Spring big for spring break.
Are you of the mindset that spring break is just for students and families? Well, we think spring break should be for all. Given that the next federal holiday isn’t until May, we think it’s an ideal time to put in for a week off this month and hit the road for a major vacation. With a budget of $1,750, you could head for the dramatic landscapes of Hawaii, go on a safari and wine-tasting adventure in South Africa, sail a luxury cruise in the Caribbean, or journey to Finland in search of the Northern Lights.
10 Nights in Hawaii for $1,750
Avoid the college spring breakers along the Gulf Coast, Florida, and the Caribbean and get your beach fill in Hawaii. March is an ideal time to visit the islands as whale watching season in full swing. While the odds are good that you’ll spot whales near any of the islands, head to Maui, Lanai, or Molokai for prime viewing, but do split your time between several islands! Try Oahu for an urban experience, where the Honolulu food and cultural scenes are bustling (don’t miss the restaurants in Chinatown, in particular). But there’s still plenty of natural activities: the island sees calmer seas on its south side, so swimming and watersports from gentle surfing to paddleboarding are prime in Waikiki, while excellent hiking abounds on the North Shore—as does peeping the expert surfers catching the last of the winter’s big waves. Want more nature? Hop over to Kauai and sail around the dramatic Napali Coast.
Flights to Hawaii start at $553 from Washington, D.C., $485 from Dallas, and $350 from Los Angeles, leaving you with at least $125 per night for hotels or Airbnbs—a very reasonable price for accommodations on any of the islands.
7 Nights in South Africa for $1,800
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Combine an urban adventure with a safari with some wine tastings during a trip to South Africa this month. Start your journey in Cape Town, the Mother City, where you can ascend scenic Table Mountain in a cable car, stroll the streets of colorful Bo-Kaap, go coffee bar-hopping, and even see wild penguins—or great white sharks. After a few nights in town, head into the wine regions of Franschhoek, Stellenbosch, or Hemel-en-Aarde. From there, fly up to Kruger National Park for an affordable safari: They do exist!
Flights to Cape Town are surprisingly reasonable in March, given how far South Africa is from the United States: just $736 from New York, $806 from Chicago, or $933 from Seattle. In Cape Town and the surrounding wine regions, accommodations could cost as little as $100 per night for hotels, with Airbnbs coming in even cheaper. As for your safari, while some luxury camps might cost thousands of dollars per night, there are affordable options to the tune of $150 per night in Kruger. Some accommodations include guided game drives, but you could also join a larger group drive or do a self-drive on maintained roads for very reasonable prices!
10 Nights on a Caribbean Cruise for $1,800
While we don’t necessarily recommend all Caribbean cruises in March—unless you want to keep a wary eye on those college spring breakers—we do suggest checking out some of the high-end cruises that’ll lend themselves to a more elegant experience. For $1,700, you could book a 10-night cruise on the luxurious Oceania Riviera, a 1,250-passenger culinary-focused ship with stellar specialty restaurants (included in the rate), a special Dom Perignon dinner experience (for an additional fee), and even a teaching kitchen for cooking classes. The itinerary begins in Miami and brings guests to impressive Caribbean destinations, including St. Barts and romantic St. Lucia.
Despite March being a popular time to fly to Miami, flights are still incredibly reasonable. They’re as cheap as $78 from New York, $150 from Denver, and $174 from San Diego. Check flights into nearby airports as well, like Fort Lauderdale, which is connected to Miami’s port by shuttle services, or West Palm Beach. There’s also the very affordable Brightline high-speed train that connects all three cities—and allows you to skip the traffic jams during rush hour.
7 Nights in Finland for $1,750
It’s definitely chilly in Finland in March, but the Finns have learned to embrace the cold with their saunas. Those who are brave enough should do as the locals do jump into the icy waters before relaxing in a traditional Finnish sauna—it’s equal parts invigorating and relaxing. Start your journey with a few nights in the design-forward capital city Helsinki, known for its great museums, innovative restaurants, and historic sites like the UNESCO-designated Suomenlinna Fortress. Then, if Aurora-spotting is on your to-do list, you can head north to Lapland, where each day has a perfect balance of light and darkness, meaning you can adventure in the wilderness (think: skiing, hiking, or visiting the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi) during daylight and potentially see the Northern Lights at night.
In March, flights to Helsinki cost as little as $384 from New York, $489 from Miami, and $525 from Los Angeles. Even though Scandinavia as a whole has a reputation for being a bit expensive, accommodations across Finland are very reasonable, with Airbnbs in both Helsinki and remote Lapland costing well under $100, and the most affordable hotels costing just over $100. Of course, if you have the budget, you could certainly splurge on more upscale properties—perhaps a glass igloo hotel suite in Lapland?