Some of your friends may already have returned with a tan from their Spring Break trips, but there’s still time to make yours just as epic, if it hasn’t hit just yet. There’s still time, even if you haven’t settled on a destination yet, and you don’t have to travel across the world to take a social media-worthy trip this April or May. If you live in North America and want to take a trip fairly close to home, here are some of the best (and cheapest) Spring Break destinations.
Head To One Of These 10 Amazing Destinations For A Late Spring Vacation
1. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Nothing spells truly taking a break from your busy life quite like vacationing on an island, and a trip to Ocho Rios will let you escape on the cheap. Aside from the typically inexpensive price tag, compared to many other Caribbean destinations, many American and Canadian visitors may appreciate the ease of traveling to a mostly English-speaking country. Ocho Rios is a great choice for anyone looking to spend Spring Break firmly planted on the beach, taking in picturesque scenery. If you don’t mind feeling like a true tourist, you’re bound to find the party at Margaritaville Ocho Rios, and shouldn’t miss a daytime excursion to climb Dunns River Falls.
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2. Panama City Beach, Florida
If you live in the southeast United States, chances are you have already considered Panama City Beach as a Spring Break option, and with good reason. This well-known spring break spot continues to be a cheaper option despite its abundant natural beauty. The city prides itself on its slogan of the “World’s Most Beautiful Beaches,” and it also contains two state parks. Both parks can be accessed for a relatively low-cost, and St. Andrews State Park also offers boat tours to the pristine, Shell Island, for an additional fee. It doesn’t stay pristine by accident, though; be aware that there are no restrooms, trashcans, or concessions on the seven-mile barrier island.
3. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is another one of the Caribbean’s cheaper islands, despite Punta Cana’s thriving tourism industry. The city’s airport is the busiest on the island, and easily accessible from several cities around the United States. Aside from its beautiful beaches, you may not realize that this tropical paradise also has a rainforest. With all the money you’ve saved elsewhere, you may want to splurge on a dune buggy or Jeep excursion through the jungle.
4. Cancun, Mexico
Perhaps the most notorious spring break spot, Cancun, Mexico will not disappoint you as one of the top party destinations for college students. If you’re traveling there from the nearby United States, the exchange rate will be well in your favor once you arrive at your destination. Vacation rentals with crystal blue Caribbean views are common here and ideal for sharing with a few friends. During the day, you can relax for free at Playa Tortugas, or “splurge” on the $7-$8 for the ferry to Isla Mujeres. Also, if you buy your food and tequila at a local market, rather than paying restaurant and club prices, you can avoid falling in to expensive tourist trap pricing.
5. Washington D.C.
One way to avoid paying too much during peak Spring Break season is to head to an atypical destination. Washington D.C. may not be known for its beach parties, but it still has a lot to offer Spring Breakers on a budget. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival takes place from late March through early April, and features more than 200 cultural events, performances, and activities. If you arrive during the peak bloom period, you can enjoy the rare beauty of the cherry blossoms via a walking tour or paddleboat excursion. Luckily, D.C. is known for its efficient public transportation, so you will be able to save money while navigating the city.
6. Nashville, Tennessee
It may not be tropical, but if you’re looking to warm up from a frosty winter, Nashville is still a good place for that with average highs in the 70s for April. Country music lovers – and music-lovers in general – will love this city’s bar scene, especially along the famous Broadway strip. Live music is found in more places than not, and this is your opportunity to see a lot of musicians and songwriters before they hit it big. If you’re looking to escape the city and commune with nature, a visit to Shelby Bottoms Greenway Natural Area is completely free, and you can even bring your on-leash dog. The 960-acre preserve offers hiking and biking trails, and a chance to view local wildlife.
7. Montreal, Quebec, Canada
If you live in North America, Europe may not be a feasible trip for a tight budget, but Montreal could have what you’re looking for, in a closer locale. The historic district, Vieux-Montréal, is full of historic buildings dating back to the 17th century, and even quaint, cobblestone streets. Not to mention, you will have the opportunity to practice your French with native speakers.
8. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Whether you’re looking for a place to party, or a family-friendly destination, Myrtle Beach has exactly what you’re looking for in a Spring Break. U.S. residents can spare themselves the costs of an international flight by staying stateside, and East Coasters frequently road trip to this classic hot spot. Of course, one of the main draws here is the 60 miles of beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Catering to the college crowd, you can expect beach parties and standard Spring Break fare, like Senor Frogs. Families can enjoy a trip to Family Kingdom amusement park, golfing (mini and regular), or a hike in the Myrtle Beach State Park forests.
9. Whistler, British Columbia
There’s no hard and fast rule that says you can’t enjoy a snowy escape for Spring Break. Early April is actually one of the cheaper times to vacation in Whistler, as it is a lower season for tourists. And, if you’re traveling from the U.S., you can take advantage of the exchange rate being in your favor. Whistler is an ideal destination for passionate skiers, with thousands of acres of mountain terrain. If you head there in early April you can also take advantage of the Whistler World Ski & Snowboard Festival. Along with impressive athletic spectacles, you can expect free outdoor concerts and fun nightlife.
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
It could quite possibly be considered a fact that nobody loves a party more than New Orleaneans. NOLA may be known for Mardi Gras, but the locals here will accept and every excuse for drinking, parades, and merriment, so you’ll still have plenty of reasons to visit in April. You can bring your drink with you (it’s legal here!) while you stroll through the French Quarter and admire the ornate architecture. However, you may want to avoid staying too close to the Quarter, if you’re on a tight budget; rentals slightly less central will be cheaper.
This article was written by Paula Ashlee Berg.