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2021 is the year of last-minute trav­el! I’ve had lots of my clients at my trav­el agency tell me they weren’t going to trav­el for spring break this year, then changed their mind at the last minute. And who can blame them after the blowout of 2020? But Spring Break can be a hard time to trav­el last minute, some­times all of the good stuff is gone months in advance! Nev­er fear, here are ideas for off-beat­en path travel!




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Need a spring break trip your kids won't hate? Don't worry fellow procrastinator parents, we've got you covered! Best last minute spring break trip ideas for families with kids of all ages.



Cocoa Beach Florida


Cocoa Beach is locat­ed on the ocean side of Flori­da, about an hour from Orlan­do. The Kennedy Space Cen­ter is near­by, and it’s def­i­nite­ly worth a vis­it, espe­cial­ly if your kids are into space! Even if you don’t want to vis­it, you can check their web­site for rock­et launch­es and watch them from the beach! If you want to avoid crowds, you can head a lit­tle north and check out Fla­gler Beach. When my hus­band and I vis­it­ed in Sep­tem­ber we were lit­er­al­ly the only peo­ple on the beach. While you’re vis­it­ing Fla­gler Beach check out the Java Joint. I had pos­si­bly the best shrimp and grits I have ever eat­en there! 


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Where to Stay


There are lots of beach­front hotels in Cocoa Beach, but I’m par­tial to the Court­yard, because it’s bud­get-friend­ly, has a nice pool, and has easy access to the beach. 



Flager Beach lit­er­al­ly did­n’t even have any foot­steps, it was pristine!



Clearwater Beach Florida


On the gulf side of Flori­da, you will find Clear­wa­ter Beach, a cute beach town full of fam­i­ly fun. Clear­wa­ter Beach is near Tam­pa, mak­ing it easy to fly in and out. There are lots of attrac­tions in Clear­wa­ter, every­thing from dol­phin cruis­es to pirate cruis­es, to an aquar­i­um! Want to avoid the crowds? Head down the road to Indi­an Rocks Beach which is qui­eter but still close enough to Clear­wa­ter to take advan­tage of the amenities! 



Where to Stay 


If you’re in the mar­ket for a lux­u­ri­ous expe­ri­ence, you can’t beat The Opal Sands Resort. The resort has a zero-entry pool, pri­vate beach, a spa, and concierge ser­vices at your fingertips. 




Indi­an Rocks Beach isn’t actu­al­ly rocky, don’t let the name fool you! Pho­to Cour­tesy of Mike Rei­chold via Wikimedia





If the beach isn’t your thing, why not check out Nashville? Nashville is home to the Coun­try Music Hall of Fame, The Grand Ole Opry, The Ryman The­atre, and enough hot chick­en to make even the bravest of food­ies break a sweat. If you have a music buff in your fam­i­ly they will feel right at home in Nashville. If you are prone to heart­burn like me, then hit up Hat­tie B’s hot chick­en. They offer a more mild ver­sion of Hot Chick­en for those of us that are prone to stom­ach ulcers, as well as the real deal, burn your mouth tra­di­tion­al Nashville Hot Chick­en. The weath­er in Nashville is usu­al­ly in the 70s in the spring, which by my north­ern­er stan­dards is pret­ty warm! 



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Where to Stay


I high­ly rec­om­mend stay­ing down­town if you can. Nashville is a great city, and walk­ing around down­town is half the fun! We stayed at the Court­yard Down­town when we vis­it­ed, and had a great stay! 




This is the mild chick­en at Hat­tie B’s, which was still pret­ty hot for me! My hus­band got the medi­um and he said he was fine, but he did drink an awful lot of tea.



Universal Orlando Resort


If your fam­i­ly are theme park buffs like ours, there is no bet­ter last-minute trip than Uni­ver­sal Orlan­do. Uni­ver­sal Orlan­do offers rides and attrac­tions for all ages and all vari­eties of peo­ple who are amuse­ment park chick­ens. Uni­ver­sal Orlan­do is also a great last-minute trav­el des­ti­na­tion because you don’t need to make din­ing reser­va­tions or oth­er reser­va­tions ahead of time, same-day plan­ning is almost always pos­si­ble! A fam­i­ly-friend­ly ver­sion of Mar­di Gras hap­pens every spring, it’s full of fun, food, and of course beads! It’s one of my favorite sea­son­al events! 


While you are there, don’t over­look Vol­cano Bay, my favorite water park in the world! Vol­cano Bay is the per­fect place to float on a raft and for­get about everything!


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Where To Stay


I high­ly rec­om­mend stay­ing on-site when vis­it­ing Uni­ver­sal because they pro­vide trans­porta­tion, deliv­er your shop­ping back to your room, and you get an ear­ly park entrance. Cabana Bay is very bud­get and fam­i­ly-friend­ly. Plus Cabana Bay has a lazy riv­er, a water slide, 2 pools, and fire pits! Feel free to bring s’mores sup­plies from home, but they sell kits on-site if you for­get. If you have the bud­get, I high­ly rec­om­mend upgrad­ing to one of the hotels that offer free Express Pass­es, because they will let you wait in a much short­er line for all the rides! 




Vol­cano Bay often gets over­looked dur­ing Uni­ver­sal Orlan­do vaca­tions, it’s a real­ly great water park so don’t miss it!



New York City


I’m going to be hon­est with you. New York is not warm in March. If you aren’t afraid of a lit­tle cold, it’s a great time to vis­it! As your reward for brav­ing the cold, you’ll deal with way few­er crowds than you would in the sum­mer! New York is full of his­to­ry and cul­ture. You can do almost any­thing in New York, from tak­ing in a Broad­way show to a his­to­ry-focused tour, or take a tour of movie and TV film­ing loca­tions. Or you can decide to eat every­thing in sight. And if you’re into geneal­o­gy, you can vis­it Ellis Island and find your fam­i­ly’s records. I’ll nev­er for­get when one of the staff at Ellis Island helped me find my great-grand­par­en­t’s records after months of search­ing. I can’t wait to take my tod­dler there when he’s old enough. 



Where to Stay


If your bud­get allows you to stay in Man­hat­tan, I high­ly rec­om­mend doing so! It’s real­ly fun to be in the heart of it all. I’ve stayed at Park Cen­tral Hotel,  it was in a great spot to get around the city! If you have a tighter bud­get, con­sid­er check­ing out hotels in Long Island City, its cheap­er but still close to the main sub­way lines you’ll need to vis­it most areas.



statue of liberty

My future hus­band and I went to New York City for spring break our Senior/Junior year of Col­lege, so I have first-hand expe­ri­ence that it was a bit chilly! Lis­ten to my moth­er and pack a coat!



If you’ve changed your mind about tak­ing a Spring Break trip, I hope this list helps! Don’t be ner­vous plan­ning a last-minute trip either. Over the years I’ve learned all you real­ly need to trav­el is a suit­case, a hotel reser­va­tion, and a plane tick­et. Every­thing else will fall into place!



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Need a spring break trip your kids won't hate? Don't worry fellow procrastinator parents, we've got you covered! Best last minute spring break trip ideas for families with kids of all ages.



Emi­ly House­hold­er Stacey is a trav­el agent and writer based in Sun­ny Cleve­land Ohio. She has bat­tled pro­cras­ti­na­tion her whole life, which has left her with lots of tips on last minute travel.