During mid-January every year I hit a slump. The holidays are over, it is cold, and it seems that there is nothing to look forward to. So naturally I start daydreaming about places that are warm and sunny to get away too. I am not a teacher and my kids are not school aged yet, so for the past several years I have not celebrated “Spring Break.” But this year I am taking back Spring Break and am looking forward to taking over the Caribbean. Vacation booking got me thinking about all the awesome family vacations I have taken and want to take over the next couple of years.
Below are my top picks for great places to take a family vacation in 2018! So grab your sunglasses, pack the car and gear up to join me in celebrating a much needed Mom Spring Break!
This is one of my favorite New England towns. If you haven’t had the chance to visit here, it is great for a quick weekend getaway. Downtown Portsmouth is awesome and there is always a variety of events going on. Portsmouth is also close to Kittery, Maine, which is one of my favorite shopping destinations. There are wonderful outlets in Kittery with a beautiful view. My pick would be to take in a whale watching tour with the family!
Right “down the road” is the beautiful town of Mystic. Visiting the Mystic Aquarium is something I try to do with my kids at least once each summer. It really is a beautiful New England town. Depending on how big your family is, my pick is to actually rent a houseboat through Airbnb. This is such a fun and unique way to enjoy Mystic and be close on the water. Not a water person? The Marriott has a fabulous Spa. Not only do I love visiting Mystic in the Spring but I also try to visit around the beginning of October – the foliage is out of this world and there are so many fun fall activities going on.
National Harbor, MD
I am a very Patriotic person – I mean I run a mom blog called American Made Mama – so clearly a visit to the DC area is something my husband and I try to fit in our calendar once a year. My favorite time to go is April when the Cherry Blossoms are out. After visiting several times, my favorite place to stay is the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel. You will love this hotel and it sits right across from DC. At night watch the fireworks from across the harbor and enjoy a nice bottle of wine. My favorite thing to do in DC? Take the monuments tour at night. You won’t be disappointed.
Board a Plane:
There are so many fun things to do in Gatlinburg, TN. First off, the landscape around the area is breathtaking. Located in the smoky mountains, this town offers a little something for everyone in your family. My pick is to stay at the Lodge at Buckberry Creek, ride the aerial tramway, and visit Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Enjoy Rocky Top!
Ok, so I know this is a pretty common place to vacation. And who wants to do Disney during one of their peak seasons? But Orlando is a still a great family destination. My recommendation would be to do a Disney hybrid. For a good mix of Disney fun and adult fun, stay at the Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL. This particular hotel offers an amazing water park for children. My other favorite pick: The JW Marriott. You really can’t beat floating in their lazy river. Stay a week and try to do at least two Disney parks, Universal Studios and a Disney Water Park.
Future tip: Soon the Margaritaville resort will be opening. There is so much buzz about this new Orlando resort, it will definitely be on my list to try when it opens!
Disney Aulani Resort, Hawaii
This is on my list of dream destinations. I haven’t visited here yet, but I can’t wait. When they were first building this resort I kept telling my husband we needed to apply for jobs there because I couldn’t get over how fun it looked. If you aren’t a fan of doing Orlando, but still love Disney, than try this option instead. Because it is a Disney owned resort you know the customer experience will be top notch. Have you ever been to the Luau at the Polynesian resort? One of my favorite things to do in Disney. Take that experience and amplify this in your mind and you get the Aulani Resort.
Out to Sea:
My family and I actually just booked this vacation for May 2018 and we couldn’t be more excited to go. I tend to do a lot of research on things before I actually commit to something and I did hours of research on the best all-inclusive resorts for families. This resort offers a water park for kids and it looks amazing. I can’t wait for my kids to splash and play. It will definitely keep them entertained for hours. There is also a fantastic golf club for anyone who might be interested and you can “golf hop,” which means you can go and play golf at the other Jewel resorts in Jamaica.
The Bahamas is quick and easy to get to. This destination makes you feel tropical without spending hours on a plane. Atlantis is one of those places that you have to visit once. Honestly, it is so much fun to stay here. The resort amenities offer a variety of activities for people of all ages. Keep your kids entertained all day with the water rides and then head to the Casino for some adult nightlife. There really is no reason to leave the resort, this hotel has everything you want covered.
I have been on over a dozen cruises as an adult and I love cruising. For me this is one of the easiest ways to travel. There is really nothing to think about once you get on the boat. The food is typically awesome and you can eat all day long if you would like. I have been on several different cruise lines and my pick for cruising is Royal Caribbean. Their ships are amazing and have some of the best features on the water. My top pick is to find one with destinations such as Turks & Caicos, Belize, or Grand Cayman.
Adults Only Pick:
The Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park, CO
One of my favorite places on Earth, this is definitely a place that you have to visit at least once. This amazing luxury resort offers amazing views of Rocky Mountain National Park. The city of Estes Park is perfect and quaint. There is good food, beautiful scenery, and great hiking, and you can’t beat the people in Estes Park – a little bit hippie, a little bit mountainy and a whole lot of kind.
My husband and I love this destination so much we actually got married here in June 2010.