring break ideas, kids in southern italy

Thumbs up for Southern Italy

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Well, of course, I’m going to include Italy, but the question is where in Italy? While I love the poppies in the countryside this time of year, my 2011 spring break top pick is the Amalfi Coast.

We visited Amalfi in April several years ago and adored the experience. The weather can be a mixed bag with sunshine and rain, but you will be much more mobile in your exploration without the crowds and heat of summer. That in and of itself makes this otherwise challenging terrain with young kids easier to enjoy. Note, however, April is too early for swimming (other than heated pools).

Nonetheless, there is still much to see and do. See Chris Lytle’s list of Amalfi Coast attractions for ideas. We have a growing list of family-friendly hotels we recommend in this area. One idea is to spend a few days in Positano and 1-2 nights in Ravello — very different experiences. Positano is on the water while Ravello is high above the coastline with stunning views and gardens.

Placencia, Belize

If you have tweens or teens, Belize is a fantastic family adventure destination. Combine beach relaxation time with sightseeing in the jungle for an itinerary with a bit of everything.

We visited Placencia a few years ago and enjoyed the long sandy beach, calm water, and colorful architecture. We stayed at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn and loved it, although this stay was without kids. Turtle Inn is not on Ciao Bambino as it felt more romantic than family-oriented to me, but I’ve since heard reports that families like staying there and now I see kid-friendly language and photos on their website. Always a good sign. If you go, the beachfront rooms are worth the splurge!

Otherwise, check out Roberts Grove for a more value-oriented option. We have some terrific jungle-based hotels too in our Belize family hotel portfolio.

costalegre landscape cuixmala resort in mexico, 2011 spring break

Cuixmala Resort

Costalegre, Mexico

Yolanda Edwards, the former Travel Editor for the much-missed Cookie Magazine, provided me with the feedback for our Cuixmala review. I’ve been dreaming about visiting this hotel ever since that conversation!

Unfortunately for me, Mexico is just too far from Switzerland for spring break, however, for everyone living in the US, Costalegre is just 2.5 hours south of Puerto Vallarta.

The beauty of this hotel is that it offers a combination of eco-adventure and beach time in one setting. The exclusive, remote location means guests are world’s away from the negative events happening in other parts of Mexico.

London, England

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton will take place on April 29th. If you don’t have a hotel booking in place now, I fear finding a room would be an impossible task for the period in and around that date

However, if your spring break falls in early April, Royal fans will get a kick out of the pre-wedding frenzy. Anna Tobin (our London-based writer) will be posting her list of recommended activities shortly. In the meantime, if you want to find accommodations, check out our list of kid-friendly hotels in London; our recommendations include traditional hotels and serviced apartments in the best locations for getting around town easily.

photos in cherry blossom in washington dc tidal basin

Cherry blossoms in Tidal Basin. Photo by sneakerdog on Flickr

Washington, DC

I have yet to see the cherry blossoms in full swing in Washington DC, but they are on my must, must-see list (you know you are in trouble when your must-see list needs a subset). The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 26 – April 10, so if your vacation is on the early side, 2011 may be the perfect time to do something really special in our nation’s capital.

Nancy Solomon wrote the review for the Lorien Hotel and Spa and raves about this property every time she returns for a visit. Conveniently located in historic Alexandria, the hotel offers special pampering for adults and kids.  This is one of those exceptional city hotels that is not just a “place to sleep,” but a true escape.

2 Comments

  1. And and and….don’t forget Paris & then the perfect pause in the Loire Valley…or just skpi Paris & take the short hop across from London on Eurostar/TGV to TOURS – St Pierre des Corps..

    Loire Valley in April is a lush green, blossom and bulb filled experience, the chateaux are open, the gardens glistening & no coach loads of visitors yet so you really get to experience the place as if perhaps you owned it!

    The benefit in April/May with kids in tow is that you can relax and wander while they head off and get to discover first – everybody gets to have their holiday with ease.

    Loches, Montresor, Descartes, Tours, le Grand Pressigny & Chinon are the historic towns to check out, with children too Chateau du Rivau, Chenonceau, Chaumont sur Loire & The Donjon & Palais Royale in Loches are to ones to visit.
    Zoo Beauval, will win them over and the jardin public in Descartes the Pont Fil & Jardin Botanique in Tours will wear them out!

    Cycling in quiet country lanes, canoe/kayaking in the rivers enable you to experience a truly spectacular view of the Loire Valley countryside.

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