What are your kids doing next summer?
It may seem strange to start thinking about summer camps for your kids when there’s snow on the ground, but laying out an entire successful season of activities can be difficult without good planning.
Kids usually have about 10 weeks of summer available to plan activities and family events. And while the price of some activities won’t change much, the availability of those activities do.
What to Book during Winter
Summer camps are best booked during the winter. Here at Classroom Antics, we see consistent trends among parents each year:
- Biggest discount and best availability during Black Friday weekend. More parents each year are registering for camp during this time. Last year, 2018, yielded Classroom Antics’ largest sign-ups in our 12-year history during that time frame. Parents are planning in advance.
- The earliest any of our summer camps has ever sold-out has been in January. This is not common, but it has happened.
- Most parents register for camp during March. Maybe it’s because the snow starts to melt, the birds start to chirp, or the grass starts to grow. Whatever the reason, most parents start booking camps during this time.
What Can Wait Until Spring
Hotels and flights for family vacations are best booked closer to summer.
The team at TripAdvisor looked at pricing data from July 2016 through August 2017, finding the window “when hotel prices were consistently less than the destination average.” They found it was best to book your hotel 1 month before travel. The same can be said about flights, about 4-5 weeks before travel.
Last Minute Stuff
If you’re familiar with the Rocks, Pebbles and Sand story, it’s best to think of the last minute activities your plan during summer as the sand in your jar.
During the summer, you will find some activities that are highly flexible. For example, you may have an amusement park nearby. Or you may have another city that your family would like to visit that is only a few hours away. Or maybe you have some fun activities in your own city that you’ve been itching to explore. These are perfect example of events that you can plan during the summer.
This planning method allows you to adjust based on weather, finances, health, mood, and other planned activities.
Cancellation and Trip Insurance
If you want to maintain total flexibility and protect yourself against unforeseen events that can disrupt your summer plans, make sure to purchase refundable travel and cancellation insurance (if applicable). This expense is typically around 10% of the actual cost of travel or camp, and it can be worth it if buying in advance.
At the end of the day, these are only suggestions, and you do not need to follow these tips to be successful. The activities and memories you provide your children will last a lifetime. Have a great summer!