spring break vacation ideas

What spring break ideas do you have this year? Are they all filled with idyllic images of lazy beach days and perfect sunsets?

Or do you dread the idea of packing up the family for a long drive of mild carsickness and spilled snacks and ‘are we there yet’? Days on the beach with sunburns and drunk college students and the house rental that looked so much better in the pictures?

We are not spring break experts. Far from it. But we do sympathize with that need to get outta town in the spring.

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After a long winter spent shoveling and scraping, a week of pure, unplugged, vacation can do a world of good. Vitamin D is good for the skin and good for the soul.

Because people love to ask us, ‘where should we go next?’ we put together 52 (yes fifty-two!) holiday itineraries, covering all regions of the world. What we envisioned as a long blog post became a full-on ebook. Below are three of our favorite itineraries from the ebook – a few that are perfect spring break ideas, alternatives to the drunk college students, carsick version that you may face otherwise.

If you’re interested in the other 49 itineraries, you can get all of them for FREE by signing up for our monthly newsletter. We promise we won’t spam you and our newsletter is the first place where we share the real news of our lives – not just the edited and fine tuned version we put on the blog.

Look for the dark blue boxes at the bottom of this page where you can put in your details and the ebook will be on its way to you straight away.


Nicaragua

Central America is a great place to spend a week because destinations are nice and close together. Arrive in Managua and spend a day getting your bearings before moving on. On the one hour drive to Granada, the oldest city in the New World, stop at Masaya Volcano National Park for a good dose of nature. Granada is worth a day or two on its own, with its bustling markets, boating on Lake Nicaragua and taking in the unique and varied architecture.

Travel by car to San Jorge Ferry Port, and catch a ferry to Ometepe Island, located in the center of Lake Nicaragua. The whole journey will take less than three hours. On Ometepe, there is lots to do, including two volcano hikes, touring plantations, relaxing in natural springs, or seeking out ancient petroglyphs.

South of Lake Nicaragua is San Juan del Sur, a beach town and surfer’s paradise, full of funky yoga studios, catamaran cruises and fantastic photo worthy sunsets. If you’re in San Juan del Sur over a weekend, you can participate in one of Central America’s most notorious parties: Sunday Sunday. We’re guessing there’s more to this crazy party than brunch and naps, our usual activities on a Sunday.

spring break ideas view of boat on beach

spring break ideas the view of a pristine pool

Peru Highlights

There are lots of people who will tell you that visiting Peru, with all of its natural beauty and wonders, cannot be done in just a week…but we must disagree. Here is one itinerary that is definitely manageable.

Fly into the capital, Lima. Most international flights arrive in the evening, so check into a hotel in the Miraflores neighborhood. On day two, spend the day exploring Lima. Check out the famed churches (La Catedral de Lima or Iglesia de Santo Domingo), visit a museum (Museo Larco is frequently mentioned as the best) or relax with a walking or sightseeing tour.

The next day, fly to Puerto Maldonado and get your fill of the Peruvian Amazon. We recommend being based at a local eco-lodge, spending your days zip lining, kayaking and maybe taking a boat trip down the river.  After a few nights in the jungle, fly to Cusco, the jumping off point to Peru’s most famous attraction, Machu Picchu. Spend a day getting adjusted to the altitude, and take the train to Machu Picchu (treks are 4+ days), which can be explored in a day. A final flight will get you back to Lima.

spring break ideas peru's luscious highlands

spring break ideas a gorgeous view of macchu picchu

spring break ideas Peru's majestic mountains

Southwest (US) National Parks

If you love to drive and pack your days to the fullest, you can squeeze in three amazing US National Parks in one week, with plenty of time for hiking, climbing, or rafting. Begin in the fun town of Moab, Utah, with its quaint downtown, full of shops and cafes. Just outside of the town is the entrance to Arches National Park, one of the smaller National Parks, but one of the most stunning. The naturally occurring stone arches are quite a sight, and the compact size means that a majority of the park is easy to access.

The entrance to Canyonlands National Park is just outside of Moab, so you can stay in one town and explore both parks. Canyonlands offers more opportunity to enjoy water sports, from canoeing to white water rafting on the Colorado River. From Moab, head south through the desert to the Grand Canyon, about a five hour drive.

