General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Can you suggest ideas for a father-son vacation in March?

Asked by wundayatta (58349 points ) January 10th, 2011

I think we could either go warm or go cold, but not that nasty time that usually happens in March. I think we’d like to do some adventuresome things like bicycling, hiking, swimming, snorkling. It would be nice to have some historic stuff going on. Beautiful architecture would be nice.

It can’t be luxury, but it doesn’t have to be economy either. If the plane ride is less than $500, it could be anywhere from Baja to Banff; Costa Rica to South Carolina.

If there are activities with other ten year old kids, that would be good, but not necessary. No Disneyland stuff. No theme parks. Resorts might be considered.

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29 Answers

SamIAm's avatar

Turks and Caicos is beautiful but may be a little pricey (Beaches was a family destination for us for a while… other kids, relaxing for both of you but plenty of touristy/adventurous stuff to do too). Banff is a great idea… so much stuff to do there – you can camp and hike and do all the outdoorsy stuff. Or what about Whistler? Do either of you ski or board? Would you(/he) be interested in learning?

wundayatta's avatar

I think he would love to learn to board. He might be interested in camping, but we don’t have any gear.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe Xcaret near Cancun.

Or, what about a ranch with horse back riding, log cabins?

I’ve always wanted to do white water rafting, but the places I know of are too cold in March.

Many of the large cruise ships have rock climbing walls, you can lie on the beach when you get to a destination, or swim with the stingray, amd snorkel. Www.vacationstogo.com always has great deals. Or, can at minimum give you an idea what is out there. Cruises you won’t have to worry about where you are going to eat, or changing hotels to see different areas.

SamIAm's avatar

@wundayatta: Camping is so much fun. I bet you could rent stuff. I don’t know where you live but see if that’s possible, if you’re going to drive. I’ve done the outdoorsy thing and stayed in cabins (in Yellowstone) ... that may be a better option. I’d call around in Banff and see if you can rent gear.

Boarding is so much fun… he can take a lesson and it’s certainly better for him to learn at age 10. You can take a lesson too! Do a one-on-one… that’d be a great father/son activity! I’m jealous!

JLeslie's avatar

But camping in Banff in March? It would be freezing.

SamIAm's avatar

@JLeslie: truee, I didn’t think about that. But the cabin thing could work and be a similar experience.

missingbite's avatar

If you want an adventure and beautiful sights, try dog sledding in Ely, MN. It’s cold but in March, it shouldn’t be bad.

Summum's avatar

Google Bryce Canyon and in the same vacation you could go and see Zion Park. When you google these you will see one of the most beautiful places on the planet. The parks are in Utah.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Any baseball fans in da house? MLB Spring Training games are a big draw in Florida and Arizona.

SamIAm's avatar

Bryce and Zion are gorgeous… depending on how much time you want to spend traveling, there’s a lot of stuff around there – Montana and Wyoming are awesome as is Arizona (Grand Canyon—helicopter tours!)

MissAusten's avatar

We spent a week on Kiawah Island, South Carolina and it was an amazing place to be with the kids. Only a short drive from Charleston, which is a beautiful city full of history. We toured an old plantation, spent time at the beach, rented bikes for the week, went horseback riding, saw lots of alligators and other wildlife, swam in the pool, and generally had a wonderful time. Walking around Charleston was such a treat. It was so great, we are planning on going again this year! The island is touted as a golf resort, but none of us care about golf and all and still couldn’t find time to do all of the things we waned to do.

We went in April, and the water was warm enough for swimming at the beach, but only the kids would brave the pool. The days were warm but not hot, and the nights were perfect. We rented a house on the island and split the cost with several other family members. I don’t know what it would cost to rent a place or stay in a nearby hotel for just two people.

Many of the attractions off the island are less expensive than things to do on the island. For example, taking a kayak trip right there was out of our budget (there are five us though, not just two!), but we later found out we could use a nearby company for a much better price. If you are seriously interested in going to Kiawah, pm me and I can let you know a bit about the places we went and the things we’ll do differently next time.

YoBob's avatar

How about a fishing trip. I don’t have a specific suggestion for location, but I’m sure that your favorite search engine can put you on the right track.

Smashley's avatar

I’d consider (but that’s just me, of course) a father/son backpacking trip in a warm, southern part of the US. After you gear up (which isn’t that expensive if you do your research), your main costs will be transportation and food, which is also cheap if you do your research. There’s nothing like an adventure to bring to people closer. Hike during the day, and snack on food and talk around a fire at night. It’s challenging and satisfying and really puts life into perspective. Don’t worry about whether you think your son can pull it off. Anyone can backpack as long as you plan a proper itinerary, in accordance with your abilities, are properly geared and nourished, and aren’t carrying too high a percentage of your body weight on your back.

Kardamom's avatar

Camping is a great idea, you can rent a small to medium sized RV or you could stay in a cabin. That way you wouldn’t need a tent or the “typical” camping stuff. Here’s a link to some cabin ideas in Yosemite Pines that might fit the bill. I haven’t checked out the site to see what the availability is during your time frame, though. And here’s another site for Camp Curry at Yosemite. And here’s a site for Housekeeping Camp at Yosemite.

Also there’s usually hotels and motels near a lot of the great “camping” areas (maybe Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone) so again you wouldn’t necessarily need to get camping gear, maybe just some day-hike stuff like backpacks and food/water carrying stuff, hiking boots.

