If you’re still looking for some creative, last-minute ways to celebrate spring break as a military family, here are four easy ideas to consider.
Check your local DOD recreation center
From lake houses to full-service hotels and RV parks, military installations often have recreation facilities and vacation rentals that active duty and retired service members and their families can rent at a discounted rate. Additionally, many on-base facilities offer recreation equipment such as boats, camping gear, and trailers. Depending on where you’re stationed, it could mean a unique, low-cost, and socially distant spring break getaway.
If you’re stationed on the East Coast, you could try Shades of Green Resort in Orlando, Florida, Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area in North Carolina, or one of the coastal cabins maintained by the Coast Guard. In the middle of the country, check out the Lake of the Ozarks Recreation Center in Missouri or Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area in Texas. On the West Coast, look at Seward Resort in Alaska, Pacific Beach Resort in Washington, or Big Bear Recreation Facility in Southern California. For those stationed in Hawaii, try Kilauea Camp and Hale Koa Hotel.
Take advantage of national and state parks
National parks are a great way to have a family-style adventure. Thanks to the America the Beautiful National Park Annual Pass Program, active-duty service members have free access to 2,000 federal recreation sites.
This free pass gives you and your family (per car) free admission to some of the most amazing sites that the United States has to offer. It’s as easy as registering at the checkpoint with a park ranger the same day.
If you are not stationed by a national park, state parks are a great alternative and many also offer free admission for military families. If stationed abroad, be sure to consult with MWR facilities for information on discounted rates for tourist attractions locally.
Consider a road trip
While COVID-19 recovery is still an ongoing battle, many families are not quite ready for a traditional spring break vacation. But that doesn’t mean a change of scenery is not in order. A road trip is a great way to explore the country safely. Whether you decide to use your vehicle or rent an RV, there is no one way to road trip. The goal is to explore somewhere new and accessible to you by automobile. Take the opportunity to explore your state, surrounding states, or head out cross country to explore everything from Route 66’s old Americana Glory to a modern marvel of coastal and scenic highways.
Play tourist at your duty station
So many military families stay at a duty station for years and never get to appreciate the local area. If you would prefer to stay put during spring break, take this opportunity to play tourist in your current home town. Try a scavenger hunt with a different theme each day. Get takeout from a new restaurant or explore a new park/trail. You can find what makes your area unique by learning local history. Not only will you learn to appreciate your current zip code, but you’ll also help to boost the local economy by supporting businesses in your community.
The best tips for avoiding others outside of your quarantine bubble:
Pack snacks for the road.
Book a vacation rental to cook in-house.
Order meal and grocery delivery services while on vacation.
Stop for gas and food only when necessary.