Already dreaming about warmer days and spring break in 2021? Or simply wanting a trip to make up for the spring break that wasn’t in 2020? Cold winter days are the perfect time to start planning a beach getaway, especially if you’ve been studying from home and need a major change of scenery. If beaches aren’t your thing, we’ve got ideas for you too. Here’s the shortlist of the best trips to start planning now for 2021!
1. Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is on the top of many spring break bucket lists, and for good reason! Even if you don’t have an official spring break as a post-grad, Tulum is still a great getaway for cold winter weekends. From beaches to ancient ruins to cenotes, Tulum has a lot to offer! Even better, the good weather means everything is outdoors, from activities to shopping to dining, making it one of the easier places to visit right now. Rent bikes to get around (it’s compact and biking is easier than relying on taxis!), go snorkeling with sea turtles, and enjoy lounging on the beach and taking all those Insta-perfect shots on beach swings and more.
2. Quebec City, Quebec
If you’re disappointed that we can’t go to Europe yet, start planning a trip to Quebec City. This is one of Canada’s most European cities. Cobblestoned streets and charming shops in Old Quebec offer a slice of Europe without having to cross any oceans. Plus there’s castles and museums to visit, too! Quartier Petit Champlain is one of the best places for shopping and exploring Quebec’s quaint streets, or you can head to the La Citadelle de Québec or the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral for a dose of history.
3. San Diego, CA
San Diego makes for a great beach getaway in the US, especially if you live in the US. You can fly directly into the San Diego International Airport or you can fly into LA and drive (it’s about 2 hours away). Once you’re in San Diego, you’ll have incredible beaches to choose from and plenty of sunny days too. (San Diego is usually sunny and rarely dips below 60 degrees during the day.) When you’re not hitting the beach, you can wander around the gorgeous Balboa Park, enjoy San Diego’s street food scene (taco truck, anyone?) or go hiking. With so much sunshine, there’s plenty of opportunities to be outside!
4. Oaxaca, Mexico
Oaxaca was recently named the best city of the year by Travel + Leisure, so if it’s not on your bucket list already, it’s time to add it. It’s a lesser-known city in Mexico, but it has a LOT to offer. Oaxaca is known as the foodie capital of Mexico, so if you want some delicious food, Oaxaca is a good spot. It’s famous for its mole dishes (they have seven different varieties!) plus other traditional Mexican foods. Plus, it’s home to some amazing beaches and outdoor adventures too. There’s lots of hiking right outside of the city and even petrified waterfalls! It’s a great city to experience some of the best of what Mexico has to offer, from culture to street food to beaches and hot springs. And it’s much less touristed than other cities. Win-win!
5. Turks and Caicos
For a real Caribbean getaway, Turks and Caicos is an easy choice. With endless white-sand beaches and unreal turquoise waters, every day is the perfect day for a beach day. Turks & Caicos is a great choice for spring break if your main goal is to enjoy the beach and work on your tan. There’s plenty of water activities, from snorkeling to scuba diving to whale watching and more. Feeling even more adventurous? Try kitesurfing or go hiking around Mudjin Harbour.
6. Denver, CO
Not into the beach scene for spring break? No problem. Head to Colorado instead, where you can experience some of America’s best skiing and mountain views. Denver’s ski season runs through April most years, so you’ve got plenty of time to plan a trip. Skiing and snowboarding can be relatively low-risk activities, since they happen outside and allow you to social distance pretty easily. Just be sure to check in advance what the COVID restrictions are for various mountains and ski lodges. If you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, there’s plenty more to do in Denver. Go hiking or simply explore some of the good food in Denver and enjoy mountain views.
7. Zion National Park, UT
A National Park is never a bad idea, but it’s an even better idea if you’re looking for some inspiring travels while staying outside and socially distanced. Zion National Park is one of our favorites for it’s amazing hiking and scenery. There’s incredible stargazing on clear nights, too. Plus, it’s a reasonable road trip from a number of West Coast cities: just 6 hours from Phoenix, 6.5 hours from LA or 9 hours from Denver. While you’re in Utah, you can also head to Bryce National Park or Arches National Park for even more outdoor adventure.
8. Plan a road trip!
If you’re not ready to plan a longer trip yet, you can always plan a road trip or a staycation! After so many months staring at the same four walls, it’s important to give yourself a bit of a scenery change every once in a while—even if it’s just a walk through a nearby park or exploring a nearby city. Renting a house or Airbnb with some friends or family—or even by yourself!—for a weekend in the mountains or a nearby beach town can be a great way to get away while being careful. Spring is usually a great time for road trips too. We’ve got plenty of favorite road trip routes to choose from if you need inspiration!
Ready to start looking for cheap flights for next year? Check out some of our current flight deals and see what’s on sale from your bucket list.