College Spring Break often brings to mind images of white, sandy beaches, MTV videos, crowds enjoying the good weather and music, and endless nights of partying and memories with friends that you’ll always remember. With the end of winter comes the beginning of Spring, and what better way to ring that in then celebrating with friends during a weeklong vacation?
Maybe you already have a vacation booked, or, if you’re like me and plenty of others, have been procrastinating and really need to find a spot ASAP before winter blues get to you. Check out our list below for some necessary Spring Break ideas, including some you might not have thought about before:
Hear me out: yes, it may not be warm and sunny like the Bahamas, and sure, you’ll probably have to wear your jacket. But Europe in March can be worth your time and money: not only are flights still relatively cheap (if you’re lucky, you can fly to Spain, France or Amsterdam for less than $400 roundtrip on airlines like Norwegian) it’s also a great way to explore cities in the offseason before it gets crowded during the busier summer months.
This means more of an authentic experience with locals, less crowds, and more access to really getting to know a city. After all, isn’t that what travel is all about? My friends and I visited Milan, Berlin and Prague during my senior year spring break, and I do not regret that decision at all! I recommend sticking to countries that are closer to the States, like Spain or Portugal, as well as cities like Paris or London. These flights are roughly 6-8 hours from the East Coast, and won’t break the bank. Accommodations are also much cheaper and easier to find during the offseason, and splitting a reasonably large apartment or Airbnb with a couple of friends won’t run the bill too high either.
As most of us know, Mexico is, and always will be, an iconic spring break spot. Tulum or Cancun, anyone? Not only are both an easy flight from the States, they’re also Spring Break veterans, with hundreds of resorts to choose from that will offer package deals for the savvy, young college student who is looking for a more traditional experience. However, just a bit further down, one can find Puerto Escondido, with its surf town vibe and sandy beaches. A smaller city, there aren’t large hotels or resorts: instead, visitors opt for Bed and Breakfast spots, or Airbnb.
The local vibe, authentic Mexican food and culture affords a more relaxed experience that will surely leave a lasting impression. On your way back, a stop in Mexico City for 1-2 days will more than be worth it. CDMX is one of the most vibrant and culturally active cities in the world, with plenty of restaurants, nightlife and cafes to see, as well as historic sites like Frida Kahlo’s House or Teotihuacan. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Who doesn’t enjoy live jazz and more beignets than you can eat in a lifetime? New Orleans, or Nola, as it is affectionately called, is known for some of the best Southern food, jazz music, festivals, plenty of events, historically African-American neighborhoods, a strong sense of culture, and so much more. With the weather in Louisiana seasonally warm year round, Nola is also a great destination pretty much whenever, minus Hurricane season in August. If it’s too busy during Spring Break, consider coming back another time during the year. Bonus: you don’t need to much time here; I would say roughly 3-4 days, meaning you can also get some time to relax at home before heading back to classes.
For us East Coasters, a flight to California is often as long as (and expensive) to fly to Europe. That being said, don’t rule out life in the Golden State. With temperatures in the mid 70’s during the day, spring break in California isn’t too bad. A visit to LA, where one can explore hiking trails, some of the best Mexican food (outside of Mexico that is) or drive down to Santa Monica Pier to take in beautiful sunsets, does not disappoint. Whether or not you’ve been to the City of Angels, there are always new things to explore: if your idea of Spring Break includes learning something outside of the classroom, check out The Broad, a contemporary art museum with free admission (we love free!) as well as plenty of other cultural experiences and events found in the City of Angels.
The ideas above for Spring Break above are only a taste of where you can go for a weeklong vacation during school. It can be tough as a college student to justify and afford a trip in the middle of the school year, so make sure to research the best places to stay that allow you to get the most out of your money for less.
And remember, it isn’t always the big resort vacations: it’s worth looking into other places that may have more affordable/authentic experiences, even if its nearby. Enjoy, and happy spring break!
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Taj Cutting is an interior and experience designer who loves to travel. When not exploring the world, she enjoys writing, kickboxing classes and eating more Mediterranean food than she can manage!