Spring Break for us means sun. Pure and simple, we need a break from the cold and nothing helps break up the long Northeast winter like a little sun. Right after the New Year, friends start asking for recommendations on where to go to warm up.
Now, since “Spring” Break can also include late February, it gets a little tricky because February can still be cold in Florida, so for that guaranteed warmth, head to the Caribbean. How can you beat the white sand and amazingly clear tropical waters? That said, we’ve booked Florida many times and love it. We try to go to South Florida where it’s more likely to be warm.
Kids Haven: For a kid-friendly mega resort, you can look to Atlantis. The slides always tempt me and Nassau is so close. School-age kids love this resort. Note that there are height requirements on some slides, so be sure your younger ones are well-prepped, I have heard of many very disappointed younger siblings.
Relax Luxuriously: If you are looking for a quiet, smaller and absolutely luxurious resort, we loved Grace Bay Club in Turks & Caicos. This resort has family “villas” (aka. condos) that easily fit all six of us. The beach is stark white and the sea, snorkeling and world-renowned service is outstanding.
Learning and Fun: I’ve heard fabulous reviews of The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman. Families were very impressed with the Ambassadors of the Environment program designed by Jean-Michel Cousteau, which offers eco-adventures and hands-on learning. This resort also offers an excellent tennis program for both adults and children.
All of these destinations are within a short flight with direct options from the East Coast. By keeping the traveling to a minimum, you increase your relaxation and avoid the mess that the late winter storms can cause on air travel.
Also, if you are traveling with a child under one, I would check to be sure you are comfortable with the medical options available on each island. Each time we’ve gone, of course, we’ve needed medical care. It was dicey to say the least. Not to mention that we should have had Hepatitis shots and had to wear a ton of bug spray because they have Malaria in Haiti and those damn mosquitoes like to island hop like the best of us!
All of us have different comfort levels with risk. Just check with the CDC to be sure you have all shots needed for the trip and that there is no current malaria issue. You can reference my Healthy Travel with Kids post.
Viva Miami: We have had many excellent trips down to South Florida. Miami is a favorite of ours. You get a great vibe, outstanding food and a gorgeous beach. For the kids, it’s easy to dine out at all the outside restaurants and there’s plenty to do in addition to the beach. The Loews Hotel is a Miami family favorite with a great location right near Lincoln Road and on South Beach.
Comfortable and Relaxed: For a quieter environment, Vero Beach is low-key and beautiful. We just booked Vero Beach Hotel for our March break after many good friends came back raving about the spacious rooms – a key requirement with four kids!
Flip-flop Crowd: (Okay, so nice flip-flops!) We can’t wait to go back to the Keys and just booked a stay at Hawks Cay Resort. My kids love the manatees, the birds, and the shells. I love the sunsets and flip-flop crowd. This resort is a perfect family venue.
We’re working on adding more moderately priced properties in the Caribbean – stay tuned!
Ciao Bambino recommended Caribbean family hotels
Ciao Bambino recommended Florida family hotels
Florida with kids – Walt Disney World