Mommy Bloggers Name Favorite Family Spring Break Spots
There’s no arguing mommy bloggers are the reigning queens of the blogosphere. Between sharing their personal roller-coaster rides of daily family life, many also like to travel—far far away it turns out. We asked some of our favorites mom bloggers to tell us where they like to decamp with their families this time of year—and keep their sanity:
I love Puerto Rico. It's close enough to home but exotic enough to feel like it's the other side of the world.
—Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. Tagline: “Like Mother Teresa, Only Better.” Lawson also co-authors the Houston Chronicle’s Good Mom/Bad Mom, and her book "Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A (Mostly) True Memoir," about her charming if bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, debuted earlier this year. Follow her @TheBloggess.
LONDON and PARIS
We usually head to Europe at Spring Break—although the weather can be iffy, Springtime isn't too hot and it's not as crowded as it is in the summer. Last year we went to London and Paris.
London is quite possibly the most kid-friendly city in the world, so we try to get back there often. It has an endless amount of things for kids of any age to do: they can interact with buskers along the Thames, marvel at Big Ben, the houses of Parliament, and Westminster Cathedral. They can see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and take a boat ride to the Tower of London to see the prison, the crown jewels, and ravens. They can hear all about The Tower's gory history from a real-life beefeater. They can roam around the Natural History Museum in Kensington, and afterward play in the nearby Princess Diana Memorial Playground. There is Hamley's legendary toy store—an event unto itself—afternoon tea at Harrod's, picnicking in Hyde Park, seeing Shakespeare in The Globe theater, and eating fish and chips in a pub. Our kids love having dinner in Chinatown and walking around Covent Garden in the evenings. We even took a pedi-cab ride to the theater to see Oliver Twist. Kids love taking the Tube all over the city especially if we let them navigate! London is a place you can return to again and again with kids—it's a destination that never seems to get old (even though it is old—very old!).
If you’ve ever traveled with kids, you know that “vacation” and “family trip” are not usually the same thing, so you can understand my blissful shock that our family trip to the Maldives felt like a real vacation. Our family lives in Abu Dhabi right now, which means that for us a flight to the Maldives is only about four hours—a little longer than flying from New York to Miami. We scraped together our plane tickets using frequent flyer miles and then spent five days at the Holiday Inn Kandooma Resort, which is like an outpost of paradise. None of the “family trip” stereotypes came true. Instead of crowding into one hotel room, our “family seaview villa” included a living room and two separate bedrooms (each with its own bathroom and outdoor shower); the island was small enough that our two boys (7 and 11) could come and go on their own, without subjecting us to endless negotiations about who was doing what when; the resort ran multiple snorkeling and diving trips each day; the food was delicious and varied, with kid-friendly options that meant dinner didn’t turn into a battle-ground. The resort offered luxury without pretension: we slept on sheets that felt like silk, but we took our shoes off when we arrived and didn’t put them back on until we left. I’m thinking already about making our reservations for next year.
—Deborah Lindsay Williams, Mannahattamamma.com. Tagline: “Perpetually Ambivalent New Yorker….Now Living in Abu Dhabi.” This UAE-based mom of two is also a professor and recently anointed columnist for the English-language Emirates newspaper The National. Follow her @mannahattamamma.
My family loves traveling to Captiva Island in Florida this time of year. It's gorgeous, has phenomenal shelling and lots of yummy restaurants. We take long walks, dolphin watch and are never, ever are ready to come home.
April is my favorite month to visit Portugal, specifically the Algarve on the southern coast. We have family here which has drawn us to Portugal time and again for Easter and we love it so much I'm eager to share why you should consider the Algarve for a Spring Break escape. The year-round sunshine in this region draws crowds in the summer months but in April, when the weather is warm but not yet hot, the beaches and streets are empty. You can savor the history in Sagres and Lagos, sample local specialties in Albufeira's excellent fish restaurants and enjoy beach walks in pretty coastal towns such as Carvoeiro. Learn about Prince Henry the Navigator's role opening the world for exploration from right here in the 15th century. Here, you can relax and savor the hint of summer while enjoying a generous Portugese welcome.
—Michelle Duffy, WanderMom. Tagline: “Inspiration for the Family that Travels.” Duffy, co-author of Traveling With Kids is also a co-founder of Passports with Purpose, the travel bloggers' annual fundraiser. Follow her @WanderMom.