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Destination Family Vacation

Airplane ImageIt seems like just last year taking a reasonably priced family vacation was still in the cards for us.  We’ve been fortunate to go on some pretty spectacular vacations with our kids each winter, but this year I’m not sure it will happen.  The roadblock is school.  In years past, we’ve always avoided traveling during school vacation weeks.  Primarily because that is when the airports are the busiest and any place fun to go to with kids is also very busy.  Because we never honed in on the precious vacation weeks in February and April, I never realized, until now, how expensive it is to travel during peak weeks.

We love to travel and more importantly, we love to travel to warm, sunny locations which means a plane ride for us northeasterners.  With two young kids, direct is the only way to fly.  I cringe at the mere thought of connecting flights so that automatically puts us in the top pricing tier for travel.  In 2013, we were supposed to take a big trip with a few close friends but life has derailed those plans for the other 2 families, so we’re on our own.  In a year where money is tighter than years past, this isn’t all that bad since we will be able to make decisions without considering the impact on others.

I began my search for flights about a month ago.  We’re fortunate to have some airline credits with my favorite airline Jet Blue but as I began to look at flights our plans for a vacation have been deflated.  (By the way, besides the TV’s, friendly crew and all around greatness of Jet Blue, what I really love is that after you book a Jet Blue flight, if the flight goes down in price and YOU catch it and call them, Jet Blue will credit you the difference to a travel bank for future travel with Jet Blue during the next year.  BEST offer ever and hence why both my husband and I are VERY loyal Jet Blue travelers who keep coming back).  What I learned during my search was that flying during peak vacation weeks is nearly three to four times more expensive than flying on non-vacation weeks.  While I had a sense this would be the case I never expected it to be quite the leap that it is.

Since my oldest is a kindergartener, we’ve thought of pulling her from school to take a vacation, it’s only kindergarten, right?  But as working parents, not only are we already struggling with care for school vacation weeks (and will likely have to take some time off) but taking time off for yet another week is almost impossible.  Taking a spring vacation seems to be slipping through my fingers and as a girl who lives for sunny warm weather, I’m not sure if the forthcoming summer months will be enough to keep away the winter blues.  I’m hoping some parents have some tricks up their sleeves on how make a destination family vacation a reality.

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