Why You Should Choose Europe for Your Next Spring Break


Taking your family on a European vacation is on many family bucket lists, and I’m here not only to encourage you to go for it but WHEN. And the answer: Spring Break.

Dubrovnik, Croatia (with empty city walls!) Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography

We just got back from a trip to Croatia. We spent about ten days exploring old cities, boating on the Adriatic, eating local treats, and hiking around waterfalls. It was an awesome trip.

It’s not the obvious beach-forward choice, but April is a fantastic time to travel to Europe while taking advantage of a school break for your kids. If Europe is on your bucket list, here is why I recommend taking your family to Europe during this time of the year.

1. Cost

From flights to accommodations, you will find that it’s much more reasonable to travel in April. The heaviest travel season in Europe is summer by a long shot, meaning prices shoot up due to demand. Most travel books will recommend the “shoulder” months of May and September, but those are tricky with school schedules. So, an April break is a great bet.

If you’re willing to be flexible on location (London? Amsterdam? Madrid?), you can search Google Flights for your date range and see where the deals are. This is how we usually do it!

Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography

2. Weather

If you want a beach vacation in April, Europe is most likely not your best bet. However, April can work well if your European priorities are to explore cities, castles, fortresses, and the numerous natural wonders.

Why? It’s not hot.

Anyone who has trekked around Rome in August knows it can be pretty miserable. Couple that with limited air conditioning and restaurants that consider three ice cubes to be way too generous, and the heat can put a major damper on your family’s fun.

Yes, it can rain in April. Yes, it can be chilly, so you’ll want to pack a jacket and some layers. On our most recent trip, we wore sweatshirts on some days and shorts and t-shirts on others. It was a mix and a comfortable one at that. It’s much preferable to a heat rash and grouchy, sweaty kids.

Lokrum Island, Croatia / Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography

3. Crowds

Obviously, connected to the above point, the summer season makes for many people. Everywhere. You’ll have long lines for ice cream, a hard time getting a table for dinner, and a zillion people in the backdrop of every picture you take.

Cruises, both large and small, drop off hoards of tourists in European towns all summer long, making the streets hard to manage and not super enjoyable.

While in Dubrovnik, we chatted to a local family who lives just outside the old city walls. They explained that the city is so mobbed all summer that locals avoid it like the plague. A lot of the quaint, historic charm fades away when you’re you’re elbow-to-elbow with strangers. 

Korcula Island, Croatia / Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography

Because April tends to be light on the tourist front, we found getting last-minute reservations or changing our plans easy. For example, when we found out the weather would be unseasonably warm in Dubrovnik, we booked a boat trip to some islands for swimming and beaches the following day. It would have been much harder to get a last-minute experience on the itinerary during high season, and we would most likely be scraping the bottom of the barrel, tour guide-wise. Instead, we booked with a guide who had oodles of 5-star reviews, and we were well taken care of the entire time.

We also appreciated that the guides, servers, and Airbnb landlords were fresh, unhurried, helpful, and extra accommodating. Our (excellent) white water rafting guide told us he takes groups twice a day, seven days a week during high season. In April, however, he only does a few per week. Everyone else we talked to who works in hospitality or tourism says the same thing: Summer brings an intense workload. That’s not to say you wouldn’t get great service if you travel then, but the people you work with most likely are working 80-hour work weeks and may not have the time or energy to provide that extra pizzazz.

Skradin, Croatia / Photo Credit: JW Brown Photography

For these reasons, I thoroughly recommend spring break as a fantastic time to take your family to Europe. The weather is decent, the crowds are low, and it’s much more affordable.

Do you like to travel with your kids? Have you done any European travel? 


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