Updated January 29, 2024
Spring break is just a few months away. If you’re contemplating a March-April getaway, you don’t have much time left to secure your travel arrangements.
Here are our top eight Spring Break picks for 2024. No matter your vibe, there’s something on this list that is sure to appeal to your wanderlust.
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8 of the best Spring Break destinations for 2024
Cancun has become synonymous with spring break, so we had to include it. It’s warm, aesthetically stunning, and the de facto all-inclusive spring break capital of the world. If your fantasy is vegging out in a sunlounger with a tattered plastic “all you can drink” margarita bracelet wrapped around your wrist, Cancun is the choice for you.
Cancun’s main tourist area is called Zona Hotelera (literally “hotel zone”), and it’s where you’ll find most of the Instagram-famous resorts. It’s also the epicenter of the party scene. Those more interested in strobe lights and thumping subwoofers than Mexican culture will have no complaints. Not to say you can’t find tranquility here, but you’re going to rub shoulders with more than a few spring breakers.
It’s not all lounging and dancing. There are plenty of adventure options as well. Crystal-clear cenotes and ancient ruins are just a short drive. And if you head into the city where the locals live, you’ll find unbelievable food atsuperlow prices.
The Caribbean is the go-to destination for many, many spring breakers. But it’s not exactly a stone’s throw from much of the Western U.S. If you live near or on the West Coast, you can fly to Hawaii with a similar flight duration as flying to the West Indies.
Each island of Hawaii provides a distinct offering. Oahu, the most populated island (many times over), brings the most activities to the table with exciting nightlife and a big-city feel while still being steps away from famous beaches such as Waikiki. On the opposite end of the spectrum is rustic Kauai, which is comparatively unadulterated by the “progress” of concrete and skyscrapers.
For those on the East Coast, it’s hard to beat the quick two-hour hop to the genuinely jaw-dropping archipelago of Bermuda. Whether you’re interested in snorkeling, scuba diving, or surfing—or you’re simply content to enjoy dry sand beneath your toes and an orange sunset between your retinas—this is a top-tier spring break destination.
Bermuda is home to world-class beaches, resorts, and restaurants. It’s also one of the most expensive vacation spots in the world. Even the savviest globetrotting backpacker will have trouble maintaining a tight budget in this region. If you haven’t got a lot of money to burn, perhaps look elsewhere.
With cobblestone paths illuminated by gas lamps, Charleston, S.C. is one of those storybook towns. It’s got enormous southern live oak trees that surrender their boughs downward to serve as a perfect reading bench. It also has charming lighthouses and stately antebellum mansions with wrap-around porches.
Charleston is a great spring break city for an easygoing escape. And because it’s right on the ocean, it’s a best-of-multiple-ecosystems destination. Plus, it’s a huge foodie town.
5. Lake Louise
Cupped by the hands of the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise is a stunning glacial lake 5,680 feet above sea level. It can get cold in the spring (sub-40 degree temperatures), but it’s a hard-to-beat destination for those who prefer an active vacation over lounging in a beach chair.
In March, Lake Louise is still covered in white powder from the winter barrage. Ski season tends to remain open until early May, giving you the ability to enjoy lots of snow-based activities—or take part in one of life’s biggest pleasures: après ski. It’s hard to beat roaring fires and boozy hot chocolate in the heart of an alpine village.
If you live within the Eastern or the Midwestern regions of the U.S., Paris is probably nearer than you think—over an hour closer than Hawaii, in most cases.
Paris in the spring is something to behold. Still a bit brisk, it’s one of the best times to avoid crowds and experience this gorgeous city with fewer tourists than in the high season.
Think about this destination if you prioritize a cultural experience over a simple relaxing vacation. There are iconic museums, world-famous landmarks, and some of the best shopping districts on earth. Not to mention, the city is an art and food mecca.
7. Pacific Coast Highway
U.S. Route 101 is perhaps the most famous stretch of road in the country. Spanning the West Coast all the way from Canada to Mexico, it appears as on the bucket list of many road-trippers. The idea of renting a little red convertible and motoring along the photogenic 1,500-mile shoreline with the top down is an enticing prospect.
