12 Best Last-Minute Spring Break Ideas
Haven't booked a spring break trip yet? Don't panic! There are plenty of fabulous destinations waiting to welcome you, including hidden gem getaways and off-the-beaten-path hideaways that you can book even at the last minute.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.
Spring into vacation
Let’s face it; if you’re reading this, you’re not the early bird getting the spring break worm. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. Sure, if you want to be on the center of the strip in Cancun (the most popular international Spring Break destination according to Allianz), it may be too late to get a prime reservation. But here’s the good news: If you’re flexible, and a little bit adventurous, you can find fabulous getaways for every interest. And these destinations don’t just offer fun for everyone, they’re affordable and brag-worthy as well. Discover the best spring break getaway in your state.
For an ideal spring break on skis, you can’t beat this family-friendly resort town in the stunning Swiss Alps. It’s easy to reach from Zurich by the swift and efficient Swiss Rail, and the storybook town has easily accessible shops, restaurants, skating, horse-drawn sleighs, and sledding, in addition to world-class skiing. Once you arrive, head straight to the Tschuggen Grand Hotel, where everything from decadent molten fondue to Michelin starred restaurant meals, private ski lockers, and spacious indoor spa pool, are part of the inclusive package. They even have their own space-age railway, the Tschuggen Express, up the mountain, exclusively for hotel guests. Find out 15 more places to go in Europe for spring break.
For something completely out of the ordinary, forget hotels this spring break and try glamping (glamour camping) in Costa Rica at the new Nayara Tented Camp instead. Located in Arenal Volcano National Park, guests can participate in sloth sanctuary tours and early morning bird-watching walks with Nayara’s expert nature guide. In addition to the luxury air-conditioned tents with plunge pools, there’s free breakfast, daily yoga, multiple pools, and six restaurants to choose from right on the property. We’ve also rounded up 27 of our other favorite luxury camping picks, too.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Where to take the kids where they’ll be treated like VIPs? From March 1 through April 15, Tourism Santa Fe offers Kids Free Spring Break 2020. The city-wide initiative invites kids 12 and under, and their parents, to “The City Different” for a wide range of exciting, immersive activities and even complimentary meals and accommodations. The dynamic program offers an immersive exploration of Santa Fe’s culture including learn to paint sessions, a chocolate factory tour, southwestern cooking classes, and off-roading Jeep adventures. These 41 mini family vacations won’t break the bank.
Although Bangkok is as far from Wuhan, China, as New York City is from Denver, the worldwide fear of coronavirus is pushing airfares way down to this fascinating Southeast Asian country (we’ve seen airfare at around $600 round trip from both coasts, a nearly 50 percent savings off the route). Take advantage of the bargain fares to spend spring break visiting the Golden Buddha of Wat Arun, the marble palace of Wat Pho, and exploring the sparkling waterways of the Chao Praya River. Base yourself at the luxurious Anantara Riverside Resort which features a massive pool and lush gardens that make it feel like a beach resort instead of a city hotel; and rooms, which include a massive buffet breakfast, are currently starting at around $100. Thailand is also one of the best spring break destinations for avoiding college crowds.
The “C” of the ABC islands, the sunny Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao is home to more than 35 cove-like beaches, SCUBA and snorkeling, the incredible new Ocean Lens underwater observatory, and unique European culture. Making the island more accessible, Curaçao recently announced a new direct flight from Newark on United Airlines, adding to the direct flights available from New York, Miami, Charlotte, Toronto, and Montreal. The island also offers affordable upscale four-star accommodations at spots such as the new Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort. Don’t miss these beaches around the world that are actually better in winter.
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Looking for a quiet Lowcountry beach getaway? Head to South Carolina’s Isle of Palms and Wild Dunes Resort. Located just 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown Charleston, the resort is nestled within 1,600 acres of oceanfront and offers championship golf, nationally ranked tennis, award-winning recreation, spa services, and restaurant options. And for spring break, the resort has a menu of special activities that are unique to the area such as an indigo dying workshop, sweetgrass basket lessons and a playing with fire workshop where you can become your own blacksmith. The resort is also offering up to 25 percent off spring stays through May 21, 2020. These 12 spring break ideas actually cost less than staying at home.
