25 Cheap Spring Break Destinations That Are Hidden Gems
Cheap spring break trips for every type of traveler
Winter doldrums got you down? It’s the perfect time to think about getting away from it all with cheap spring break trips, whether that means a jaunt to sunnier shores, an exploration of cultural centers and cities, or a road trip to a destination close to home. Even if money is tight, we still want to get away for spring break—and still can! You just have to learn how to travel cheap by choosing a budget-friendly destination. And with this list, you won’t feel like you’re skimping on anything.
Teachers, college students and parents with school-aged kids are most likely to book vacations during spring break, which usually falls sometime between March and April. But after long months of cold weather, just about everyone is feeling restless, so we picked the best spots for every type of traveler, from singles to couples to families. Although some popular spring break spots ramp up their prices during peak travel months, our research uncovered some cheap places to travel that offer reasonable rates and fewer tourists but just as much enjoyment. If you feel like you don’t have the money for a vacation, check out these affordable family vacations, hidden gems in every state and budget airlines that will take you to the best places to travel for spring break.
How we chose the best cheap spring break destinations
To find the cheapest places to go on spring break, we researched tips from travel experts, took online buzz into account and read a whole lot of reviews. Combine that with our personal experiences in discovering off-the-beaten path destinations, and you have a list of some truly great (and affordable!) spring break trips.
So, what types of cheap spring break trips did we include? We considered states that offer cheap travel along with outstanding things to see and do. And we looked at places that are in the cheaper “shoulder season,” the time between the peak season and off-season. We also tried to avoid places where most college kids go for spring break, as these hot spots tend to be more expensive. Finally, we looked outside the box of traditional spring break destinations and included some options that might surprise you.
What, exactly, is “cheap”?
We aimed to keep flights under $500, using New York as a general departure point (obviously, flights differ in cost depending on where you live and how far the destination is from you). We looked at Saturday-to-Saturday travel because, for those who have a week off for spring break, that would likely make the most sense; but if you’re willing to fly midweek, flights will likely be even cheaper than what we’ve cited here. You can also sign up for fare notifications to find the best time to buy flights, and use the best travel credit cards and best travel apps when booking to save extra cash.
For hotels, we aimed to keep them under $300 a night, with under $200 as the ideal—we strove to balance price and quality so you’ll still be lodging somewhere clean, comfortable and convenient.
As hotel and airfare prices vary so much by the specific date you travel and when you book, these are general guidelines; we can’t guarantee a specific fee. Still, the destinations we picked tend to run cheaper than other, more popular or more hyped spots, allowing you to plan a spring break on a budget. Read on to discover the locales we found!
Best for outdoor dining
Add this cheap U.S. city to your bucket list—then check it off right away with a spring break visit. Lots of Texans head to San Antonio in the summer for its family-friendly theme parks, so avoid the crowds, high prices and even higher temps (it can soar to over 90 degrees) by visiting in the spring instead. March and April offer more comfortable temperatures, in-bloom flowers and drops in hotel rates. Enjoy al fresco dining along the famous River Walk, which features many bars and restaurants along the San Antonio River’s serene banks. Remember the Alamo for a look into Texas history, and view historical artifacts at the site’s brand-new Alamo Collections Center, opening March 3, 2023.
Where to stay: At night, come home to the historic and conveniently located Menger Hotel for under $200 a night. The gorgeous property is right next to the Alamo and a block from the River Walk.
- Perfect outdoor eating along the lovely River Walk
- Learn about Texas history at the Alamo
- Comfortable weather in the 70s and low 80s
- Driving and parking downtown can be difficult