In early spring, you may not elect for a hardtop-retracted experience down this legendary highway. Depending on where you start, it’ll likely be too cold for that. But you’ll have an excellent climate for walking the various quaint small towns that adorn every bend of the road. From the powerful geyser that is Thor’s Well to the rugged cliffs of Big Sur to the famous Santa Monica Pier, you’ll have to restrain yourself from stopping at every beautiful sight you see.
Miami is another one of those destinations that has something for everyone. Whether you’re budget conscious or you can’t figure out how to spend your money fast enough, you can have an excellent time in this metropolis almost oversupplied with beaches, bays, keys, rivers, and parks. There’s also no short of luxury hotels with fantasy-fueling rooftop pools overlooking the city.
If you’d like a family-friendly day in the sand, you’ll likely enjoy yourself the most at Miami Beach—or even better, North Beach. Those interested in potentially running into their professional Peloton instructor, Vogue cover models, or the cast of P90X will want to head to South Beach. If you’re frustratingly good looking, you’ll fit right in.
How to make the best of your spring break vacation
It’s always a good idea to have some form of travel insurance for an upcoming trip. This is true no matter where you’re going, but it’s especially critical for areas known for inclement weather—be it hurricanes or snowstorms.
Travel insurance gives you the ultimate flexibility in deciding the specific scenarios you’d like to be covered for. Do you want protection against delayed flights? Do you want a cancel-for-any-reason policy? Do you want to insure your prepaid hotel stay in case of illness?
Travelex is a popular travel insurance provider. You can be covered for things like coronavirus-related incidents, lost or delayed baggage, trip cancellation, and more. You can even bundle rental car insurance into your plan so you aren’t pressured into paying for the rental agency’s in-house policy (which can easily cost $12 or more per day).
Save with rewards and travel credit cards
Credit card rewards are the easiest way to book your travels for pennies on the dollar. With a bit of strategy, you can book five-star resorts, fancy rental cars, and flights for nearly free. Rewards credit cards come with welcome bonuses that can be worth over $1,000 in free travel. Open one or two of these cards and earn their bonuses before your spring break trip, and you’ll be sure to save a bundle.
Another cost-effective way to guarantee your travels are covered is by using one of the best travel credit cards to pay for your reservations. Many of these cards confer top-notch insurance. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card will provide many of the same types of coverage as a paid policy, including trip delay insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and primary rental car insurance. As long as you pay for your travels with the card, you’re automatically covered—except for rental car insurance, which requires you to actively decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW).
TIME Stamp: Think outside the box to avoid crowds
Mexico and the Caribbean islands tend to be the go-to destination for many U.S. travelers on spring break. And for good reason— the beaches and scenery are absolutely breathtaking. But don’t feel like you’ve got to trudge the same humid path as everyone else. There are plenty of places to go that possess just as much beauty and adventure, but without the overtourism.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Where is the most popular spring break destination?
Mexico tends to be the most popular spring break destination, namely Cancun. That said, Mexico offers a number of other excellent options, including Riviera Maya, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta.
Where can you go in the Caribbean to avoid spring breakers?
Pick a Caribbean destination that doesn’t have an infrastructure that caters to the party scene. An island like St. Lucia is low-key and dazzlingly beautiful, and you can find small beaches all over the island. Even if spring breakers make their way there, they’ll be easy to avoid. Also (if you can afford it) consider the relaxed atmosphere of St. Barths, which manages to keep away a lot of spring breakers due to its prohibitive prices.
What is the most popular spring break week in 2024?
The most popular spring break week usually depends on which level of education you’re subject to. College students tend to get around the second week of March, while K-12 tend to receive the last week of March—or even the early part of April.
Is Punta Cana a spring break destination?
Yes. Punta Cana is a spring break destination, along with other areas of the Dominican Republic, thanks to its out-of-this-world beaches, active nightlife, and favorable exchange rate.