Skip crowded Madrid and instead head a quick 2 hours south on the train to this sunny stretch of Mediterranean where rolling green hills spill down to the sea, and straight to Anantara Villa Padierna Palace, a historic pink fairytale palace hotel. Nearby, visit UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ronda or the scenic Pueblos Blancos (Spanish White Towns) high in the mountains. Golfers will want to tee up for the “Golden Triangle” golf region, with three 18-hole golf courses and the Tramores Golf Academy by Michael Campbell, offering avid golfers of all levels an elevated golfing experience. Find out 20 more spring break destinations for grown-ups.
The Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Petrified Forest, and Saguaro national parks all within 4 hours driving distance of Phoenix, making it a perfect jumping-off point for outdoor adventures. While these popular national parks typically book up months in advance for the summer season, less popular spring break months can be a great time to score reservations before the busy season. And while you’ll happily avoid the burning temperatures that come with summer visits to the national parks in this part of the country, Phoenix offers lovely warm temperatures in March and April. Plus, if you’re really down to the wire planning, you still can rent an RV from Outdoorsy to experience the national parks on a budget, and in style. Make sure you know the 12 unspoken etiquette rules of RV camping.
Looking for great weather and great bargains, too? The sunny island of Saint Lucia recently announced March and April deals at more than 20 hotels, resorts, and villas, many with up to 65 percent off accommodations and activities. And as an added bonus, travelers who pre-register online will receive a themed “Saint Lucia Exploration” bag with everything from local spices to rum and hot sauce. For a late spring break, check out the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival (May 7 to 9), produced in collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center and featuring Patti LaBelle. Looking to island-hop? Find out 10 spring break cruises that are perfect for families.
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Just an hour north of Nashville, Bowling Green is a hidden gem perfect for spring travel. Car lovers will want to start at the National Corvette Museum, which is just across the street from the GM Corvette Assembly Plant, where every single Corvette in the world is produced. Then take a boat ride through Kentucky’s underground Lost River Cave, full of both history and secret passageways; while you’re here, try out the new kid-friendly zip-line that whisks you across the valley of nature trails and blue holes. Take a break at local favorite, Chaney’s Dairy Barn. a working dairy farm that’s on USA Today’s list of best ice cream parlors in the United State. For sport lovers, snag tickets at a BG Hot Rods baseball game, where the home team brings affordable family entertainment to its new state-of-the-art downtown ballpark. Find out where you should go for spring break based on your zodiac sign.
Puerto Rico is the perfect low key, beach destination for spring break. For travelers looking to avoid going through customs, or changing currency or phone plans, Puerto Rico checks all the boxes, since it’s a US commonwealth. And there are gorgeous white sand beaches just minutes from the airport, including San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino. Located in Condado, San Juan, it’s ideal for families looking to spend time in the water since it’s situated just steps from the beach and boasts two large pools, one equipped with a waterslide. And the hotel is close to both Old San Juan for culture and cuisine, the new Distrito San Juan entertainment district, and the natural wonders of El Yunque rainforest. Puerto Rico is also one of the most popular summer destinations.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte is the perfect destination for spring breakers looking for a quick active break with plenty of easy to manage bite-size adventures. The city offers families of all ages a plethora of outdoor activities whether including hiking at Crowders Mountain, rafting at the U.S. National White Water Center (where the Olympic white water rafters train), or riding the world’s tallest and fastest Giga coaster at Carowinds Amusement Park. Stay active at Kimpton Tryon Park, which offers amenities such as PUBLIC bikes to use on the 3.5 mile long art-speckled Rail Trail and yoga classes on their skyline view rooftop. Read on for 15 more spring break destinations you haven’t thought of yet.