9 Vacation Spots To Reinvent Spring Break And Why You Should Plan Now

9 Vacation Spots To Reinvent Spring Break And Why You Should Plan Now

The essential budget-friendly guide to the time honored recess.

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Spring break has been glorified and bathed in debauchery since a similar practice in the time of the Greeks and signals, for many, the coming of summer. Begging forth thoughts (and for a large population of college students, memories or lack thereof) of party-filled days and nights, week-long Cancun trips, and hits on Barstool, spring break is a tradition long-revered.

With people all over the country flocking to warm white-sand beaches and seeking oasis under palm trees, now is the time to start planning your trip. But when flights to Miami start at $417* and foreign destinations have only a slightly higher asking price (some are lower!), looking for different experiences is worth considering for worldwide travel-addicts like me, especially since prices are only going to rise from now until break. Keep reading for 9 destinations with round-trip flights under $550 to head to for spring break - experiences and Airbnb recommendations included!

(*all flight comparisons are out of Newark Liberty International Airport - EWR and are listed in USD)


1. Lisbon, Portugal ($528)

Morgan Van Rhee

I visited my best friend in Lisbon this past June and had an amazing time exploring the coastal city. Its transportation system is insanely easy to navigate and the cost for a metro day pass is under $8. If you get lost, not to worry as the people are wonderfully friendly. As such a colorful and instagrammable city famed for mosaics, you will certainly want to explore as much as you can! My personal favorite spots in the city include old town Alfama, Mini Bar Teatro (get the chef's tasting menu!), and LX-factory with its artistic feel and unique restaurants including a rooftop bar. Make a trip to Cascais if you get the chance!

This Airbnb is so artistic!

2. Madrid, Spain ($526)

Carlotta Silvestrini

As the capital of Spain, Madrid houses some of the richest history in all of Europe. Be prepared that the Spanish you are used to learning here in the states will sound very different in Spain! At Sobrino de Botin, you can get a tour at the oldest-running restaurant in the world (it opened in 1725!) followed by lunch or dinner. Other options include taking the Teleferico de Madrid which is a gondola stretching over some of the most stunning parts of the city. No venture would be complete, however, without a trip to a tapas restaurant such as the famed Bodega de la Ardosa!

There is no better spot to cozy up after a long day with friends than at this stunning (and inexpensive) abode!

3. Rome, Italy ($469 or $350 out of JFK)

Bence Boros

There are so many activities to do in Rome including obvious visits to the Colosseum, Pantheon, Sistine Chapel, Trevi fountain, and St. Peter's Basilica. Moreover, however, are shopping trips to the Piazza di Spagna and recommended trips to Campo de' Fiori where you can delight yourself with the balsamic vinegars and olive oils at the market. If you get the chance, make the trip to Acquapendente where murals from artists all over the world dot the townscape or to Lake Como with its breathtaking scenery.

If you are searching for a classic Italian style place, look no further than the "Colosseum Dream Casa" in the city center!

4. Brussels, Belgium ($432)

Peter Heeling

At only $432, Brussels should be on your list for sure! It's unique mashup of architectural styles make the city photo-friendly and explorable, not to mention picture-friendly, jazzed-up classic street food disguised as plain fries and waffles! Be sure to try the 70's-esque vol-au-vents stuffed with fillings ranging from mushrooms and chicken to gooey cheese or apples!

With space for three guests and a great view, this penthouse is perfect!

5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands ($427)

Yanko Peyankov

My family wishes I would stop telling them about how much I loved Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. . . and that's just the airport! What can I say? I am 50% Dutch! While certainly known for their loose drug regulations and marijuana museum, there is so much more to the city. Visiting the Xtracold Icebar is a must with its interior including both a warm bar and one made entirely of ice, but don't worry, the bar provides a coat and gloves for you to go inside!

In a nation known for its innovative waterways, take it to the next level by staying on a houseboat!

6. Dublin, Ireland ($414)

StockSnap

Where better to spend St. Patrick's day than in Ireland itself? Grab brunch at Hatch and Sons for a real treat then take time to explore local cathedrals and castles. After exploring, take in a Guinness in a cozy and friendly pub with dinner. If you are feeling up for it, head down to the Vintage Cocktail Club for a tasty and boozy sip followed by a night of dancing at Club M. Even so, becoming friends with a local is the best route to take.

This colorful and cheery studio apartment is enough to brighten up any rainy day Dublin might send your way!

7. San Jose, Costa Rica ($399)

Morgan Van Rhee

The warmest destination on the list, San Jose is a great place to head for spring break. I personally loved my experiences in Costa Rica especially since the food was absolutely delicious! If you are looking for a spa retreat, the springs at the Volcano Arenal are beyond relaxing. Even so, adventure is out there! Do not miss out on ziplining in the lush forests or exploring the stunning landscape. When I returned home, I was so in awe I recounted to my mother that even the slums were beautiful.

