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13 Best Spring Break Experiences for a Once-in-a-Lifetime Vacation

From touring an ice cave in Iceland to a desert camel ride in Morocco, these spring break experiences are anything but ordinary.

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Serene young woman relaxing on sunny catamaran, looking out at blue oceanCAIA IMAGE/GETTY IMAGES

You’ve been working hard and waiting patiently for those two glorious words: spring break! It’s okay if you haven’t decided where you’re traveling to—there’s still time, and this list of extraordinary spring break experiences does not disappoint.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about an island getaway, like the Caribbean islands, where you can swim with tropical fish and pigs (yes, pigs!), or Costa Rica, where you can explore the majesty of an ancient volcano. Perhaps you’d rather be awed by the wonders of the natural world, like the dunes of Morocco or the ever-thrilling Niagara Falls. Or maybe you want to live the good life feasting on the finest foods that Spain has to offer, or eating like a local on the coast of Sardinia.

If a pricey vacation isn’t in the cards, don’t worry! We’ve got a few cheap spring break destinations and some family vacation ideas for all ages, too. These stellar spring break experiences are all about the wow factor, and will leave you with stories you’ll be telling for years to come.

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Bird's eye view of a white boat, swimming in the blue, shining sea under the sunlight
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Catamaran Excursion in Sardinia, Italy

Ready, set, go—for crystal clear turquoise waters, wining and dining aboard a catamaran that guides you around Asinara National Park. Snorkel in the majestic Mediterranean Sea and visit various coves within the region. Designed for up to 12 people, this full-day excursion offers two morning start times. If you’re a foodie, you won’t be disappointed—coffee, snacks, seafood and wine are served throughout the excursion.

We love that you’ll get to visit the marine animal recovery center, and you might even bump into some wild donkeys on this European spring break.

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Swimming pigs swim out to boat of tourists in Exumas Land and Sea Park, trying to grab few free snacks.
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Swimming with Pigs in The Bahamas

Not only will you splash in the surf with The Bahamas’ famous swimming pigs, but you’ll also get to take pictures of native sea turtles. This four-hour tour includes snorkeling and kayaking at Sandy Cay, where you’ll dive among the coral reefs and explore an old shipwreck. Next is an hour-long excursion to Green Cay, a marine protected area with lots of happy sea turtles. Then, it’s off for Rose Island to pet and feed the pigs!

This adventure allows for up to 14 travelers, which is fitting if you prefer smaller group events. “It was a small tour, 13 of us and three crew. It felt like a private tour,” writes one happy traveler.

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Milford Sound
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Cruise and Picnic Lunch From Queenstown, New Zealand

Calling all Lord of the Rings fans! This 13-hour New Zealand excursion packs it all in, journeying over land and water with plenty of snacks and lunch included. From going down the path of an ancient glacier to a mind-blowing tunnel and thrilling waterfalls, you’ll capture tons of dramatic photos. On-land stops include Lake Wakatipu, Devil’s Staircase Lookout Point, Lake Te Anau (which is New Zealand’s second largest lake) and Eglinton Valley. More picturesque lakes follow, along with a pass by the Hollyford River and Darran Mountains, where you might see one of the world’s largest alpine parrots.

But epic spring break experiences don’t stop there! Next, you’re off on a two-hour boutique cruise of the Milford Sound to get up close to some of the wildlife, including adorable New Zealand fur seals. If weather and time permit, you’ll enjoy a fun bush adventure on the Chasm Walk, observing water-sculpted shapes in the rocks.

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Niagara Falls, New York, United States
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Deluxe Sightseeing Tour at Niagara Falls

See the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls in the same day! This seven-hour guided tour departs from the American side, where you’ll view the falls from Cave George Trip and World Changed Here Pavilion. Then, it’s off to the Canadian side to capture breathtaking pictures from a different perspective. Enjoy amazing views from Skylon Tower, and take it all in at Niagara Falls State Park (admission is included). Hotel drop-off and pick-up are available, so check if your preferred accommodations are on the list.

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Riding on a zip line
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Zip-Line in Sevierville, Tennessee

There’s no better way to experience the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee than from the treetops while zip-lining across the sky! One of the best spring break experiences for thrill seekers, you’ll spend two and a half hours flying up to 50 miles per hour down seven different zip lines. Cross three rope bridges during this family-friendly adventure to keep your adrenaline boosted. Safety helmets and harnesses are included, and you can book your spring break experience for up to 12 travelers per group.

