Spring break is one of the highlights of a college student’s life. It’s a time to unwind before finals start and an opportunity to travel to beaches and party towns to drink, rave, eat and soak up the sun. Unfortunately, this two-week period comes at the expense of travelers who want a calm and peaceful vacation — so when should you travel to avoid spring breakers?
The best times to travel to avoid spring breakers are mid-late spring, early summer, and early spring. During these periods, spring breakers have yet to travel or have already returned to school. These times allow you to enjoy warm spring and early summer temperatures uninterrupted.
This article dives deeper into the best times to avoid spring breakers and tips on keeping the spring break crowds at bay.
1. Mid-Late Spring (From Mid-April to Mid-June)
The best time to avoid spring breakers is from mid to late spring. By mid-April, most spring breakers have returned to their schools to focus on finals, allowing tourists like you to enjoy the glorious spring weather.
Schools start closing for spring break in mid-February, although most close in March. This means you’re most likely to encounter spring breakers in March.
By mid-April, most schools have closed. You may still meet a few spring breakers in the party towns and coastal cities, but that’s much better than the overwhelming crowds you’ll often spot in tourist destinations in March.
Also, spring is in full swing. The winter cold is long gone, and the scorching summer heat is yet to arrive. In other words, it’s the best time to enjoy the outdoors.
2. Early Summer (Late June)
Early summer is the next best time to avoid spring breakers. The temperatures aren’t too high in late June, and most summer travelers have yet to arrive. Yes, you’ll miss out on the perfect spring weather — but at least you’ll get to avoid spring breakers!
Another great thing about traveling in the early summer is you can travel lighter than you normally would in the spring. Also, because it’s less likely to rain during the summer, you can enjoy the outdoors more than in spring, where you may have to wear clothes to protect against the rain.
As much as possible, you should schedule your travels before mid-summer. Mid-summer is the time most people visit holiday destinations, so by planning your trip, you can avoid crowds.
Of course, you’ll still likely encounter crowds — but they’re much less compared to if you travel during spring break or mid-summer.
Also, since summer tends to be hotter than spring, you may risk temperatures that are higher than comfortable if you travel during the summer season. Granted, temperatures are lower during early summer than in the following months, but it doesn’t quite beat the nice weather spring provides.
3. Late Winter/Early Spring (February)
February is arguably the least ideal time to avoid spring breakers. Nonetheless, it’s worth considering if, for one reason or other, you can’t travel during the periods I’ve mentioned above.
As explained earlier, schools start closing for spring break in mid-February. That means you’ll meet spring breakers during this time, though not as much as in March. Nonetheless, the chances of meeting spring break crowds are higher than in mid-to late spring or early summer.
Also, there aren’t a lot of people who travel during this time. This means your travel costs will likely be lower than at other times of the year.
Of course, since winter just ended, you’ll likely experience weather that’s too cold for comfort. You’ll miss out on warm-weather activities, and you may need to pack more clothes than you’d like had you waited a couple more months.
Ideally, you should wait until mid-late spring or early summer. But if that’s not practical and you can brave the cold, it’s okay to travel in early February.
How To Avoid Spring Breakers During Spring Break
Unfortunately, you can’t always pick and choose when to go on holiday. Sometimes, you have no choice but to travel during spring break.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy spring break at all. If you must travel in March or happen to encounter spring breakers during your vacation, these tips should guarantee that you’ll make the most of your holiday.
Book Expensive Hotels
Cheap thrills attract spring breakers like moths to a flame. After all, most of them are students who want to have as much fun as possible on a budget. If you want to avoid them, you must dig deeper into your pocket.
For example, you’re unlikely to find rowdy spring breakers at expensive hotels. Search for these on popular hotel booking websites. Alternatively, you can contact the hotels directly or get advice from tour operators on avoiding spring breakers.
I should note that new spring break hotspots pop up like mushrooms, so it’s important to consult the professionals before you book your next ticket.
Best Websites To Book Your Spring Vacation
Tripadvisor is the best website to book a hotel free from spring breakers. Its rankings are based on reviews by guests. You can find out whether spring breakers frequent a specific hotel by reading the reviews. Furthermore, Tripadvisor lists prices on various booking websites, allowing you to pick one that fits your budget.
Other convenient booking sites include booking.com and Trivago. Both of them work more or less the same way as Tripadvisor does. You can try to visit all three and see which one works best for you.
Book Unpopular Vacation Spots
Instead of going to the usual spring breaker magnets, why not go somewhere off the beaten track — or, at least, a little off the beaten track?
For example, Florida is a popular spring break destination, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid it completely. Instead of visiting places like Fort Lauderdale or Daytona Beach, you can opt for Florida’s picturesque islands or the quieter west coast.
Of course, you may have to shell out a little more money for those places. However, the sheer serenity and beauty of these spots will more than make up for it.
How to Find Unpopular Vacation Spots
Finding a nice, peaceful vacation spot during spring break can be difficult unless you know where to look. Luckily, here’s how you can discover unpopular but idyllic vacation spots:
- Scour internet forums. Internet forums discussing tourism can be the best place to find hidden gems. One popular internet forum for travelers is Tripadvisor, though you can also opt for places like Reddit. Most people on these forums are pretty honest about their experiences, so you can expect their information to be reliable.
