Spring break is an amazing time to step away from all the stresses of assignments and take a moment to breathe and have fun. And there are genuinely some pretty iconic spring break destinations. But those iconic spots can also be pretty crowded and busy, filled with all the spring breakers that didn’t think to think outside the box for their trip. And you can have the same, or better, amazing experiences all over the place on spring break without having to fight 100 other college kids for a table at brunch, a spot in the sand, or a room in the hotel.

The best spring break destinations to travel to in 2024

Woman swimming with snorkel surrounded by fish, Andaman Sea, Thailand

So what are these just as amazing but guaranteed to be a bit more unique destinations? Keep reading. Will they be way more expensive or take way longer to get to? No and no! We’ve centered this guide to spring break destinations around what matters most on your trip. If you want to prioritize the flight cost, we’ve got destination comparisons for that. Same goes for flight time, cultural experiences, and general vibes too. Click the links to head to the section that suits you or scroll on to see them all.

If price matters the most…

Old spring break destination: Cancun

New spring break destination: London

Big Ben tower and Houses of Parliament in spring, London, UK with flowers in the foreground.

On average, a roundtrip flight to Cancun from NYC can run you somewhere around $500. For the same price you could get all the way to London! And from London you could travel the UK, or even head into Europe and see multiple destinations since you can pretty easily get cheap inter-Europe flights. So why sit around in one crowded place with lots of spring breakers when you could be off experiencing new places abroad?

Right now, you’ll see flights available to Cancun starting at $179 roundtrip

And flights to London are starting at $178 roundtrip

Old spring break destination: Honolulu

New spring break destination: Barcelona

Ocean and beach in Calella de Palafrugell, Catalonia, Spain near of Barcelona. Barcelona is a perfect spring break destinations.

Hawaii can be an awesome destination for an escape. It’s still a US state, but it feels different being its own island so it’s almost like you’re getting an international trip. But you’re not. If you want the true international experience, why not try out a trip to Barcelona. Barcelona is also a well known and loved destination for young adult travelers. And springtime is an awesome time to visit before the summer crowds start showing up.

Flights to Honolulu from Atlanta are starting at $752 roundtrip for this spring

Flights from ATL to Barcelona start at $834 roundtrip

Old spring break destination: San Jose, Costa Rica

New spring break destination: Dublin, Ireland

St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland during the spring break destinations season.

When you think of Costa Rica, you likely think of rainforest, nature adventures, and probably the beach. While Ireland might not have quite the same beachy vibes, it does have lots of amazing natural beauty to explore. So it’s really just as great of a destination to visit if you’re hoping to spend your spring break in some fresh air. And with flights to Ireland starting at just $324 roundtrip from Boston, you’ll be able to make your moves for a memorable spring break for only a little more than a trip to Costa Rica.

Roundtrip flights to Costa Rica start at $245

Flights to Ireland starting at $317 roundtrip

If flight time matters most…

Fly to Reykjavik instead of LAX from NYC

Godafoss waterfall in Iceland with a young guy standing cliffside during sunrise.

The US is huge! And how do we know that? Because if you’re jetsetting your spring break from New York City, the average flight time just to Los Angeles is 6.5 hours. And you don’t even leave the country! Plus those aren’t even the farthest apart airports. Meanwhile you could leave New York and arrive in Iceland in just 5.5 hours. That’s an hour less than the time it takes to cross the country and you’ll be in a new, very cool, and exciting country. And if you aren’t sure what you’d do in Iceland you can take a look at our list of the most picturesque places in Iceland or 12 free things to do in Iceland.

Flights to Los Angeles

Flights to Iceland

Fly to Lisbon instead of Dominican Republic from CHI

Yellow vintage tram on the street in Lisbon, Portugal. Famous spring break destinations for travel

Getting out of the midwest and to somewhere new and exciting takes a bit longer than those coastal airport hubs. So if you’re in that area and not wanting to spend basically an entire day of our spring break trip just traveling, you’ll likely be looking for trips that are less than 8 hours away. A popular trip for spring breakers is down to the Dominican Republic. From Chicago a flight to Santo Domingo will take you 6.5 hours. But instead of that, you could opt for a trip overseas. Somewhere such as Lisbon, Portugal is only an hour farther off and offers you the option to stay in Portugal and see an amazing country, or even city or country hop and see a variety of destinations on your spring trip.

Flights to the Caribbean

Flights to Portugal

Fly to the Azores instead of San Diego from BOS

Young woman runs on the street in the Azores with blue flower bushes on either side of the road.

If you’re thinking of traveling to San Diego because you’ve heard it’s basically year round warm but not too hot, has beaches, and has good food – then we’ve got an even cooler destination suggestion for you. Enter: the Azores, a group of islands in the Atlantic owned by Portugal. They are genuinely gorgeous, and full of amazing natural beauty from rolling green hills, to beaches, to picturesque towns, and more. Plus at only a 5 hour flight from Boston, they’re actually closer than San Diego anyways (SAN is almost a 7 hour flight).

Flights to San Diego

Flights to the Azores

If a cultural experience matters the most…

See cherry blossoms in Japan (not in DC)

A boat rows along a river in Japan during the spring with cherry blossoms in full bloom and Himeji Castle in the background.

