The Deal Mommy

This is What Normal People Do While We’re Hacking Spring Break

I love a good travel survey and this week Traveling Mom partnered with Vacatia to find out how 700+ families do Spring Break. The answers are definitely illuminating.  They also show clearly what I’ve been trying to explain to PR folks for years: we Travel Hackers think differently than most other travelers. I answered every single question “none of the above” as would most of you. Because we’re out there hacking Spring Break just like we hack everything else. 

So as a public service I thought I would share the survey results with you along with the answer that most travel hackers would choose. The survey results might help you navigate the awkward bus stop conversation- you know the one. “Where are you going for Spring Break? Branson? How fun! Where are we going? Um…Paris…”. As I also try to explain to PR folks: we spend a LOT of money on travel so it might be helpful to get into our heads! 

BlueBay Beach Club, Gran Canaria, where our two bedroom condo was $88/night. This is my example of hacking Spring Break last year.

BlueBay Beach Club, Gran Canaria, where our two bedroom condo was $88/night. This is my example of hacking Spring Break last year.


What Normal People Do While We’re Hacking Spring Break

Question 1: When did/will you finish planning your Spring Break trip?

Last minute: 28 percent

One Month Before: 29 percent 

Two Months Before: 23 percent

Done in 2016: 19 Percent

The Travel Hacker’s Answer: Well, I grabbed the plane tickets in November when I saw the crazy low fare. 4 Tickets to Europe for a grand? I’m in! (Alternate answer: I booked them on miles 331 days out because it’s our dream destination.) I have a cancel-able hotel reservation on points to be safe but am keeping an eye on my Twitter feed in case anything better pops up. What we’ll do once we get there? No idea. I’ll ask my friends for ideas while I’m in the air.

Question 2: Who’s going on your Spring Break Trip?

The Kids (and spouse): 60 percent

Multi-gen, adult kids, other family members: 23 percent

Friends: 16 percent

The Travel Hacker’s Answer:

A) We’re meeting up with my BFF and her family, whom I’ve never actually met as we’re BFFs over Twitter.

B) It’s just us, but I’m sure we’ll run into someone we know in an elite lounge enroute.

Question 3: What’s the Ickiest part of Spring Break planning?

Coordinating schedules: 38 percent

Choosing a destination: 32 percent

Choosing accommodations: 24 percent

The Travel Hacker’s Answer: Figuring out what to tell the school about your kids’ absences because there’s no way in heck we’re paying to travel on a peak day! 

Question 4: Who makes the Spring Break plans in your family?

Mom: 47 percent

Dad: 3 percent

The Travel Hacker’s Answer: This is the answer that is most different between hackers and regular travelers: more men are travel hackers than women. In fact, more men read The Deal Mommy than women by a large margin- something that took me a while to get used to!  

Over the past five years I’ve seen a big shift towards equality here- I’d like to take some credit for that with Family Travel for Real Life and a general Mom-friendly tone but I know what we do here is a drop in the ocean. I’m just happy to see more Moms and families in the mix.

A Disney World Resort review: I DO recommend the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a terrific value when renting DVC points.

My “Spring Break” plans and final thoughts

Consistent with the survey I’m hacking Spring Break. Ours will actually take place two weeks later when I’m taking the kids and Deal Dad to Disney World. We’re using Southwest points to get there (that I’ve traded in twice to get more cheaply), staying in a DVC points rental and driving home in a $5/day car rental. Because that’s how travel hackers roll. 

Did any of these results surprise you or do they track with your “civilian” friends’ plans? Normal folks: did you know that there’s an entire sub-culture of travel hackers that exist on the fringes of family travel?  How do your Spring Break plans stack up?

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network.

Hacking Spring Break: A new survey by Traveling Mom and Vacatia shows how Travel Hackers think differently than the rest of you.



10 thoughts on “This is What Normal People Do While We’re Hacking Spring Break

  1. Kelly

    I love it! Shout out to all the traveling mom hackers out there! And thanks for all you do to equalize the ranks – including blogging about family travel!

  2. Ann

    Nice job on hacking Spring Break. Deal Kids & Deal Dad are very lucky.

    For me, the best part of hacking = telling people I booked a flight 331 days out with points – hahaha. Usually, by the end of February my family is booked for the year.

    Rebooking Southwest flights for cheaper fares and rebooking Costco car rentals for cheaper rates – is my hobby for the rest of the year.

    Thanks for another great post.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Ann,
      This year has been tough… Just because we are tripping over opportunities! I booked our July tickets to Chile in Jan and now every day I’m seeing all of these insanely cheap summer fares to Europe.
      Thanks for reading and happy travels!

  3. Jo

    I booked our summer Europe trip while in Australia for Thanksgiving. I ended up having to get to Europe again this summer so luckily I had some points to ease some of the burden. I only had points for 1 Southwest ticket left from companion pass year so I had to book 4 rev tix. Not even good rates, but I’ll watch and get credit obviously. Southwest really rules, but I tend to obsessively cancel my plans cause it’s so easy. I’m a female hacker who never goes to the meet ups so I don’t meet anyone in the lounges.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Jo,
      Booking the next trip while on the current one…classic travel hacker move. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pingback: Hong Kong 20th, United New Everyday, James Polk Never Rests - Rapid Travel Chai

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