Travel tends to flow in waves, with the first whitecaps appearing around spring break, which will fall between March 5 and April 16 this year according to a near-endless index compiled by StudentCity.com. While images of sun-drenched college students make the news (and occasionally police reports), family travelers embrace spring break, too, and the season of renewal ahead offers plenty to appeal to moms, dads, kids, and more.
Though as of mid-January, the Omicron variant hadn’t peaked, most children and all teens can now get COVID-19 vaccines, with Pfizer-BioNTech authorized by the CDC for 5-to-11 year olds, and boosters recommended for everyone 12 years and up. As noted in the New York Times in November (albeit before Omicron arrived in the U.S.): “That is likely to boost travelers’ confidence just as the adult vaccine did in [last] spring.”
Key for a family-friendly spring break is something for youngsters to do. Destin Fort Walton Beach on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s Panhandle is creatively encouraging families to explore new experiences through Little Adventures, bite-sized challenges that make it easy for all ages to get outside and out of their comfort zones. To make it even easier to take the first step, the Little Adventures section of the destination’s website features kid-friendly adventures presented for consideration by youngsters and their parents, with details, imagery, and engaging 360° videos sure to draw young eyes. So, rather than merely soak up the sun and swim in glimmering emerald waters, spring-breaking families can engage in everything from charter fishing (recommended for ages 4+) to exploring tide pools at Norriego Point (all ages), learning to ride “eFoil” electric-powered hydrofoil surfboards (13+), and putting all hands to work with a genuine sand sculpture lesson led by a trained artist from Beach Sand Sculptures – and more.
While Destination Analytics recently found that more than 70% of American travelers plan to head to beaches, rural towns, and national/state parks in 2022, 66% will be bound for cities. San Diego regularly makes lists of top destinations for family spring breakers – and for good reason, with beaches, museums, theme parks, and seasonal whale watching for younger travelers, plus splendid weather with temps in the 60s. Many improvements have recently wrapped up at the city’s “Crown Jewel,” Balboa Park, including a revamping of the San Diego Automotive Museum and opening of the Comic-Con Museum, and the recent opening of Heikoff Giant Dome Theater at Fleet Science Center with new audio and video enhancements. There will be more to come, including a re-imagining of the former Children’s Zoo at the San Diego Zoo, and a rebuild of the Botanical Building slated to begin in January.