When the trees are filled with pink blooms it can only mean one thing: it’s well and truly spring. And the cherry blossoms really are something worth traveling to see. Washington DC’s cherry blossom trees were gifts from Japan back in 1912 so they stem from the OGs. And we agree that seeing them in full bloom along the Tidal Basin is pretty cool. But if you really want to have some main character energy, you’ll head over to Japan to see the blossoms in bloom this spring. In Japan, you’ll find that the cherry blossom trees feel like they’re just everywhere so you won’t have to worry about getting to a specific spot for a viewing and a photo. And this year’s current forecast looks like the pink blooms will be peaking around end of March for much of the country. Plus while you’re there you can experience some of the other amazing things Japan has to offer. We suggest starting your planning with our budget guide to traveling Japan.

Head to DC or Experience Japan

French it up in Paris (not New Orleans)

View of Eiffel Tower and river Seine at sunrise in Paris, France

Embarking on a spring travel journey to New Orleans promises a soul-stirring experience immersed in jazz melodies, delectable Creole cuisine, and vibrant street festivals, showcasing the city’s rich cultural heritage. However, Paris beckons with its enchanting allure, boasting iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, romantic strolls along the Seine River, and a treasure trove of world-class art in the Louvre. While New Orleans pulsates with a unique rhythm and flavor, Paris exudes an unparalleled charm and sophistication, making it an irresistible choice for a springtime escapade filled with romance, culture, and timeless beauty.

Head to NOLA or Experience Paris

Explore historic museums in London (not Boston)

The Natural History Museum in London, UK on a blue sky day.

Museums are a great plan for spring travel. With the weather more prone to being unpredictable, a rouge storm can upend a trip whose plans are filled with outdoor activities in the springtime. But museums offer the perfect opportunity for an engaging activity that can’t get rained out. Boston is filled with lots of great ones (hello Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, even Museum of Science, etc). And if you find your trip filled with good weather, you can explore Boston’s historical landmarks along the Freedom Trail. Now if you want to set your sights on history older than young America, you’ll need to head across the pond. London is filled with tons of fantastic (and iconic) museums like The British Museum, the Natural History Museum, The National Gallery, and plenty more to fit your interest. Now we aren’t saying you can’t see cool stuff in Boston, but we are staying you can see cooler stuff in London. So do with that what you will.

Head to Boston or Experience London

If the vibes matter the most…

Old: Miami

New: Ibiza

View of Cala d'Hort beach with sunbeds and umbrellas and beautiful azure blue sea water, Ibiza island, Spain (one of the best spring break destinations).

Spring break trips can be somewhat synonymous with party trips. And why not? It’s the best time for blowing off some steam and letting loose (safely) before you move into the busy and fast moving end of the school year. Spring break in Miami offers vibrant nightlife, pulsating music, and glamorous beach parties, making it a top destination for revelers seeking an unforgettable experience. However, venturing to Ibiza elevates the spring break experience with its legendary clubs, world-renowned DJs, and electrifying atmosphere, creating an unparalleled party scene against the backdrop of stunning Balearic landscapes. Ibiza’s unique blend of hedonistic delights, breathtaking sunsets, and Mediterranean charm make for a spring break adventure that you really can’t compare to anything else.

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Search flights to Spain

Old: South Padre Island

New: Croatian Islands

Aerial view with Krk town in Krk island, Croatia

What better way to spend your days in early spring than fully pretending it’s just summertime already. And travel to a warm beach is the perfect escape for that. Visiting South Padre Island in the spring offers pristine sandy shores and lively beachside activities. However, opting for the Croatian islands for your spring travel promises azure waters, hidden coves, and a rich cultural tapestry, providing a more exotic and immersive beach experience amidst stunning Mediterranean landscapes. Really though, you can’t lose with either. Just remember your sunscreen!

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Old: Las Vegas

New: Amsterdam

Amsterdam Netherlands on one of the canals with the spring tulips in bloom.

Want a trip to the city of sin? But which one? You could travel to Vegas, maybe see a show, visit the casinos. Or you could head to Amsterdam and be able to do much of the same things as Vegas, while also having the chance to see and do even more. Walk along the canals, see the spring tulips and the windmills of the Netherlands, and tour through some museums for a moment of culture. Vegas won’t have any of those.

Search flights to Vegas

Search flights to Amsterdam

Really you just can’t lose no matter what you choose. Spring break destinations can be to anywhere you want. Just because you’re limited by the one week you have off from classes doesn’t mean you have to stay close to school or to home. But also if you’ve got fun ideas and plans that are closer to campus, that’s awesome too. Spring travel is all about getting out of your normal routine and experience something new as the weather warms up and everything looks brighter.

To find current up to date pricing for some of our most popular spring break destinations, head to this link (where prices update daily). Or find more destination inspiration with our list of top spring break spots for 2024. And while you’re planning your trip, don’t forget you can score up to 60% off hotels when you book through StudentUniverse.

All prices were accurate at the time of writing, but are subject to change. Flights were prices for roundtrip travel between February 23 and April 15, 2024.