The Grand Canyon Village is a common starting point for visitors, though you could also enter the park from the east, and snap some photos of the significantly less busy East Rim, before planning a couple days of in-park activities. After a long journey, you don’t have to go far for accommodations, as there are a few places to stay within the park itself, especially if you want to camp for a night or two.

spring break ideas arches national park in moab utah

spring break ideas arches national park in moab utah

spring break ideas grand canyon national park arizona

We hope your spring break is filled with fun and sun, and that you have plenty of ideas for how to make it memorable this year.

And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to see our other 49 ideas – we promise one will suit you! Happy Spring Break!

Spring Break Trip Ideas-min

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  • February 25, 2017

    We are always looking for fun ways to spend Spring Break, and love that you included so many ideas here. I like how you included some non-traditional ideas as well – so much more out there in the world than just the typical resort vacations (although those are pretty great too!)

  • February 25, 2017

    Amazing work, guys! Can’t wait to see the rest of the list. Just from this sample, I can tell it must be packed with great ideas.

    Visiting the National Parks in the USA is certainly a great idea. I’ve been to a few and can’t recommend them enough.
    Hugo Cura recently posted…A long weekend in TrondheimMy Profile

  • February 26, 2017

    All of these destinations would be great any time of year! I’m currently looking at a trip to Nicaragua myself.

  • February 27, 2017

    Not gonna lie, I would skip Lima, I felt it was too commercial and the beaches there are rocky and dirty. If you are going to Peru then sure hit Cusco cause it is awesome but skip Lima unless you want to visit the Miami of South America.
    Interesting call on the Nicaragua, would have never had that one on my radar!
    Eric || The Bucket List Project recently posted…The Travel Whispers Blogger ChallengeMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017
      Julie

      lots of mixed things about Lima, definitely agree. Thought it might be a good option for some people though. Agree about the beaches, with is a shame.

  • February 28, 2017

    I wouldn’t mind spring break in Peru. Machu Picchu is nearing the top of my bucket list.
    Mags recently posted…*Guest Post* A Three Day Sydney ItineraryMy Profile

  • February 28, 2017

    What great ideas! I actually did the Southwest National Parks last spring break and it was the perfect time to go. Not too hot and not too cold. I’m heading to Central America this year, but back to Costa Rica and Mexico. The Peruvian Amazon, though, is high on my list! It just sounds amazing!
    Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie recently posted…A Spectacular Day Dog Sledding in Finnish Lapland with Bearhill HuskyMy Profile

  • February 28, 2017

    Spring Break is definitely a good time to go on a short getaway! I haven’t been to Peru but I did go to Nicaragua a few years ago. I agree that it can be easily visited in one week (which is what we did). It’s such a great country with lots to offer!

  • March 2, 2017

    You have some of the most stunning photos! Definitely one of my favorite travel blogs 🙂 Spring break is all about relaxation for me. So anywhere with a beach please! Great post, thanks for sharing.
    Carmen’s Luxury Travel recently posted…H2O Suites Opens for Adults Only in Key West, FloridaMy Profile

  • March 2, 2017

    I have always heard that Nicaragua is the best price, safe destination in central America. I was cruising Facebook last night and saw a friend of ours in a pipeline on surf holiday there. It was an amazing wave. Anytime you can get to Machu Picchu it would totally rock. I just wanted to revise a your Grand Canyon suggestions.

    I think you meant “North Rim” and not East. To the east of Grand Canyon Village (park headquarters) is the Watchtower and to the west is Havasupai and the catwalk. The North Rim is considerably higher than the South Rim at about 8500′ and subject to road and services closures so you would want to check the website before planning a spring trip. Even if it was open, you need to be prepared for winter camping since it is about 30′ colder at that elevation than sea level.

    Still, that was a great list and those three would be awesome spring break trips to chase away the winter blues.
    Jenn and Ed Coleman recently posted…Happiness in the Rearview MirrorMy Profile

    • March 5, 2017
      Julie

      We did enter at the East Entrance on the East Rim Road. It overlooks the canyons and the site of the famous plane crash from 1956. We found it incredibly quiet and peaceful. Not more than a handful of cars in that area.