As usual you may have procrastinated your spring break planning until the last possible minute leaving you in a precarious situation: Stay at home and endure the endless Facebook updates of your friends as they sit poolside or take the plunge and book a last-minute spring break destination. Historically, the last-minute booking of flights and hotels is something to break even the biggest budget, but with giant booking sites that like Hotwire, Skyscanner, and Travelzoo, last-minute bookings are also where you can find the best deals on the market.
Before you give into defeat by flipping on the TV and burying yourself in junk food, make one final effort to get yourself (plus friends and family) on a plane to somewhere relaxing and exotic. There are cheap, last minute spring break options for every traveling style. Whether you’re a beach guy, want adventure, or are looking for a once in a lifetime ski trip, there is an affordable destination that is certain to keep you and your spring break crew entertained.
If you don’t have time to get or renew your passport or just prefer staying stateside, Tampa’s beaches, warm weather, and nightlife may be the destination for you. Tampa offers inexpensive domestic flights that average just $322 round trip. This means if you’re close to an airport with an airline that makes regular, direct flights in and out of Tampa you may get your plane tickets at an even lower cost. This gulf-coast beach town is packed full with museums, beaches, and amusement parks by day and a lively bar and music scene by night.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
If you’re into culture, history, and architecture, Santo Domingo may be your perfect getaway. Not only is it close to the U.S. (read: Minimal flight time) but it offers a peek into a totally different culture. Despite being on the Caribbean Sea, this city is no beach town. The area is jam packed with historically significant sites like the Catedral Primada de America or the Columbus Lighthouse. The city’s vibrant nightlife and entertainment based in Malecon is said to be the best in the Caribbean.
With its legendary pink sand and crystal clear water, it’s easy to forget that this tiny island is just a quick, typically inexpensive flight from the East Coast. Bermuda is sure to fill your spring break with dreamy beaches, poolside bars, and all the fresh fish you can eat. Make sure to check out Elbow Beach for safe swimming and long ocean-side walks, Horseshoe Bay for a family beach day, and Church Bay for stunning snorkeling adventures.
If you want to skip the typical beach scene, head to the Pacific Northwest for your fill of creative food cart cuisine and more hipsters than you can count. This city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Portland weird,” which can be experienced through the city’s unique vibe, cool street art, and awesome restaurants. Getting out of the city is easy with both the Oregon Coast and Mt. Hood a short drive away offering late-season skiing, hiking, and ocean views.
Lake Tahoe, California
If your heart is set on a spring break packed with skiing, you may already know that the affordable options are limited. However, Lake Tahoe’s many ski resorts offer affordable rates, so you can pick and choose a mountain, lodge, and ski area to suit your spring break needs and budget. This Northern California ski zone has gotten 23 feet of snow this season, making it a great year to take the plunge and enjoy a spring break in the mountains.
For a spring break packed with action, Costa Rica should be your go-to destination. The small, Central American country has lush rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and plenty of wildlife (think monkeys, toucans, and jaguars). Not only is Costa Rica fairly affordable to get to but the cost of living is low. Where else can you hike active volcanoes, zip line through rainforests, and learn to surf in warm, turquoise waters?