16 Affordable Spring Break Destinations to Book Now
From breathtaking Europe to the sunny Caribbean, these can’t-miss locales won’t break the bank for your spring break.
Skip the summer crowds—and the summer prices—by taking a springtime trip to the Emerald Isle. Flowers are starting to bloom, lambs are being born, and airfares are around $400 from New York. Just avoid St. Patrick’s Day (March 17) to get even luckier with deals on Dublin hotels: Jurys Inn Christchurch, centrally located near Temple Bar, Grafton Street, the Guinness Brewery, and Christ Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is offering up to 25 percent off stays through the end of March, with rooms under $200 per night.
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
March may be considered the start of the season, with many attractions and restaurants reopening after winter, but it’s still super affordable. Hotels’ average occupancy rates are only at 48 percent, so chances are you can snag a great deal. Plus, the weather is perfect for outdoor activities such as golf, fishing, shopping, or strolling the beach or boardwalk. Beach Colony Resorts are offering 35 percent off your spring getaway, with rooms from just $59 beginning at the end of February.
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
As the winter high season winds down, the spring shoulder season beginning in March is an ideal time to hit the Caribbean: Hotel prices are beginning to drop, yet you don’t run the risk of the hurricane season of summer. Punta Cana is also one of the more affordable Caribbean destinations, thanks to its many all-inclusive resorts, with flights around $300 from New York. Its gorgeous white sand beaches and crystal clear water will have you thinking you got a great deal—and you did, especially by taking advantage of sales like the one at Ocean Blue & Sand resort; rooms cost around $200 per night, 32 percent below the average rate. Here are more of the best budget travel destinations for 2019.
Santa Barbara, California
March and April hit a sweet spot in this normally pricey beachside town. It’s after the rainy winter season but before the summer high season. Although Santa Barbara is a very walkable town, the public shuttle can also be an affordable way of getting to the waterfront and even the acclaimed Santa Barbara Zoo. Enjoy the thriving arts, culture, and food scene of the “American Riviera” (money-saving tip: Many gallery exhibits and performing arts centers are free on the first Thursdays of every month). Outdoor activities on the beach, at parks, and in the mountains also abound. Check into the family-friendly, oceanside Harbor View Inn for just over $200 a night.
The beauty of “April in Paris” is renowned, thanks to the classic song. Fortunately, that hasn’t seemed to affect hotel prices or airfare, which remain low before the summer season begins. If your spring break is in March, it’s an even cheaper time to go, as Parisians will be just starting to regain their joie de vivre as winter exits. Check out the centrally located Hotel Malte-Astotel, a 10-minute walk from the Louvre Museum and also near the Tuileries Gardens and Notre Dame Cathedral, with rates less than $200 per night. Be sure to bring your umbrella for springtime showers, but isn’t Paris more beautiful in the rain anyway? Just look out for these 10 sneaky money traps you fall for every time you travel.
Salt Lake City
If you’re not quite ready to let winter go, try spring skiing in Utah—March is actually one of the snowiest months of the year, and visitors can also ski well into April. Spring skiing offers more sun, longer days, and cheaper prices. Although flights to Salt Lake City are known for being expensive, setting up fare alerts can help you get a great price; and with many slopes less than 45 minutes from downtown via ski shuttle, you can save time and money getting there. Plus, check out “ski and stay” packages (save up to 20 percent) and “kids ski free” deals at affordable resorts like Brighton, Nordic Valley, Solitude, and Powder Mountain. Buying lift tickets in advance also saves cash. You can also stay cheaply downtown for around $100 a night.
Anna Maria Island, Florida
We searched high and low for an affordable spring break destination in Florida, which is at its high season, before settling on family-friendly AMI. It’s a seven mile-long, two mile-wide island near Tampa with no high rises or nightclubs to attract spring break partiers. Rent a bike, walk, or a hop on a free trolley to explore the island’s beaches, and stay in a vacation home to save money. Tampa’s airport is a little farther away than Sarasota’s but likely has better fares—we found prices from just over $200 from New York. Here are 10 more family-friendly destinations even your jaded teenagers will love.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Visitors young and old will love exploring this area in northern Oregon less than two hours from Portland—although it’s not your typical beach destination. The water never gets above 60 degrees, even in summer; so you might as well visit in spring and avoid peak season. This rugged coastal region has countless opportunities for exploring the landscape, from Cannon Beach’s famous Haystack Rock, to Ecola State Park, Blumenthal Falls, the sea caves of Hug Point, and the tidal pools of Arcadia Beach. Cannon Beach also has a quaint downtown full of boutiques, galleries, and eateries. The weather may be iffy in March, but some people actually come to Oregon’s coast to storm watch. Stay at the surprisingly affordable Hallmark Resort and Spa for oceanfront lodgings at less than $200 a night.
