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Sure, you've done spring break. But have you really done spring break right until you've traded in the beer bongs and lazy beach days for baby bottles and marathon mini-golf days? Ha, we kid.
While spring break with kids may not seem like the most fun you've ever had, after four months of being stuck inside due to wintry weather, you just might change your mind. Plus, there are countless getaway options for a relaxing spring break trip with kids. Here are our top picks:
Planning a Hawaiian getaway and confused about which island to book? Maui is a great option for families due to its kid-friendly water activities, whale-watching tours and cultural activities.
A round-trip economy class award between the continental U.S. and Maui can set you back as few as 30,000 miles (or less). It takes just 26,000 British Airways Avios for West Coast departures, while Korean SkyPass requires a flat 25,000 miles round-trip.
Once you arrive on the island, you could check into the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, located on 40 oceanfront acres on Ka’anapali Beach. This hotel boasts six pools, including a 150-foot water slide, rope bridge and kids pool.
After the kids get tired of swimming, have them try their hand at lei making or hula lessons, or take in guided wildlife encounters, such as penguin feeding. Book a standard room (rollaway beds available upon request) with a private lanai for 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Looking for a getaway a bit closer to home? Hilton Head Island has long been a perennial favorite of vacationing families and with good reason. Featuring one of the top 10 family beaches in the U.S., this destination has something for everyone, from golf and spas for the adults to outdoor activities such as biking and guided boat tours for kids.
We found a fare on American Airlines from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport for just 19,000 miles round-trip, with taxes and fees at just $11.20.
Once you arrive, you could stay at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, which features a full-service spa, ocean views and poolside cabanas.
It also has a few extras meant just for families, like the Westin Family Kids Club. The Kids Club is for kids age 4-12, offering meals and thoughtful kid-friendly activities.
If you have a little mermaid lover, consider booking a mermaid experience and photo shoot on the beach. Your little one will love it and probably won’t stop talking about it for ages.
Alternatively, if you have a thrill-seeker on your hands, a zipline or aerial adventure could be just the ticket.
Keep in mind that the weather in March ranges from 48 to 68 degrees, so pack accordingly. But you will miss out on Hilton Head’s notorious humidity, which is a nice perk.
Between Disneyland, Universal Studios, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, a spring break jaunt to Southern California has something for the whole family. Plus, you can’t beat the weather.
We found fares on family-friendly Southwest Airlines from Jacksonville, Florida, to Los Angeles for 24,816 miles per passenger, plus $11.20 in taxes and fees.
Or a flight from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport to LAX costs just 23,292 points and $11.20 in taxes and fees.
Southwest is a favorite among families due to its family priority boarding, free in-flight snacks and drinks and generous free baggage policy. Plus, their low-fare calendar is simple and easy to use, even for the most sleep-deprived parents. (Note that points prices are tied to cash fares, and they can change often and vary between dates.)
Southwest also goes the extra mile to make your travel experience that much easier. Case in point: The last time I flew Southwest with my toddler, they had my gate-checked stroller unfolded and ready to go when we exited the plane.
» Learn more: 13 hacks parents flying with toddlers should know
Once you arrive, you could check into the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City. You can get a room that sleeps four for 60,000 points per night and be within driving distance of many of the city’s main attractions.
In addition to a pool for some late afternoon downtime, the hotel provides must-haves for those with young children, like cribs, high chairs and a children’s menu.
When you’re ready to explore, Disneyland Anaheim is a great day spot for families. If you stay at the Hilton Los Angeles/University City, you’ll also score a discount on your park tickets.
And don’t forget about your rental car. With the amount of driving you’re sure to do in Southern California, you’re going to need one. Use your Discover it® Miles to pay for your rental car and bank the points for next time. Or, redeem some of your card’s points for a statement credit to be used toward travel purchases. It's easy-peasy (though driving in L.A. might be another story).
So will a family trip with the kiddos beat the spring break trips you remember from your college days? Maybe not. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be equally as fun. You may even find time to sip an adult beverage on the beach. (Maybe.)
How to maximize your rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Discover it Miles review: Travel rewards with a cash-back twist 5 family vacation planning tips I learned on the fly Find the best travel credit card for you