If you’ve done any research on where to go for spring break 2017, you’ve undoubtedly come across the standard spots. Cancun, Punta Cana, Cayo Coco, Las Vegas, Cabo San Lucas – the list goes on. The problem is, these places are where everybody goes for spring break. There are so many other amazing, unique and cheap spring break destinations to choose from. Many of which you might not have heard of.
Below are some spring break trip ideas that are safe and will be a mix of adventure and relaxation without breaking the bank. You’ll also come home with stories and experiences that other spring breakers won’t have. Hopefully, your trip will inspire them to do something different for spring break 2018!
My Top Picks for Cheap Spring Break Destinations
There is a reason that the New York Times voted Mexico City the number one place to visit in 2016. The food is out of this world, it’s very inexpensive, there are cute neighbourhoods, fun nightlife, tons of history and it is much safer than it used to be. Honestly, I could live in Mexico City. If you want to add on another city or two, head to Guanajuato in the north or Oaxaca further south.
Probably the most adventurous of all the cheap spring break destinations on this list, Guatemala is packed full of jungles, temples, lakes and excitement. You could find an affordable flight into Guatemala City and head to Antigua to hike a volcano and drink some delicious coffee. Next, drive a few hours to relax in one of the tiny towns on the shores of Lake Atitlan. If you are up for going a little further, head to Semuc Champey. There you can explore caves, float down the river in a tube and relax in the natural pools. If time allows, make your way to Flores to visit Tikal – one of the most extraordinary of Mayan complexes remaining. Guatemala does not disappoint.
The most inexpensive of places on this list would have to be El Tunco, El Salvador. This is the spot to chill out, relax and try your hand at surfing! You can eat delicious pupusas and ice cream all day for only a few dollars making it the ultimate cheap spring break destination. El Tunco consists essentially of one main street that leads to the beach. My sister and I stayed at a hostel right in the centre that had a sunny pool. Plenty of travellers were always passing through to share stories and talk until the early morning hours.
There are a number of little shops, restaurants and bars to keep you busy and the sunsets, oh the sunsets! The beach fills up with people every night to watch this orange and red show in the sky. You could fly in to San Salvador then take a bus or taxi to El Tunco. Alternatively, fly into Guatemala City, visit Antigua and or Lake Atitlan, then make your way down to El Tunco for a few days to get some vitamin D. When it comes to things to do on spring break, this option has a bit of everything.
In the last couple years, Iceland has become a top destination for travellers. Drawn by breathtaking landscapes and waterfalls, pristine water and the Northern Lights, there’s a reason it is loved. I was a little hesitant to put this one on the list, as Iceland has a reputation (rightfully so) of being very expensive. I added it anyways as I think you can keep costs down with a few little tricks. Ready?
There are low cost flight if you pack light. Avoid the bars as drinks are outrageously expensive but if you must, stick to happy hour which is usually 5-7. If you’re with a group, look into renting a car to drive around and see some of the main sights.Try to book a hostel, guesthouse or Airbnb so you can buy some groceries at ‘Bonus’ and make your own meals. Whether you’re new to Airbnb or have used them before, check out my post about the best Airbnb coupons which could help save some money in a place like Iceland. Although Iceland is more expensive than other spring break ideas on this list, it doesn’t have to break the bank either. It’s also so worth it.
This suggestion of where to go for spring break is a bit of a wild card. When I first visited Panama I was merely passing through, but quickly discovered there is quite a lot to do. You can visit the Panama Canal to watch ships transfer between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. You can walk around the old quarter to admire the historic architecture and street art. The boardwalk is full of people exercising, walking and enjoying the sunset views out over the water. And of course, there’s the bustling fish market which is worth checking out even if you don’t eat fish.
There are a few reasons why I’ve added Puerto Rico to this list. One being that if you’re looking for a last minute spring break trip, this might be the best option. Flights to Puerto Rico are very frequent and with multiple airlines, which keeps the price lower through competition. Many people travel through PR to catch a cruise, but most rarely stay for more than a day or two. They are missing out!
The island is packed full of great food, history, beaches, hiking, nightlife and so much more. There’s even a rainforest, which also happens to be the only tropical rainforest in the US National Forest System. If you stay in San Juan, pick a day to rent a car and drive around the island. Also consider hopping over to the island of Vieques with its bioluminescent bay and beaches or Culebra, another island with one of the top beaches in the world.
The Cheap Spring Break Destinations Round-Up
The above places to go for spring break 2017 are to sure to fill you with experiences and memories far better than drinking on a beach all day. Whether you went somewhere for spring break 2016 or have never travelled before, all of these suggestions can be pretty affordable, accessible to both new and seasoned travellers, as well as safe and exciting.
Hopefully, a trip like this will also get you thinking about a summer backpacking trip or even a gap year when you’re finished school.
As I have been to all the countries above, and 80+ others as well, do not hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment. I am more than happy to help answer any questions you have!