- Consult travel agencies. Travel agencies are brimming with information about the least explored vacation spots. Since they’re well-informed on travel trends, they know where spring breakers will likely be. Also, they can point you to destinations that spring breakers will steer clear of — and maybe even offer you a discounted travel package.
Travel to Europe
You may be thinking of traveling to the Caribbean instead. Unfortunately, the area also tends to draw in spring breakers looking for exotic yet inexpensive ways to have a good time.
On the other hand, traveling to Europe means there’s a lower chance you’ll encounter hordes of spring breakers bent on partying non-stop.
Europe has many destinations where you can take advantage of discounts only available during spring. You can visit skiing locations around the Alps, be awed by the historical sites in Greece and Rome, or bask in sandy beaches on the Mediterranean coast.
Other European locations I suggest you visit during spring are:
- Paris, France: Paris, at any time of the year, is a prime tourist destination, but it’s during spring that the City of Love really comes alive. The weather is perfect during the spring, allowing you to dine outside quaint cafes and admire the splendor of the city’s spring flower bloom.
- Rome, Italy: Rome is filled with history and beauty. You can find ancient monuments in the Italian capital. During spring, azalea and wisteria flowers decorate the city. April is a special month in Rome: The city and its inhabitants celebrate its birthday party, a tradition spanning millennia.
- Santorini, Greece: The sandy beaches of Santorini, Greece, provide the ideal location for a relaxing holiday. In spring, the crowds that usually frequent Santorini are non-existent, allowing for a peaceful and relatively cheap trip. Furthermore, Santorini and the surrounding Greek Islands are simply stunning during the spring as plants nourished by the winter rain come alive.
A report by The Dyrt found that spring camping in 2022 topped pre-pandemic levels by almost 30%. It’s easy to see why: Camping isn’t popular among spring breakers, so the likelihood of meeting them at a camping spot is low. Also, there’s less competition for parking spots, tranquil weather conditions, and fewer pests — making spring the best camping season.
Let’s not forget that camping is a relatively inexpensive activity you can enjoy with loved ones. Instead of spending a lot of money for a destination teeming with spring breakers, drive to a nearby camping spot and enjoy the wonders of nature.
After a dormant period in winter, nature regenerates during spring, filling the landscape with stunning sights. Spending time in a world that’s coming alive might re-energize you, clear your mind and fuel you for what lies ahead.
Spring Camping Tips
If you’ve decided that camping is the best way to spend spring, the following tips should enhance your experience:
- Check the weather forecast. Unlike summer and winter, spring can have unpredictable weather. Therefore, check the forecast before heading out. You can do it the old-fashioned way (i.e., watching the TV weatherman) or consult Google.
- Bring warm clothes. Although rising temperatures herald the beginning of spring, that doesn’t mean you should throw away your warm clothes. If you’re traveling near the tail end of spring, it’s a good idea to have warm clothes and bedding when you camp.
- Prepare for rain and mud. Spring weather can ruin your camping experience, especially if you leave your rain clothes at home. Ensure you have rain gear as you go spring camping, even if it looks like there will be dry weather outside.
Pick City Destinations and Cultural Retreats
The idea of vacationing in a city may seem odd at first glance. Why would you want to vacation in a city when you spend most of your time working in concrete jungles?
Cities are cultural, historical, and entertainment hubs. Places like museums and historic districts can offer you glimpses into the rich, incredible history of an area. Even if you encounter spring breakers in these places, they’ll likely be few and far between. Most importantly, they’ll be sober.
Besides, you don’t have to worry about not having access to electricity or the internet in a city. And since most college students travel away from cities during spring break, city entertainment spots become less crowded and more enjoyable.
Book Midweek Plane Tickets
To avoid meeting spring breakers at airports, fly in the middle of the week. That’s because spring breakers tend to travel at the start or end of the week.
Since airports get overwhelmed with bookings and crowds during spring break, I strongly recommend against flying during this time. However, if you have no choice but to travel during the height of spring break, book tickets from Tuesday to Thursday. Spring breakers mostly travel in crowds from Friday to Monday.
Also, book your flight early as ticket demand soars during spring break.
The best time to travel to avoid spring breakers is mid-April to mid-June. By mid-April, most spring breakers have returned to their schools, and the temperatures are perfect for a relaxing vacation.
You can also wait until early summer or late spring to travel. The crowds are long gone then, but the temperature might be too high.
Another alternative is traveling during early spring. However, you’ll have to deal with colder than comfortable temperatures, as this time comes at the tail-end of the winter season.
- Rosen Inn: Why is Summer the Best Time to Travel?
- STS Travel: When is my 2023 College Spring Break?
- How Stuff Works: A Quick and Dirty History of Spring Break
- College Consensus: Best spring break destinations for students on a budget
- NBC News: Strategies to avoid the spring break crowd
- The Dyrt: 2022 Camping Report
- Let’s Talk Business: Urban Tourism – What Attracts Visitors to Cities
- USA Today: Ready for spring break? So is everyone else. Here’s what to expect
- KOA: 8 Reasons Why Spring Camping is the Best