Although the weather in March and April can be unpredictable, prepared travelers can get great hotel deals in this Canadian gem during the off-season. Dress warmly and you can still enjoy a stroll around Old Montreal and Mount Royal Park. Plus, there are plenty of indoor attractions, such as Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Notre Dame Basilica. Montreal also has a thriving food scene, so check out both new trendy restaurants and classic eateries, like famous deli Schwartz’s. Flights are around $200 from New York, and centrally located hotels like the Hotel Place d’Armes are just over $100 a night. Don’t miss these 12 travel hot spots you haven’t heard of—yet.
Visitors can get to this cultural hub outside of Phoenix for under $400 from the east coast and less than $200 from the west, with hotels less than $200 a night. Warm and sunny, temps will be in the 70s, perfect for watching Major League Baseball spring training at Mesa’s two stadiums. Visit Mesa Grande Cultural Park to see Native American artifacts and a ceremonial mound, the Arizona Museum of Natural History for dinosaur fossils, the i.d.e.a. museum for children’s learning exploration, and the Mesa Arts Center for all things artistic. Natural sights abound in the surrounding desert landscape as well. These are the most underrated travel destinations in the world.
It’s probably going to still be winter in Iceland—but that’s not a reason not to go during spring break. Depending on when your vacation is, you may be able to score flights for less than $300 nonstop from New York. Once there, visit natural wonders from glaciers and waterfalls to the Northern Lights and the natural thermal baths of the Blue Lagoon. Explore the city itself, including the striking Hallgrimskirkja Church and the Old Harbor, with a stay at many downtown lodgings for just over $100 a night.
Lots of Texan families head to San Antonio in summer for its family-friendly theme parks, so avoid the crowds and high prices by visiting for spring break instead. Plus, with temps soaring over 90 degrees in summer, San Antonio gets way too hot: March and April offer more comfortable temperatures in the 70s, with flowers in bloom and drops in hotel rates as well. Enjoy al fresco dining along the famous River Walk, and remember the Alamo for a look into Texas history. Stay at the historic Menger Hotel, next to the Alamo and a block from the River Walk, for less than $200 a night. Here are more affordable US cities you should add to your bucket list.
New York City
Spring is a glorious time to visit the Big Apple, as New Yorkers are coming out of their winter shell but haven’t yet left the sweltering summer city (when the locals are replaced by throngs of tourists). Get in before the crowds and high prices—participating New York hotels in the InterContinental Hotel Group (which includes Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza) are offering 15 percent off with a three-night stay. Warmer temperatures mean an opportunity to stroll the city streets to iconic spots like Central Park, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dennis van de Water/Shutterstock
Airfare to Puerto Rico from New York is currently around an affordable $300—and your tourism dollars while there will help the island recover from 2017’s devastating Hurricane Maria. Travelers shouldn’t worry about going to Puerto Rico: The island is safe, open for business, and desperate to welcome back tourists to its white sand beaches. Plus, your family doesn’t need any passports to visit. Rooms at the San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel on spectacular Isla Verde Beach can be had for less than $200 a night.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Get ready for outdoor adventure with a vacation in Maine’s natural beauty—and with cheaper prices, as the high season won’t start for a few months yet. Spring in Maine offers hiking, bird watching, whale watching, and fishing, not to mention lobster eating (the crustaceans are caught year-round). Businesses may be just starting to open after the winter, but visitors renting a vacation property don’t have to worry about what’s open or not: It’s the ultimate spring break away from the crowds. Check out the 11 best-ever off-season travel destinations.
Come to this southern Californian playground for ideal spring temperatures, plenty of attractions for the kids, and sunny beach days before the haze of “May Gray” and “June Gloom” set in—and before the peak season of summer. Spring break may still get a bit crowded, but deals can be found for less than $100 a night if you stay in the Hotel Circle area. In addition to the beach (although not the water; San Diego doesn’t often get warm enough for swimming without a wet suit), families can enjoy the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, Sea World, and Legoland. Read on for the best spring break getaway in every state.
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