After a long dreary winter, spring break is often the first chance to take an extended vacation with your kids. Depending on where you live, better weather may be within easy reach — or, you may have to book a road trip to chase the sunshine with your RV to a spring destination.
My husband and I are both teachers, and we’ve been lucky to have the same break as our children, up until our older son left for college. We usually take shorter trips close to home but know many RVers who take cross-state treks.
Planning for Spring Break Weather
While the word “spring” might conjure up images of blue skies and gentle breezes, the weather can vary greatly depending on your timing and your destination. My family’s break is usually early in March, a time when Midwestern weather sometimes serves up surprise snow storms.
Most U.S. students have spring break at some point in March or April. For many regions of the U.S., the weather this time of year might best be described as “persnickety,” with temperatures and precipitation varying greatly, sometimes changing dramatically from day to day.
While weather forecasts are not accurate much more than 10 days in advance, you can check weather averages online to find average daily highs and lows and general precipitation frequency and types (snow or rain). This can help you find out whether the weather will be warm — or a winter holdover.
No matter where you go, it’s a good idea to pack jackets and rain gear since you may find variable conditions. My family sometimes has swimsuits and coats packed for the same trip.
Other Spring Break Destination Considerations
Here are a few more considerations to keep in mind when selecting your spring break destination:
- Speaking of weather, make sure the region’s weather will accommodate your family’s preferred activities, whether they be hitting the surf or the slopes.
- Even if you won’t find summer-like temps, you can have a good spring break trip. Look for RV parks with onsite indoor amenities to keep the kids warm and entertained at the campground. Also, destinations with a good variety of children’s museums, aquariums, and arcades can provide activities for chilly or wet days.
- Don’t forget that universities often have spring breaks in March and April, as well, which means some destinations get overrun with rowdy students. Beaches are usually a top choice for the college crowd, so be aware that some are less than family-friendly.
- Some destinations attract a LOT of families. This is especially true for popular theme parks. Not only do you need to book campsites in these areas early, you also need to brace yourself for more crowds when exploring.
- While you might be focused on the sun, don’t forget you could end up driving through some wicked weather to get to your destinations with your RV. Some regions get spring snows and storms. Use a weather app that provides alerts while you are en route.
- On the plus side, spring is not considered peak season for some attractions and RV park reservations, so you may find discounted campsites and tickets.
- Finally, most schools have a single week off for spring break. It may be better to stick close to home if your schedule doesn’t allow for long drives.
5 Great Spring Break RVing Destinations for Families
Here are five spring break RVing destinations that promise good weather and family fun:
Utah’s Mighty Five Road Trip
With summer temperatures reaching 90 degrees and above, Utah is the perfect destination for a spring break trip to visit the state’s “Mighty Five,” as springtime temperatures are more comfortable. Plan a road trip to visit Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce and Capitol Reef national parks, where you can take your pick from some of the nation’s most epic hikes. Whether you visit one park or all, this trip is definitely one that is better for those hard-to-entertain teenagers instead of younger kids.
Check out these Good Sam parks for your spring break road trip to Utah:
San Diego, California
It might feel like the sun is always shining on the California Coast. San Diego is a kid-friendly destination, offering beaches, theme parks, and other family attractions, all under the swaying palms. Younger kids will enjoy the San Diego Zoo, LEGOLAND California, historic Belmont Park amusement park, and Sesame Place San Diego, while tweens and teens might appreciate The Embarcadero seaside, historic Old Town San Diego, and scenic Balboa Park. Or, head to any of the local beaches for fun in the surf and sand.
Check out these Good Sam campgrounds for your spring break trip to San Diego:
Hot Springs, Arkansas
If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination in the middle of the U.S., consider Hot Springs, Arkansas. Start by exploring Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs National Park to learn about the town’s history and “healing” waters. The grand buildings take you back in time. Spring is thoroughbred-racing season at Oaklawn Racing, where some of the nation’s fastest horses prep for the Kentucky Derby. A number of clear lakes and family attractions round out the offerings, with something for kids of all ages.
Here are some Good Sam parks for your spring break trip to Hot Springs:
Florida’s Space Coast
Of course, Florida’s beaches are a prime attraction for spring breakers, but you can combine your beach time with science and history on Florida’s Space Coast, a 72-mile stretch along the Atlantic shores known as the home of Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. If you’re lucky, you might get to witness a space launch. Just over 40 minutes from Orlando, you are far enough from the hustle and bustle of the theme park mecca, while still being close enough for day tripping to Walt Disney World or Universal Studios Florida, if you desire. Several waterways attract manatees, providing an up-close view of these adorable sea cows.
Check out these Good Sam campgrounds for your spring break trip to Florida’s Space Coast:
With enough history and atmosphere to entertain teenagers and adults and plenty of family-friendly attractions for younger kids, Savannah is a relaxed spring break destination full of antebellum architecture, cobblestone streets, and grand oaks. Sunshine abounds on the Georgia Coast, with highs in the 70s and 80s. Take little ones to the Savannah Children’s Museum, check out iconic Forsyth Park with older kids, or explore the hip Starland District with teens. Trolleys, riverboat cruises, and wildlife refuges offer interesting diversions.
Check out these Good Sam campgrounds for your spring break trip to Savannah:
Getting Your RV Ready to Roll for Spring Break
Now that you’ve picked a destination, it’s time to get your RV ready to roll. If your rig was winterized and packed up for several months, it needs some spring maintenance before your first trip of the season. First, decide whether or not to de-winterize at home. If the local weather won’t stay above freezing, you can wait until you arrive at your destination. Just remember to gather the necessary supplies.
Before departing, check the tires on your tow vehicle and RV and get a fresh oil change. Do a test of your slides and appliances to make sure everything is operational. Make sure to repack any items you removed for your long winter’s break. Use Good Sam’s RV travel checklists to do a thorough check. If time allows, take a short shakedown trip before heading to your ultimate spring break destination.
With your spring RV maintenance done, it’s time to hit the road for some spring break family fun!