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Advice needed: CA, HI, or DC/DE for spring break 2018?

Advice needed: CA, HI, or DC/DE for spring break 2018?

Old Aug 7th, 2017, 07:05 AM
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Advice needed: CA, HI, or DC/DE for spring break 2018?

Hi guys, my family is starting to plan our April 2018 spring break, now that we know our schedules for the upcoming school year. This is the first year that my husband, who is a teacher, and my son, who is a 5th grader, will have the same spring break. They are in different school districts and no amount of persuasion has convinced my husband to look for a job with our regular school district (Seattle).

Long story short, this happens as frequently as a solar eclipse for us. So, we are hoping to go somewhere exciting. The top choices are listed in the topic title: California, Hawaii, or the East Coast, where my husband is from.

We live in Seattle, budget is reasonable but not more than $5,000. The East Coast would be Delaware, Washington, DC, with day trips to NYC or the surrounding area. We have family we can stay with on the East Coast.

There are four of us, the youngest will be 2 years old. We've been to all of these destinations, but I just need to make a decision and I am letting the brain hive weigh in. What do you think will be the best use of this unique opportunity? Family hasn't met our latest addition to the family.

Thank you for your thoughts?
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 07:34 AM
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Is your husband from DE? I'm trying to figure out why that locale is on your list. Not that there's anything wrong with DE.

Anyway, April is a great time to visit DC, but there's good news and bad news. The good news is that you might hit the cherry-blossom season. The bad news is that you might hit the cherry-blossom season, and be fighting the crowds.

Similarly, it's a good time of year to visit NYC.

Hawaii of course is a totally different type of vaca, and only you can decide what's better for you (and fits your budget).
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 07:38 AM
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Yes, husband is from DE. We've been there for a cherry blossoms season, so we would not be doing the touristy sight-seeing. It would be a family visit primarily.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 08:08 AM
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I love DE but there is no way in heck I'd pick it over CA or HI. You could get snow in DE in April.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 08:28 AM
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Birdie, it's duty over fun. We haven't visited the family since 2015. Plus, we love DC.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 08:29 AM
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I love questions like this, because I am in a similar boat (school-aged kids, time and school breaks are an issue). Most of our friends aren't as big into traveling as we are, so are content to spend every vacation on the beach. We love to go and do and teach our kids early! That said - age 2 can be really tough to plan around.

We have wavered every year back and forth on the HI trip with our kids, now aged 8 and 12. Every year we think, next year is the year. Then we get closer and think, not yet. Being from Seattle, it isn't AS much of a distance for you, so maybe you can return again before too many years. For us - it's probably going to be a very long time before we could go again. So we are just now getting to where we think it will be "worth it" with them. Can you go back again, in say, 5 years? If so - sure! Go on and do what you can do with your 2 year old in tow. If not... maybe... wait a few years. I think we are just about ready to go next summer (mine will be 9 and 13 by then).

What were you thinking of doing in CA? San Diego can be great for families.

If it were me, I would do someplace like AZ where you can get a mix of great weather hiking and some hotel pool time. Or, hubby and I went to Palm Springs one March when our kids were a bit younger, and we thought that would have been a great place for them next time. Sunshine, pool time, hiking.

In recent weeks we have been discussing next year's vacations, and our kids seem more interested in Europe than in Hawaii. Surprising, but we may go with it. I'm game for that! Ha!
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 08:33 AM
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We love DC also and my brother / kids' cousins live there. So it is always on our list too. Nothing wrong with that option either!
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 08:49 AM
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>>You could get snow in DE in April.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 09:07 AM
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I am thinking San Diego or Anaheim area in California. My 10 year old has been to Disney Park in Paris, but not to one in the US yet. He will be 11 then. The 2-year old will be a riot, but what can you do...

We choose to travel, rather than have nice things like cars and couches. I need to get out pretty frequently, due to my job pressure. Nothing takes the edge off as having a trip to look forward to.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 11:01 AM
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I completely agree with you! We have friends that have high school aged kids that have never been on a plane. One has never been in a hotel and only one has ever been out of state. I understand budgets can vary but come on, we live in a decent neighborhood, you'd think they would find a way to put together a basic vacation? I just don't think they have any interest.

IMO it's a huge educational experience for everyone, kids especially. To each their own, but it's unfathomable to me.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 11:02 AM
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Oh and back to your response. Yeah, San Diego and an Anahem trip sound great!
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 11:15 AM
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Spring break can also be a zoo at the theme parks

Age two is free at Disneyland but there will be rides they can't get on due to height and others that may scare them..including a lot of the "dark" rides in Fantasyland. My two nephews (same age) reacted differently to Haunted Mansion..for one it was his favorite and the other freaked out.

How is the 2 year around water/ I would wait for a beach vacation until they can swim, unless you are okay with watching them like a hawk.

I think I might vote for the back east/family thing.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 11:20 AM
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Hawaii! No contest.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 11:24 AM
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Am I correct that the OP said they have been to all of the proposed destinations? Then it's hard to say if family trumps other considerations.

Surely, if you've been to them all, you know which one seems more appealing at the moment??
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 01:13 PM
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For me, visiting relatives is not a "vacation". It's... well visiting family.

Hawaii is a very special place and more deserving of this "unique opportunity".
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 01:21 PM
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I love DC too, more than Hawaii. And great for the 10 year old if he's had US History in 4th grade.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 05:11 PM
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"Birdie, it's duty over fun. We haven't visited the family since 2015. Plus, we love DC."

I get that. It's great to establish and maintain strong family relationships when the kids are young but I've always been a bit selfish about vacation time with my kids. It can be hard to coordinate job time off with school vacations. Before you know it, one is in college and the other in high school and the times don't jibe or they don't want to spend their breaks with you. It's ok to think of yourself too. If you want a "sit by the pool and chill vacation," go for it. Kids love pools. Find a resort with a kids program so you can spend some adult time too.
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Old Aug 7th, 2017, 06:16 PM
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Hello 2016adventurer, I would vote for DC! I am partial since I have lived in Northern VA/ DC area for almost 40 years & April is the best time to visit DC since everything is blooming, beautiful weather and even though I live here, I still get excited whenever I drive into DC especially in April! There are lots of areas in DC that you can see cherry flowers, you don't have to fight the crowd at Tidal Basin.

We are also a family with 3 kids & understand completely your dilemma of coordinating everyone's schedules. Yes, it will get more & more difficult as the kids are getting older.

So based on your situation of having a 2-year old, your East Coast family has not met the little one...I think that DE, DC & NY city would be a good choice.

We took our 3 kids to Maui when our kids were 10, 13, 15. I think saving that big trip for a few more years since Hawaii is expensive & when your youngest is at least 8 years old, the whole family can participate in all the Hawaii fun activities like snorkeling ..

Best of luck planning! Like you, I also love traveling & planning trips! We are planning a National Park trip for May 2018.
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 11:59 AM
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Thank you, all, for your advice! I am still weighing all the options.

Yes, we have been to all 3 proposed destinations. As I think more about it, I am leaning towards a family trip.
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Old Aug 8th, 2017, 01:29 PM
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The family trip doesn't sound very exciting. But I would still do that instead of the other ones...save Hawaii for when the kids are older and you will all enjoy it more. Same for California. This is the perfect time to do the family trip.
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