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Skydiving photo. Tandem.
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Skydive in São Paulo, Brazil

Attention, adrenaline junkies! This three-hour private urban skydiving experience is unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Enjoy a scenic flight over the city of Boituva before you (and a certified instructor) jump from 12,000 feet for a spectacular one-minute free fall! Reach speeds up to 124 miles per hour before your parachute opens and you gently float back down to earth. You must be a minimum of 14 years old, and this excursion is wheelchair accessible. Skydiving equipment is included, but photo packages are sold separately.

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Arenal Volcano near La Fortuna, Costa Rica
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Volcano Hike and Hot Springs River in Costa Rica

Nature lovers won’t be disappointed during this guided half-day rainforest hike along Costa Rica’s La Fortuna rain forest. Capture wow-worthy pictures of monkeys and tropical birds while taking in pristine views of the northern plains and Arenal Volcano. Swim in a lake formed by an ancient lava river before getting a natural massage under a hot spring waterfall. Make sure to get the luggage that best fits your trip, including some bargain pieces.

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Tourists on train of camels in Sahara led by guide
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Desert Tour From Marrakech to Merzouga, Morocco

If you’re all about the unexpected all-inclusive option, this Moroccan spring break experience might be the one for you. Enjoy three days of hotel accommodations, including breakfast and dinner each day. From the comfort of an air-conditioned bus, click your camera nonstop as you pass by breathtaking landscapes and vistas. Take advantage of two camel rides at sunrise and sunset, and try your hand at sandboarding, which is similar to surfing or skateboarding, but on majestic desert dunes.

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ATV Off-road Fun in Western Desert
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Mojave Desert ATV Tour From Las Vegas

Spend a half day exploring the Mojave Desert on an all-terrain vehicle. Beginners are welcome, as a guide teaches you how to operate the ATV. Helmets, goggles and gloves are provided, along with transportation to and from the Las Vegas Strip. There are plenty of stunning desert photo opportunities (wild bull sightings are common!), so don’t forget to bring your camera.

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Santa Monica pier
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Iconic Sights Tour of Southern California

These iconic southern California sites give you plenty to talk about when you return home from your spring break experience! Spend an entire day seeing the most famous sites in Los Angeles from the comfort of an air-conditioned coach. Well-known stops include the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and the famous Farmer’s Market at The Grove, where you can stop for lunch. Take a short stroll down Rodeo Drive for some glamorous window shopping before zipping down to Griffith Park and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, along with a quick stop at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. You’ll also pass by the Sunset Strip, the Viper Room and the Roxy while cruising through the heart of L.A.

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Man takes a photo in the opening of an ice cave in the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland
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Blue Ice Cave Adventure in Iceland

Fly to Iceland for an intimate tour of an ice cave! Travel by Jeep toward the ice-covered volcano into the Vatnajökull Glacier. Next, with safety equipment and a professional guide, you’ll spend five to six hours exploring sights most people will only see in books and documentaries. You should wear waterproof hiking boots with sufficient ankle support and a waterproof jacket. Rubber boots are provided to cross a small stream upon entering the ice cave. Note: You will need to bring your own food and drinks. Don’t forget to grab your last-minute travel accessories and these weird travel items you might not think of for your trip.

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Tapas Tour in Málaga, Spain

Get your walking shoes on and come hungry for this half-day tour of Málaga! This small group tour offers an authentic take on Spanish eateries and markets. Sample locally made tapas, olives, ham and the finest Spanish wines at seven different foodie hotspots with a local English-speaking guide. As far as spring break experiences go, this may be the most delicious.

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Beautiful Northern Lights aurora borealis borealisgreen Norway nature
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Northern Lights Adventure with Greenlander

Head to Northern Norway to see the Northern Lights. Your guide for this six- to nine-hour tour is a professional photographer who gives tips for capturing the most spectacular images with your camera. (Remember to bring spare batteries and an extra charger!) Hotel drop-off is available, and you’ll enjoy snacks, light refreshments, dinner and coffee or tea through your trip. Keep in mind that if you require a tripod, let them know during booking. If you can’t manage to get all the details together in time for spring break, check out some fun summer vacation spots instead.

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Dianne Bright
Dianne is a full-time writer who loves to travel. She taught college language courses for three years before starting a family and contributing to a variety of parenting and lifestyle publications, covering the environment, books, spirituality and self-care, plants, cleaning and organization, pets, travel, beauty, nutrition, and finance. Her first adult-fiction paranormal novel came out in 2015, followed by two additional novels. Her book of parenting reflections came out in 2021.
Dianne loves literature and has led a community book club for four years; she has also been reviewing titles seasonally for a variety of publishers over the past decade. She is the founder of Green Idea Labs, a group of environmental influencers focused on sustainability and the reduction of single-use plastics. She lives in Southern California with her family and pets.