Top 10 Spring Break Destinations for College Students

By Victoria Robertson on February 18, 2018

While the groundhog may have predicted six more weeks of winter, spring is still just around the corner, and with it comes that week that college students live for: Spring Break.

That’s right, Spring Break is almost upon us, and if any of you procrastinate on planning as much as you do your homework, you probably haven’t even begun to plan your spring break trip. In fact, there are probably plenty of you that haven’t even thought about it yet.

Some students opt to seek out new and exciting spring break destinations for a trip with friends, while others opt to stay home, save some cash and catch up on sleep. Both options have their perks, but for the adventurous types seeking some travel in the near future, there are plenty of (almost too many) spring break destinations to choose from. And, on the plus side, they’re all relatively close to home, which means you’re saving some money on your travels!

So what is a college student to do when the destination options are unlimited and your “want” list is ever-growing?

Not to worry; here are the top ten spring break destinations for college students to help you make a decision much more easily.

Photo Via:

1. Cancun, Mexico

A spring break destination you’ve surely heard of before, Cancun is one of Mexico’s most popular cities when it comes to tourism, and it should be at the top of your spring break destination wish list. Flights to this destination can be a bit pricey during peak times (i.e. spring break), but the all-inclusive resort options help students to save some money as well.

The big draw for this destination is the beach, as you can enjoy those clear, beautiful, Caribbean waters right outside your hotel room. That being said, there is plenty else to do in Cancun as well, as the nightlife is sublime (filled with loud music and good drinks) and the excursions available to you are nearly unlimited.

Do some digging on your end before you travel to this spring break destination, and you’ll be sure to have a spring break trip filled with new and exciting pastimes you’ll be talking about for years to come.

2. New Orleans, LA

The Big Easy, or New Orleans, undoubtedly tops all spring break destinations by a landslide. Boasting of its Cajun cuisine and jazz-filled party scene both day and night, New Orleans is an absolute blast for the college spring breaker. The NOLA culture will leave you wanting more, and the affordable flights and hotel options will make that manageable.

Stop by Pat O’Brien’s for the best Hurricane you’ve ever had (for those 21 and older), or hit up Café du Monde for that sugary beignet and chicory coffee necessary to start your day. And, for those of you that enjoy some seafood now and then, check out any of the NOLA restaurants, as they have catfish, crawfish and crab that will make your mouth water and leave your stomach full.

And if those don’t do it for you, stop by one of the many bars on Bourbon Street for some live music that will have you dancing well into the night and some drinks that you can’t get anywhere else.

New Orleans is an affordable destination that’s perfect for the spring breaker looking to experience something new while simultaneously having the time of their life with their closest friends.

3. Panama City Beach, FL

While you and your family may have visited Florida on those family trips to Orlando to visit Disney World or Universal Studios, PCB is a much different type of spring break destination. This location will not be for everyone, but I can promise you that come spring break, this beach is going to be filled with college students just looking for a good time.

PCB is in northern Florida on the Gulf Coast and boasts of its sandy beaches that stretch for miles. But you can bet that come spring break, every inch of that sand will be filled with party-goers looking to soak up some rays and party with the best of them.

This is undoubtedly one of the rowdiest destinations on this list, so if that doesn’t fit your vacation style, you may want to sit this one out. That being said, this is a great destination if you’re looking for a low-cost beach trip with your friends this spring break. Many opt to drive (to create a road trip with their friends) while others seek out low-cost flights to Florida. Either way, this destination isn’t going to break the bank.

4. Nassau, Bahamas

The Bahamas: a tropical destination you hear brought up time and time again. And this year, it might just be on your spring break destination radar. Just a bit south of Florida, this destination has those white sand beaches and clear waters you crave in the snow-filled, US winters.

This destination is a great choice if you’re looking for relaxing, sunny days and wild, party-filled nights, as the Bahamas’ nightlife is rich and alive with plenty of clubs to choose from and the daytime options are unlimited. You can also spend your days hitting some tourist attractions or simply being a beach bum; either way, you’re winning.

There are also cruise packages to consider if this is a destination that you’re interested in. Take a look at some of those spring break cruise options and pick an option that works best for you and your friends’ needs.

Infographic by Victoria Robertson

5. South Padre Island, Texas

An up-and-coming spring break destination, South Padre Island is another fun and beachy option for your spring break. Not only can you visit sea turtles and enjoy some dolphin excursions, but you can also lay out on the beach with plenty of other college students seeking the same break from college life.

