Spring Travel – Rejuvenation After Hibernation
This winter has been challenging for most parts of the country, with extreme storms and downright miserable conditions plaguing Americans from coast to coast. If you live in an area that’s been particularly hit hard by snow, freezing cold temperatures, or rain that just won’t quit, you’re probably thinking that a trip anywhere but home sounds very appealing.
Spring travel offers lots of opportunities to thaw out, shed some layers of outerwear, and reacquaint yourself with fresh air, hopefully a little sun, and to take a break from the bleak midwinter. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of a spring trip.
Reboot Healthy Habits Before You Travel
For many of us, fall and winter send us down a slippery slope of bad habits — paying less attention than we should to what we eat and how much, and how little time we get outside or to the gym for some exercise. In anticipation of a spring vacation — especially if you plan on being active — it’s a good idea to get your body accustomed to moving again, and for longer periods of time.
There’s no need to embark on an extreme fitness program or crash diet, even if you’re planning a beach vacation. Just get back in the swing of things by taking more walks, stretching and strengthening muscles as you’re able, and easing back into a more active routine. And speaking of sun and sandals, if you’ll need new footwear for your trip, be sure to buy in advance and break in to avoid blisters. Also, be sure to pack a cap or hat and some sunscreen if you’ve been under wraps all winter, and are heading for a sunny spot.
Top Destinations Are Ready and Waiting For Spring Travelers
From wildly popular travel hot spots to lesser known, quieter getaways, destinations that depend on seasonal business and tourism dollars will welcome you in the spring. There are deals to be had, and lots of competition for your travel dollars, no matter where you go.
Booking ahead of time will help you secure the rate you want to pay for hotel and airfare and may help you stretch your travel dollars, but last-minute deals can be found as well. Have a budget in mind for all the different aspects of your trip — flights (or gas for road trips), lodging, meals, and entertainment all come into play. Do you have points to use for airfare or hotels? Can you bundle your airfare and hotel for a better rate? Can you save by booking a more modest room or Air BnB, or by flying at a different time of day or day of the week? These are all great ways to save on your spring fling.
As you begin to plan, spend plenty of time online researching your desired destination. Online advertisers will be out in force offering deals on everything from ground travel (buses, taxis), hotel rooms, tours and excursions, and dining. Be careful about deals that sound too good to be true. Instead, rely on the Convention and Visitors Bureau website in your desired city for reputable information and look to trusted travel websites for advice and offers.
Spring Is “Shoulder Season” For Many Destinations
Spring can be cool and rainy in many states and in other countries too, and may not offer as many festivals or events as other seasons. But traveling during this “shoulder season” can make trips in the U.S. and abroad more affordable. If you don’t require perfect weather, or plan to do most of your sightseeing indoors or from the comfort of a tour bus or river cruise, spring travel offers more bang for your buck than traveling during the summer.
Places To Visit In The U.S. In Spring (And Some To Avoid)
Southwestern and southeastern destinations are usually good bets for spring travel before the weather gets too warm. The Florida Keys don’t attract nearly the number of spring breakers as Orlando; and Santa Cruz and Monterrey California are great alternatives to Disney destinations. Every state in the country has something to offer in spring; be sure to look for places that line up with your vacation style, appetite, and budget.
Places To Travel Outside the U.S. In The Spring
Western Europe, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and Holland are great places to consider for an international getaway in spring (although expect a crowd of tulip-loving tourists if you travel to Amsterdam!) If you’re thinking of heading south, don’t overlook the beautiful cities of central Mexico like San Miguel de Allende, or far flung destinations like Bariloche, Argentina where the ski season will be winding down.
If you do plan to travel to the opposite side of the equator, keep in mind that our spring is their fall, so camping and hiking destinations may be crowded. For city travel, you’ll probably find deals for “shoulder season”, the time between the busy and slow tourism seasons here, too.
Do Your Homework For Any Destination
Know what to expect and what to pack for your upcoming adventure by checking the average temperature, rainfall, and weather for your desired travel dates. Check online for the most current information before you travel.
Are there holidays or special events to be aware of in your destination city? Will traffic be particularly heavy or parking in short supply? If you’re up for a crowd and mentally prepared to jump into the fray, great! If not, and you’ll only be frustrated by the congestion, you’ll want to travel at a different time or to a different destination.
Of course, you can simplify the process of planning for a trip by booking through a travel agent. Agencies in the Midwest report that would-be travelers, desperate for some relief from the polar vortex and ice storms, are calling in droves and booking spring trips to just about anywhere that offers a chance to get out of the cold for even just a few days.
However you get there, make the most of your spring trip, and come back rejuvenated, recharged, and ready for spring at home!