Have you made your spring break vacation plans yet?
While many Canadian families enjoy ‘stay-cations,’ or shorter, more local trips, a few undertake the planning of a vacation abroad. Lately I have heard of more and more families planning very special getaways, sometimes lasting a few weeks or more.
Headingley resident Yolande Franzmann, her husband Paul and their two children (now aged 15 and 12) did just that. Franzmann says "we decided to opt for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia and New Zealand."
The family had previously travelled to destinations such as Wisconsin Dells, Minneapolis and had gone on some short ski trips. While they enjoyed those trips, they wanted something special and very different.
Not wanting to take the children out of school for too long, they planned their trip at Christmas. They were able to spend two weeks away yet the children only missed four days of school, just before the Christmas break.
They decided on countries that would have good weather at Christmas time. Since it is summer in Australia in December, that seemed like a good choice.
They were able to rent a car in Auckland, New Zealand to tour the coastline. They also spent time in Sydney, Brisbane and Hamilton.
Some of their great memories of their lives will come from snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, trekking on an ecotour that included visiting wildlife sanctuaries that featured koala bears. And the family thoroughly enjoyed the varied animals found at the Australia Zoo.
According to Stats Canada, the top countries that Canadians visit are the United States, Mexico and Cuba. A trip to Australia is still quite the adventure. Why not be bold this spring break?
Valerie Chatain-White is a community correspondent for Headingley. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.