Also located on the Gulf of Mexico, right off the southern tip of Texas, South Padre Island is a party destination for many, and a great option for a spring break trip. So long as you’re comfortable with crowds and rum buckets sold on the beach, this destination should be at the top of your list!

Flights can get pricey the longer you wait, and rooms tend to fill up quickly, so make your plans, book your trip, and wait for your beach paradise to impress you this spring break!

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

On both the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Punta Cana is yet another infamous tourism destination oozing beachy vibes and tropical paradise feelings. This is a great destination if you’re looking for those cost-saving, all-inclusive resorts, as there are plenty of them!

And if adventure is more your style, this destination offers zip lining, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling and other water sports that will fit your adventure needs.

So if you like to hang back and enjoy the resort, or get moving and enjoy some outdoor excursions, this destination is going to be an absolute win for you!

7. Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas! This spring break destination may be best suited for those 21 or older, so if you fall into that category, this is a trip that you won’t soon forget!

The plus side on this one is that it’s affordable, especially due to the partnership with Spirit Airlines, which provides college students with low airfare rates. On top of that, there’s always the possibility you’ll win it all back if you’re a gambler! (If not, no worries, there’s still plenty of fun to be had).

The drinks can get pricey (unless you’re gambling), so make sure you budget accordingly!

Every hotel has a different theme and you’re going to want to visit them all, as it’s truly a sight to be seen. There are outdoor and indoor shows constantly, and something to look at in every corner. Your eyes will definitely never be bored on this trip.

Done believe me? Talk a walk down the main strip just for the views alone (for best results, do this at night), catch a few shows that you’ve been dying to see and enjoy the company of your friends on this unforgettable, spring break trip!

8. Jamaica

This is a destination that can fall on the pricier side of things, but it’s definitely a destination that’s well worth the trip. Jamaica, known for more than that reggae, Bob Marley style, is a beautiful, tropical location that has plenty to offer its tourists.

From authentic cuisine to adventure and thrill-seeking, Jamaica has it all! Enjoy a hike to one of Jamaica’s beautiful, natural waterfalls or opt to visit any of the island’s beaches. Montego Bay, a popular spring break destination, offers its patrons snorkeling excursions that are unlike any others and a cave diving experience that you won’t soon forget.

There’s plenty of shopping, spas, sight-seeing and beaches for any spring break traveler, and that’s not even the half of what this island has to offer. Take a look at the nightlife as well – you won’t experience anything like it anywhere else!

So if this destination is within your budget, I recommend taking the trip out there. What better place to relax than this tropical paradise?

Photo Via:

9. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Yet another gorgeous, sandy destination, Cabo San Lucas is an absolute must! It’s unique in its offerings to tourists, such as rock formations and coves on the sandy, Cannery beaches for spring breakers to enjoy and explore.

The nightlife here is alive as well, and Cabo offers spring breakers plenty of variety with ping-pong, dance floors and specialty drinks that are worth the trip in and of themselves. This location has gold and fishing for those interested, but the spas and top-tier restaurants are what keep tourists coming back.

And again, for those thrill-seekers, Cabo offers zip-lining and ATV excursions to suit your fancy. Animal lovers, rejoice, as you can enjoy horseback rides, swim with dolphins or watch whales in one of the most beautiful destinations Mexico has to offer.

So no matter your poison, Cabo has something to offer you, making this a must-see spring break destination.

10. Nashville, TN

If beaches aren’t your thing (and who could blame you? All that sand? Yuck!), then look to the north for a spring break destination that’s a bit unorthodox, but that offers spring breakers exactly what they’re seeking: a good time. Nashville, the home of country music, is a destination that might just be for you.

While there certainly won’t be white sand beaches, Nashville offers college students nightlife that’s an absolute blast, and at a fraction of the cost of a resort stay in a tropical destination.

Catch some concerts or simply do some bar hopping (for those 21 and over, of course!) with some of your closest college friends. This destination may not get you out of the cold, but the city’s warmth is sure to make you feel right and home.

So if you’re looking for a good time for a low price (and maybe some great drinks to boot), then this is the destination for you!

Spring break is the perfect time for college students to let loose, enjoy themselves and step away from the strenuousness of college coursework. And with this top ten list of spring break destinations, your multitude of options has been condensed into a manageable list from which you can make the right choice for your individual needs.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of spring break destinations, so definitely do some research on your end and plan the trip that fits all of your spring break needs. Whether you’re looking for a beach, a big city or a quiet, secluded cabin, there’s plenty of spring break destinations out there for you, so get to searching!

The sooner you book your spring break trip, the more likely you are to save some serious cash, so get to planning! Your perfect, spring break destination awaits!

Happy travels!

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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