Wondering what you can do for a spring break trip in 2021? Between cancelled spring breaks, Zoom university and being cooped up from the pandemic for… um, a YEAR, you’ve probably never needed a vacation more. At the same time, we can’t just jet off to Europe, either. So what’s a cabin-fevered college student to do? We’ve got a few ideas for spring break in 2021 and how you can get a change of scenery, pandemic-style. Grab your masks and get ready! 

1. Go on a road trip 


A road trip is the perfect way to get out of town while still keeping to yourself and social-distancing. Whether you’re heading on a road trip to a National Park or just looking to escape to a nearby city for the weekend, road trips are easy to plan. They’re also perfect spontaneous adventures and for a pandemic-style spring break trip. If you need some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Check out our favorite spring break road trips or the best road trips—period—in North America. If you don’t have a car, you can find student rental cars on our website and snag a deal as long as you’re at least 20 years old.

2. Plan a staycation


Looking for a pandemic-approved spring break in 2021? Why not plan a staycation? Sure, a staycation might not sound as exciting as spring breaks of years past, but anything beats staring at the same four walls, right? Book yourself a stay in a fancy hotel or an Airbnb to freshen things up. Order takeout (or snag a reservation somewhere with outdoor dining you’ve been meaning to try), then plan a fun activity or hike. Not sure how to make a staycation something you can actually get excited about? We’ve got all the tips and tricks you need to plan a perfect staycation

3. Hit the nearest (or not-so-near) beach 


Heading to a beach is the perfect way to get everything you need from a spring break in 2021: sun, sand and social distancing. Make sure to bring a mask for when social distancing isn’t possible. Wear a mask when you’re entering or leaving the beach, too. Otherwise, you should have plenty of space to spread out and enjoy some fresh air and surf. If you don’t have any beaches near you, check out our favorite beaches for spring break and see which one catches your eye. 

4. Rent a house with friends


No spring break on the calendar this year? Create your own by renting a house with some friends and enjoy a change of scenery—even if it’s just four new walls to look at. If you rent a house with friends who you aren’t currently living with, make sure everyone gets tested or quarantines before meeting up. Splitting the cost with friends can make a larger Airbnb a lot more affordable! Bring some groceries with you and opt for a beach house or a cabin if you can to get some nice views. Bonus: if your university is remote, you can stay for an extended period and enjoy being together and exploring a new place. A lot of Airbnbs and other home rentals offer discounts if you stay for more than a few weeks!

5. Get off the grid


Feeling adventurous? Go somewhere super remote and get off the grid! Social distancing takes on a whole new meaning in these remote destinations around the US. Take a road trip or rent a cabin, unplug and clear your mind off the real world for a week or two. Whether you want to go stargazing, hiking, skiing or just escape life in your house for a bit, hop on a cheap flight and head somewhere remote for a chance to social distance without having to even think about it.

6. Travel the world via a food tour

If you live in (or near) a big city, this is easier than you think! Make a list of restaurants offering food from a variety of cultures and ethnicities and eat at (or get takeout from) a different place each night. Not sure where to start? Look for Greek, Mexican, Italian, Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Moroccan, French, Ethiopian, Indian, Thai or Spanish tapas. Bonus points if you find a Spotify playlist with music from that region to listen to while you eat. 

7. Go camping 

spring break camping trips

If it’s warm enough where you are—or if you can travel to somewhere where it is—camping makes for the perfect spring trip, especially during Covid. Getting outside—and staying outside—with a camping trip gives you space to social distance and avoid being inside as well. Most National Parks are open, as well as state parks, forests and other wilderness areas. For tips on visiting National Parks (and our favorite road trip routes to see them), check out our guide to the best way to plan a National Park trip

8. Volunteer

Want to make a difference this year during a spring break? If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s how much we’re connected. It’s so easy to make a difference in someone else’s life! There’s a lot of need for volunteers, no matter where you are. Right now, volunteer placements may have some additional precautions or requirements for pandemic safety. If you’re interested in giving back to your community, you should still be able to find lots of options. Check in with a local animal shelter, soup kitchen or food pantry, park cleanup crew or farm to get started, or check with a local library for volunteer opportunities near you. 

Need a student rental car or a cheap flight to make it happen? We’ve got both.