Many schools will be on break early-to-mid April, so if you haven't booked your family getaway, don't wait much longer. It's a peak travel time. Translation: it's expensive.
But there are still deals if you know where to look.
The trick to an affordable family getaway during spring and all year long, is to take a look at what everyone around you is doing -- your neighbors, your kids' classmates, your friends – and then do the opposite.
Cruises It's been a difficult few months for the cruise industry. The Costa Concordia tragedy and Costa Allegra incident have left many people wondering if cruising is safe.
In fact, it's believed to be one of the safest modes of travel. But all this second guessing has kept cruise prices in check, which is great news for travelers who want to hit the open seas this spring. And don't forget that a cruise vacation, while not all-inclusive, does include a lot. Accommodations, transportation between ports, meals and onboard ship entertainment are all typically included in a cruise package.
A 7-night southern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Summit is priced from just $449 – or about $65 per night. The cruise is round-trip from San Juan, so don't forget to factor in airfare. It departs on April 6, and stops in St. Kitt's, Dominica, Grenada and St. Thomas, before returning to San Juan. Celebrity is an upscale cruise line, so this is a great price point. This price is for an inside cabin; an ocean view is just $100 more.
There's also a 7-night western Caribbean cruise on the Carnival Liberty, departing April 7, for $479 per person, or about $70 per night. It's slightly more expensive than the Celebrity cruise but the cruise is round-trip from Miami, so airfare will likely be less expensive -- or nothing at all if you can drive to the port. This cruise stops in Cozumel, Belize, Honduras and the Cayman Islands.
Mexico It's a destination that gets hammered in the press every spring, but the truth is, millions of Americans visit Mexico every year without incident. There's no denying the fact that the instances of violent crimes have increased in the past few years, but keep in mind that it's a big country and much of it is quite safe. The government travel warning regarding Mexico does not include some of the most popular tourist destinations, such as Cancun and Cabo San Lucas. Plus, beach destinations like Cancun have tried – and largely succeeded – in recent years to shed the spring break party image and cater to families instead.