The traditional spring break vacation for American college students consists of partying on the beaches of somewhere warm and sunny.
While Cancun-style spring break destinations are definitely fun, you may also enjoy a break from the traditional tropical party resort vacation.
These five cold-weather spring break vacation options might not leave you with a glowing tan, but you’re sure to have a great time!
1. Ski Resort Trip
Some ski resorts actually offer spring break packages, so you might be able to save some money and score a ski and snowboard weekend cheap – especially if you can convince some friends to come along to split costs!
Even if you aren’t a big skier, you can enjoy the great views while sipping hot chocolate – and then join the après-ski crowd for post-slope parties.
2. Alternative Beach Vacation
You don’t need warm, sunny weather to enjoy a beach vacation. Chilly beach vacations, like the Outer Banks during the off-season, can be just as fun and make for a great road trip.
You don’t have to go into the water to enjoy the seashore with long walks, kite flying and seashell searching. The scenery is gorgeous, and odds are you’ll have the entire beach to yourselves, à la Eternal Sunshine. Plus, there’s nothing like some fresh seafood after a long walk on the beach.
3. Pick a City, Any City
Explore a new city with your friends – where you go is up to you. Go all out and play the part of the uber-tourist: get a city guide and check out whichever attractions strike your fancy, from museums to restaurants, historic landmarks and local dive bars.
From San Francisco to New York, Austin to Minneapolis, wherever you are in the country, there’s sure to be an exciting big city that’s easy to reach.
4. North of the Border
If you don’t require sun, surf and sand, why not go to the max on your cold-weather vacation and head to where it’s even colder: Canada! There are many fun places to visit north of the border.
The party city of Montreal offers some francophone flair if you want to put your college French to practice, while Toronto offers a multicultural city with loads to explore. If you’re on the west coast, Vancouver is fun, too.
FYI: the legal drinking age is lower in Canada – not that that should influence your decision.
5. Head to Europe
Okay, this is not the cheapest option on the list, but it’s still a possibility! You can often get cheap flights by booking well in advance – and since you usually know your spring break dates by the start of the school year, booking early shouldn’t be a problem.
There are a lot of great party countries in Europe. London is fun (and there’s no language barrier), but you can save money by scouting out cheaper European locations. Berlin is incredibly cheap for a big-city European capital and offers more than enough to see and do to keep you busy for a week.
Another tip: If you have friends studying abroad in Europe, now is the time to visit! You get a free place to stay and you get to see your friend – a perfect combo for a spring break vacation.