Spring Break Survival Tips

It's over and we thrived - two weeks of spring break.  Since the corporate world doesn't support 6 weeks of annual vacation and my husband and I both work full time, we spend significant effort planning for extended school vacations. We are exhausted, but it was a success. Our trick is regular reinforcements.

In truth, our community had a camp available for the second week, but we didn't take advantage of that simplifying option. We jam packed a lot of family and a lot of travel without incurring a ton of PTO.

First, we spent the opening weekend skiing in Tahoe.  This is one of our favorite family activities - outdoor, athletic and full of smiles. Combine that we did it with my sister's family and we have extended family fun - and more playmates for everyone.

Survival Tip one: Find people you like who have children your children like.

Second, we hosted my brother-in-law's family for five days in our home.  We shared two Passover seders and their family explored San Francisco and our town - bringing our boys along as tour guides.  Most of the time, the kids just enjoyed free play around the yard and neighborhood.  We worked, the kids and in-laws played.

Survival Tip two: Invite out-of-town families to visit. It's fun, special and the kids create their own entertainment.

On the weekend, we rested.  It was Easter weekend and our wedding anniversary - blissfully, we had no plans.

Survival Tip three: Down time calms everyone. Schedule some.

The second week we went to camp grandparent.  A non-stop flight across the country and then it's fun in the sun.  Grandma and Grandpa have a pool and live near tennis and golf.  Everyone can relax, splash, play without lots of programming.  Thankfully,  it didn't rain.

Survival Tip four: Change the scenery and encourage free play.

At the end of the two weeks, I found that my kids and I really liked each other.  We had enough space apart while being together because we sometimes explored different recreation and sometimes didn't.

Survival Tip five: Roll with it.

Our return flight was delayed three hours on the ground and we didn't get home until 2am on a school night. The kids slept on the plane and at home...and everyone kept their cool.

What are your survival tips for extended school vacations?