Meet: Montoya Hudson of the Spring Break Family | The Expedition
Montoya Hudson of TheSpringBreakFamily in Charleston
Montoya Hudson and her family in Charleston, S.C. Photo: Flytographer

Meet: Montoya Hudson of the Spring Break Family

Just because you love travel doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and take your family on the road. 

Montoya Hudson and her husband, Phil, have explored countless destinations with their two girls, nicknamed Bug and Princess. But they also love their careers, have a complicated schedule because of their blended family, and are happy educating their children in traditional public schools. 

One of Montoya’s missions is to show families they travel on their own terms. That might mean sailing around the globe while worldschooling your kids—or it might mean exploring your corner of the world during weekends and vacations. 

She’s also an expert on saving for travel. On the family’s website, thespringbreakfamily.com, she’s explained that they skip luxuries so they can save money for traveling. We don’t have cable. We clip coupons. We don’t use a cleaning service. We do family dates so that we save on babysitting costs,” she says. 

Montoya shared how her family is traveling during the pandemic, how she makes trips both fun and educational, and their strategy for choosing destinations everyone is excited about. 

In three words, our travel style is…

Relaxed, educational, and fun.

For spring break this year…

We traveled by car from Houston to Atlanta, Charleston, Hilton Head Island, and New Orleans. Spring break looked a lot different this year (road trip and loose itineraries with items easily cancellable) but has been fun (and safe).

Because of the pandemic, we aren’t…

Flying by plane just yet, and we are spending way more time exploring local gems. For longer/further trips, we try to book things that can be canceled without penalty. We leave space for a surge or other incident that might cause us to make a last minute pivot in our plans. 

Also, thanks to Covid, we haven’t had any childcare in over a year and haven’t been able to have any “baecations.” We hope to change that soon.

Princess and Bug enjoying NASA’s Space Center Houston in Texas. Photo: Montoya Hudson

Our very first trip as a blended family…

Was to San Antonio, Texas. We were engaged but not yet married. Bug and I had already been a traveling duo, but Phil and Princess had not. So it was their first foray into family vacations and our first time traveling together as a quartet. Little did we know it would be a precursor into what we are now. 

My best advice for families who want to travel the way we do is…

Just start. You don’t have to travel the way we do; you just have to travel. If you have budget or logistical concerns, start with day trips and slowly work your way up to road trips and/or airplane travel. 

Also, we love to help! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. Our website has lots of tips, guidelines, and travel hacks too, so don’t forget to look there.

Our favorite kinds of destinations are… 

The ones that can be both fun and educational. We always try to incorporate at least a small history lesson into our trips. For example, in our recent trip to Charleston we stopped at places highlighted in the Moon U.S. Civil Rights Trail guide. We were able to learn about everything from the city’s role in the Transatlantic slave trade to local heros like Septima Clark during the Civil Rights Movement.

It’s easier to travel with children if

They are invested in our destination. Sunday mornings during breakfast, we watch travel YouTube videos as a family then write down places that looked fun and interesting. From there, it is just picking the ones that match other logistics like travel time, time of year, etc.

Our packing approach is…

Take everything! I’m kidding, but if you ever saw my luggage you’d think that was my approach. I do try to pack things that cover a variety of scenarios. I always have a medicine bag with all our prescription and nonprescription meds, an emergency bag with medical supplies, a bag with a variety of snacks, and (thanks to the pandemic) a bag with cleaning/disinfectant supplies. For clothes, I also pack things that can be mixed and matched without difficulty and, of course, something for each type of weather event. You have probably guessed it by now, but I am not a light packer 🙂

Our favorite travel app is…

Yelp! Our girls aren’t picky eaters but they aren’t quite adventurous ones either. Also, two of us have food allergies we have to circumnavigate. It really helps us find suitable places to eat while we’re on the go.

For families to learn more about us…

We are most active on Instagram, but we also have a Facebook page. Our website is chock-full with all the information we can’t fit in a limited caption, like itineraries, budgets, tips, and more.

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Sara Clemence is a freelance journalist, formerly travel editor for The Wall Street Journal and news director for Travel + Leisure. She's the author of Away & Aware, a guide to mindful travel.

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