Spring Break is a great chance to spend time with family, but what’s fun AND affordable? With our family of seven, including five kiddos ages 6–15, we typically pile into the car.
Here are some car-trip getaway ideas—in hours, you and your precious ones will be on your way to some well-deserved R&R.
Austin, TX :: ~3 hours,15-minute drive (195 miles from Dallas)
If you’re new to Texas, you’ll definitely want to check out the state capital. A trip to Austin is a getaway that will keep your family active. We enjoyed Graffiti Park and seeing the 1.5 million bats fly from under Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset. We didn’t have an adult night, but don’t let that stop you! Schedule some time to get out sans children and enjoy Austin’s vibrant nightlife and arts scene. The city is also extremely dog-friendly and offers a variety of pup parks. We enjoyed visiting the pooches and watching them swim at Red Bud Isle.
Arkansas, Crater of Diamonds State Park :: ~3 hours, 47-minute drive (235 miles from Dallas)
Take your kiddos mining for diamonds, literally, at the 911-acre Arkansas State Park in Murfreesboro. It features a 37.5-acre plowed field, and it’s the world’s only diamond-bearing site accessible to the public. Diamonds have continuously been discovered in this field since 1906, so you don’t know what you’ll come home with!
Son’s Island, TX :: ~3 hours, 54-minute drive (259.3 miles from Dallas)
Love the idea of glamping, kayaking, fishing, barbecuing, lounging around a cabana, and hanging out with your family and friends? Then this is the place for you! Rates are reasonable for a tent that includes a cabana and fun activities for kids of all ages. Take your toddlers on a boat ride. School-aged kids will love roasting s’mores, and teens can spend hours on the slides and kayaks. They’ll have so much fun, they may even forget about their cell phones for a while!
Mustang Island, Corpus Christi, TX :: ~7 hour, 11-minute drive (436 miles from Dallas)
Whether you want to relax or be active, a great beach for that is no further than Mustang Island! Check out water activities like surfing, kayaking, and swimming. You can also camp, picnic, hike, mountain bike, and bird watch. Spring Break (bird migration season) is a great time to see them.
Albuquerque, NM :: ~9 hour, 41-minute drive (649.7 miles from Dallas)
Named several times as one of the top 10 cities for families to visit. Once you go, you’ll know why! From the zoo to museums with hands-on science experiments for the younger ones, plus hiking, go-carts, mini golf, laser tag for pre-teen and teens…It’s an ideal family vacation destination.
Orlando, FL :: ~16 hours, 20-minute drive (1,089.6 miles from Dallas)
I highly recommend you check out the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites. These rooms make traveling with children of all ages a breeze. Each suite has a kitchen for you to store formula/baby food and save money by making your own lunches. Rooms with bunk beds are a great option, and there’s plenty of space to stretch out. The hotel offers a full basketball court and game space as well as two pools and hot tubs (happy parents!). The hotel cabanas include TVs and mini fridges and all of the standard dining options (kids eat free at some) and are a super-affordable option. Planned activities poolside keep school-aged children busy; and the mall, with a candy shop, movie theater, and laser tag will keep your teens happy.
For longer car rides, my husband and I usually sacrifice sleep so we can do most of the trip in the wee hours while the kids are asleep. I love this quiet time together when we listen to Audible or podcasts. We also save money and time by bringing a cooler full of food. Take lots of photos and enjoy every moment! These years go by fast.