10 Cheap Spring Break Spots You Should Book Today

By Kastalia Medrano, Thrillist

You, like your Tinder account, are in spring break mode. These precious weeks from early March through roughly mid-April, are designed for a number of things, depending on your age or demographic: Escaping the last gasp of wintry cold, relaxing with friends and family, and blowing your tax return on a trip abroad.

The most ideal spring break destinations tend to be places where you can a) party if you so choose and b) travel to at reduced cost. In the center of that Venn diagram are the 10 cities below -- most of them here in the US, but a few abroad that are worthy of your consideration, if you have the time for extended travel. To help us narrow down the top 10, we pulled some data from the folks at Hipmunk and Hopper, two of our favorite sites for finding cheap airfare.

When you should book spring break travel

Booking last-minute is always more expensive. According to Hopper, a travel site that analyzes flight data to score the cheapest flights, high-demand periods like spring break’s March-April stretch can be nearly 40% more expensive. If you’re traveling within the US, look for flights departing on a Tuesday -- the cheapest day for tickets, followed by Wednesday. Friday is the worst option for traveling, with prices averaging 19% higher for flights departing that day.

If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll probably find the cheapest flights looking for those departing on Wednesday, followed by Tuesday and Thursday. Friday remains bad. The end of March is the most expensive time to fly -- shifting your trip a bit closer to either mid-March or early April will help you save.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Lots of travel companies rank Las Vegas among their most popular spring break destinations, year over year. It’s Hipmunk’s most-watched pick this time of year, and Hopper predicts flight prices this season will dip as much as 29%.

For party-going coeds, Vegas is a slam dunk: The pool parties are no joke. Daylight has DJs spinning pretty much every day of March and April. Encore Beach Club will feature artists like Diplo, David Guetta, and The Chainsmokers -- let’s be honest, attending any of these performances is the least embarrassing thing you will do during this week. And when you eventually need to give your ringing ears a break, here’s our handy list of actually cool things to do in Vegas.

Miami, Florida

Hopper tells us that springtime flights to Miami are expected to drop by 43%, bottoming out around $244 on average. The city is Hipmunk’s fourth-most searched spring break destination overall, and on Thrillist’s list of best US destinations to travel to in March, and all for good reason: Miami is the classic spring break hot-spot. The weather is at its most perfect, you can bounce between the beaches overrun by college kids for the ones that are more secluded (and/or nude), and you’ve got Miami Music Week from March 25-30 and Ultra Music Festival from March 29-31. On Tuesdays, you should scoop up some free tacos (don’t forget to tip) at Wood Tavern.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun’s inclusion on this sort of list remains a forgone conclusion -- shout-out early-aughts MTV and its back-to-back spring break coverage. Hopper anticipated flight prices into the city dropping by 25% around spring break. The world’s most touristy city deserves its title, thanks to an annual influx of thousands of college students trying valiantly to drink away everything they learned that year, let alone that semester. Stay in the touristy Hotel Zone if you feel like being in the mix, or escape the crowd and explore Quintana Roo or Mahahual, duck off to a cenote or aim for a little of everything -- you’re a free agent. For a never-ending (well, month-long) party, check out Inception Music Festival.

Orlando, Florida

This is the most-watched domestic destination for spring break among folks who use Hopper. Flight prices are expected to drop to an average of $186 roundtrip -- about a 30% savings. March kicks off with the Fat Tuesday block party. You might like the Orlando Caribbean Festival on March 16 (tickets start at $50) and no matter your particular spring break window, you’ll almost certainly be there for the Mardi Gras celebration at Orlando’s Universal Studios, which lasts from February all the way up to April 4. If you get a sneak peak at the rumored Super Mario theme park, kindly do let us know, we’re very curious.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Mardi Gras may have just winded down, but spring break in New Orleans is actually the perfect time to see the city at a different pace, giving you a better sense of its charm versus when it’s fully clogged with swaying tourists. This is partly why the city is in the top 10 for both Hopper and Hipmunk. The New Orleans Bourbon Festival returns March 20-23 this year (tickets start at $59) followed by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival from March 27-31. Check out some of the city’s best new eats, like the Venezuelan dishes at Avila and the seafood platters at Boil. There’s free music pretty much all the time, and in this capital of American cocktail culture, you’ve got your pick of classic New Orleans bars like Sazerac.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida as a whole is shaping up to be one of 2019’s cheaper-than-ever travel destinations. Hopper predicts that flight to Fort Lauderdale will be 35% cheaper than average around spring break, dipping as low as $214. It’s also their top domestic destination for cheap flight in March overall. Soak in the time-capsule vibe of Lauderdale Beach, or keep things moving with a spin on a kayak or water taxi (the latter can involve drinking; the former, probably less so). For those of you whose break comes on the earlier side, on March 10 Fort Lauderdale will hold the Tahiti - Soca Fete Spring Break party (tickets start at $20). April 12-14 means the return of Tortuga Music Festival, Fort Lauderdale’s raucous eco-conscious beach party and possibly the highlight of the season.

Tokyo, Japan

Maybe you didn’t see this one coming because of sheer physical distance, but Tokyo stood out to us as a spring break destination this year. Hopper expects flight prices to Tokyo to dip a respectable 17% for the coming weeks, their fourth most-watched international spring break destination, and Hipmunk’s fifth most-watched overall. This makes a lot of sense -- the end of March and beginning of April signals the return of sakura season, i.e., the annual two-week blink of a season, when cherry blossoms bloom. This year, blooming season is expected to fall in late March.  If you don’t get there ’til mid-April, don’t worry -- there’s obviously an endless parade of things to see and do that don’t involve cherry blossoms. Plus, when the cherry blossoms go, the azaleas arrive. After that, the wisterias. It goes on.

Los Angeles, California

The Festival of Colors, celebrating Hindu spring festival Holi, returns to Los Angeles on March 9, while on March 22 and 23, you can bliss out to the Beyond Wonderland trance festival at NOS events center (tickets start around $100). Springtime in LA is the best time, and if you want to knock some things off your LA bucket list this year you’re in luck -- according to Hopper flight prices to LA should be down about 23%. You’ll find that people are just as passionate about which neighborhoods are best here as they are in New York (at the end of the day, you could do worse than to pick your favs by the quality of their happy hours).

Honolulu, Hawaii

We probably don’t need to do much convincing for you to believe that springtime in Hawaii is nice. For a more leisurely, relaxed spring break, one where you can walk on the beach in search of birds and shells instead of your keys, Honolulu is for you. Maybe it’s finally your chance to go scuba diving. Aim for late spring if possible, when the weather’s at its most enjoyable. Some of our favorite new restaurants in Honolulu include Nanzan Giro Giro (Japanese fare, with a monthly rotating menu) and Waiahole Poi Factory (art gallery turned family-run joint doling out fresh seafood). For the best bars, check out the cocktails made from locally sourced ingredients (as all the freshest things on an island must be) at Moku Kitchen.

New York City, New York

New York might not seem to you a classic spring break escape, but now is very much the time to rectify that. New York City is Hopper’s second most-watched domestic spring break destination -- with flight prices dipping up to 21% -- and Hipmunk’s second most-watched overall. Featuring everything from the Brooklyn Folk Festival to the city’s own cherry blossom festival to the Tribeca Film Festival at the end of April to beloved art festival Frieze in early May, there’s an embarrassment of riches in the city in terms of springtime activities, and all before the humidity really kicks in and makes you wonder why you ever came here.
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U.S. Daily News: 10 Cheap Spring Break Spots You Should Book Today
10 Cheap Spring Break Spots You Should Book Today
U.S. Daily News
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