I’d like to throw in the idea of an historic vacation to Washington D.C. too. I’ve never been there, but my family has and they said it was marvelous seeing the mall, and the memorials and the White House and the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

And another idea is to go to Palm Springs (stay in a motel) and go hiking in the desert at the Indian Canyons and then take the Palm Springs Aerial Tram to the top of Mt. San Jacinto (where there may or may not be snow, but it’s beautiful either way) Here’s a link to the Tram The ride up the tram is one of the most spectacular trips I’ve ever been on. They have new, Swiss made tram cars that rotate slowly 360 degrees while you travel up the side of the mountain. And you travel (in ten minutes time) through about 4 different climate zones on your way up from desert to alpine forest. There is lots of intersting history to learn about the native Americans that first populated the area and tons of very cool information about the building of the tram-line. And there’s lots of kid-friendly places to eat in Palm Springs like Tyler’s Burgers, Ruby’s Diner, Matchbox Pizza, Elmer’s and lots of great Mexican food.

And last, but not least, you could rent a houseboat on Lake Mead or Lake Powell or any other lake where they have them. You can check that out here although I have no idea what the prices are like. You might get a better rate if you were bringing along some other folks, but I’m not sure.

RocketGuy's avatar

Check out where Southwest flies.

My buddy and I did a roadtrip thru Utah – Zion, Bryce, Moab. Then we caught a Berkley vs BYU football game. Fantastic!

marinelife's avatar

What about Grand Cayman? They have a lot of activities that are kid friendly.

tranquilsea's avatar

Banff in March is freezing. Banff in August can be freezing. You could stay at a bed and breakfast or a hotel (not the Banff Springs as it is $$$). The skiing around there is spectacular.

http://www.banffhotels.org/

Sunshine Mountain is a nice mountain to ski: http://www.skibanff.com/ as are Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise http://www.skibig3.com/

Whistler is very expensive. Too bad, really. I remember going skiing there when most of the accommodations were family cabins.

john65pennington's avatar

Spend a little more money and both of you go fishing in Alaska. my son and i made this trip and our memories are worth more than a million dollars. it was our time to bond together again, since my son became an adult. the photos we made are priceless. you will be awwwwd by the sights of an untouched state of Alaska. the air is clean, the water is clean and the bald Eagles flying above you will be burned in your brain forever. and, lets not forget about the fish. there is no comparison on earth, like catching salmon in Alaska.

If you can, make this trip together. your son will never forget and you will never forget it.

Baddreamer27's avatar

What about a trip researching family history. Teach him about his ancestors and where he came from. I took a trip to Ireland and discovered the very village my family immigrated from. Maybe at 10 he wouldnt be interested in so much of the History-but thats where the fishing, hiking and biking comes in.

wundayatta's avatar

I love your ideas! I think most are too expensive, due to the cost of flights. I book a flight and a room and have nothing left for anything else, like food or car. I was interested in Kiawah Island (or anything near there), but the flights cost more than the lodging. However, it seems I can take Amtrak overnight on the way back, and that might be a great part of the trip. It’s a lot less expensive than flying. So that may work.

It’s all so complex trying to fit things into a budget.

JLeslie's avatar

@wundayatta Maybe there are some all inclusive deals?

Kardamom's avatar

@wundayatta Anything that has to do with train travel is a plus in my book and most kids, especially boys love trains. One of the coolest trips I ever took was on the refurbished steam train that runs between Durango and Silverton, Colorado. You can check out info on that trip here

JLeslie's avatar

I love the train. Last year when I looked at rain routes, the Adirondock route out of NYC was very reasonable. Something like $75 each way to go way upstate. Can take the ferry over to VT also, across Lake Champlaign. I had a great time in VT last year, but I recommend it for a summer family trip. Lots of farms, you can see cheese made, and we went to Stowe, met a couple of the Von Trapps at the Trapp resort, they told the real story of their escape out of Austria, we loved it! Also, tour Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory. And, maple syrup making, and up the ski lift, or down the Alpine ski slide, horse back riding. Bunches of things to do and little tours all around that area. But, again, March might be chilly to travel north.

MissAusten's avatar

@wundayatta Why not drive to Kiawah? We drove from CT, spent the night at a cheap hotel halfway along our route, and got to the island at a reasonable time the next day. It was by far the least expensive way to get the five of us down there. Plane tickets were out of the question, and the road trip aspect (which I’d been dreading with the kids) was actually a lot of fun. Although, the lack of Starbucks south of Maryland was truly frightening. I guess it would depend on the time you have. We had Friday to the next Sunday, so spending part of that time driving still made it a worthwhile trip.

On the way home, we spent the night in Fredericksburg VA. I forget the name of the hotel, but it was very old and, even though it didn’t look like much on the outside, had a great old fashioned decor. It was a neat city to walk around after dinner, too.

janbb's avatar

Costa Rica? Maybe you can get a cheap package deal. Wonderful adventurey things to do like ziplining and rafting. Great nature stuff and the people are really nice..

BarnacleBill's avatar

Look at trips to Ireland. Aer Lingus has great packages through the end of March that include airfare and accommodations for about $600 per person.

Here are some suggestions for family fun trips that should be appealing to both you and your son.

Where does he want to go?

seanderson's avatar

Windsurfing could be a great new challenge to learn together. I’ve heard that the Gulf coast in Texas can be good during that time of year and relatively inexpensive, too.

JLeslie's avatar

I tried to windsurf once, and never could get the sail up. Lol. It was at Club Med in Cancun. They have those classes for free and included at Club Med, and Club Meds are around the world.

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