Visit these 5 low-cost spring break vacation destinations
Peel off your scratchy wool sweater and slip into your sundress. Step out of your furry boots and into frilly sandals. Swap your mug of hot cocoa for a frosty margarita.
Spring break is on its way.
For U.S. colleges and universities, spring break can fall anywhere between late February and mid-April. If you're planning on traveling during spring break season, it's important to book as soon as possible since accommodations can fill up and rates may rise quickly. Start planning now, and you can design a warm-weather trip that is not only unforgettable, but affordable.
To help inspire your picture-perfect and not-too-pricey vacation, we've created a guide to affordable spring break destinations. We looked at Expedia and Airbnb rates for popular cities during the month of March and compared factors such as the availability of public transportation and wallet-friendly activities. You can see our list of the most budget-friendly spring break destinations for 2017 below.
1. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Delicious seafood abounds and affordable cerveza flows freely in Puerto Vallarta, a colorful resort town along the Pacific coast of Mexico. The city is home to sandy beaches, diverse restaurants and a lively nightlife. You can land a double room at a hotel for around $30 per night or a private room at an Airbnb for even less. In Puerto Vallarta, taxis are plentiful, as are affordable snorkeling, food and whale-watching tours.
2. Sanibel, Florida. You'll find fewer crowds but plenty of seashells at Sanibel Island, which keeps quieter during spring break than its fellow Florida cities. The Gulf Coast barrier island has more than 15 miles of pristine, white-sand beaches and one of the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystems in the U.S. Hotels are in high demand and book up months beforehand, but you can still find private rooms on Airbnb for less than $100 per night. Crossed by miles of bike trails, Sanibel Island is best (and most cheaply) explored by bicycle, and many businesses and hotels offer bikes for rent. When you're not sprawled out on a beach towel, you can comb the sand for seashells, explore Old Town or try out stand-up paddleboarding on calm Atlantic waters.
3. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. If it's parties and nightlife you're after, scurry down to Myrtle Beach, a favorite among spring breaking college students. But there's more to this town than bikinis and giant frozen drinks. Myrtle Beach also features family-friendly fun parks, a sprawling state park and a boardwalk with restaurants, arcades and the iconic Myrtle Beach SkyWheel. Book your Myrtle Beach vacation now, and you can land a double room at a hotel for less than $50 per night, or an entire home on Airbnb for less than $80 per night.
4. Bocas del Toro Town, Panama. Bocas del Toro Town, often referred to as just "Bocas," is a laid-back town on the southern tip of Colon Island in Panama's Bocas del Toro archipelago. With vibrant Caribbean architecture and friendly, affordable hostels, Bocas serves as a base for island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and surfing. You can get a bed at a hostel or private Airbnb room for less than $20, and with another $30, you can upgrade to a mid-range hotel or private Airbnb rental. A short walk will take you from one end of the tiny town to the other, and water taxis can shuttle you to neighboring islands for a few dollars.
5. Las Vegas, Nevada. To do Vegas on the cheap, it's best to give gambling a pass. Instead, check out the city's many free attractions, such as the World's Largest Permanent Circus or the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat. Go for a swim in one of the city's water parks and hotel pools, or take a hike through the nearby Calico Basin or Goldstrike Canyon. Vegas is known for its rock-bottom hotel prices, though the cheapest rooms are likely to be snatched up quickly by penny-pinching coeds. Book your room by late February, however, and you may be able to score a double occupancy hotel room for less than $65 per night, or an Airbnb private bedroom for two for less than $35.
Get more 2017 vacation ideas in the slideshow below!
Copyright 2017 U.S. News & World Report