Want stellar views at an awesome price? Well, here you go!

8. Paris, France ($371)

Morgan Van Rhee

During spring break of 2018, I hopped on a flight to Paris for the first time and fell in love with everything about the city immediately. Truly, I have never felt more at home in a city than I have in Paris and I hope to continue my culinary studies there soon. You cannot view the Eiffel tower without feeling completely drowned in glory. While the city is easy to navigate, take the time to learn a bit of French etiquette and never enter a store without greeting the shopkeepers with a quick "bonjour" before browsing. My favorite chef Jean Francois Piege operates his restaurant, "Le Grand Restaurant," out of the first arrondissement if you are looking for a luxe treat. Other delights include necessary visits to the historically aristocratic Le Marais, brunch at Eggs and Co., and the intimate 8-table French-Iranian fusion restaurant "Libra" (the ~singular~ chef operates in an open-view kitchen smaller than your average American queen or King-sized bed!). I've made an effort to get to Libra as often as I can during my travels. At night, go out for a bit of fun at the nightclub Palais Maillot.

As a modern take on classic Parisian apartment style, this place is a dream.

9. Montreal, Canada ($192)

Emmy Smith

If you have never tried poutine, you are truly missing out on all that is its squeaky cheese curd, warm gravy, and greasy thick-cut french fry glory. Poutine is a French-Canadian masterpiece of pride that you cannot miss out on. It would also be a shame if you never made it to St. Viateur Bagels or the Basilique Notre-Dame. While a chilly spot for spring break, don't be deterred by the weather for there is plenty of indoor shopping to be done in Mile-End.

For the adventurous minimalist, this loft is a coo!

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4 Breakfast Spots Near The University of Kentucky That Will Actually Get You Out Of Bed In The Morning

These places will satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.

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If you're a breakfast foodie like I am, you know that is an absolute priority to find the most popular breakfast spots despite the city you may be in. You don't want to visit the touristy and basic restaurants that everyone else goes to, but instead, you are determined to uncover the locations that are the best of the best. Most foodies will go to great lengths to discover these places. As a University of Kentucky student and major foodie, I have searched all over Lexington to find my favorite places to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This took my entire first semester and many trips to the ATM, but today, I am now blessed to say that I am a regular at all 4 of these incredible breakfast spots.

1. The Great Bagel

The Great Bagel is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to visit on Sunday mornings. The restaurant offers a variety of bagel sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice, and it makes for the perfect early morning start to a day filled with homework or relaxation.

2. Chocolate Holler

Though not a true restaurant, Chocolate Holler is one of the most popular coffee shops near the University of Kentucky. Because it is only a 3-minute drive from campus, Chocolate Holler is always buzzing with UK students who come to socialize or study. The coffee shop is most well known for its chocolaty drinks and the music is great there, too!

3. Stir Krazy

Stir Krazy is a local smoothie bar down the street that serves protein shakes, smoothies, and tea. Though It only consists of these three beverages, the shakes at Stir Krazy are enough to fill you up for breakfast or lunch. Each shake or smoothies range from 200 to 250 calories and serves as the perfect energizer before a workout or a filling recovery drink after a workout.

4. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French breakfast and lunch cafe conveniently located on campus (and only a 30-second walk from my dorm). Their breakfast is served all day long and their croissants are to die for. I highly recommend building your own omelet for the most fulfilling experience. Not to mention, their iced caramel macchiatos are a great refresher on the side.

No matter which city, state, or country I am currently in, I make it my mission to eat as a local would. In Lexington, Kentucky, these four breakfast spots are guaranteed provide you with a plethora of different types of food to get you through even the worst cases of morning hunger. Though these places are my current favorites, I am now looking forward to containing the search for more breakfast restaurants, cafes, and juice bars throughout my next four years in this city.

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Don't Waste Your Break Just Lying Around All Day

There are plenty of things that you can do so you don't feel unproductive.

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As college students, during break, we all just want to recover all of the energy we lost during the semester. Obviously, this is important, since we only have a few weeks of recuperation before we have to bust our asses all over again. Don't mistake relaxation with unproductivity, though. There are tons of ways to make sure to stay relaxed and stress free during break, but also be able to not waste the days away.

For starters, going to the gym is a perfect way to feel like you are getting stuff done. Even if you literally do nothing else all day but wake up, go to the gym, and go back home and lay around, you are still going to feel like you got something done, and you'll probably feel a lot better to. Break is the best time to get a new routine down, so why not utilize it?

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We're all in college and broke, so break is a good time to go back to work and get some extra spending money for the next semester. Even if you only make like $300 in the few weeks you have, that's $300 more you have to spend on food or...the weekends. Also, even though work can be a little stressful, it's only for a little bit of the day, and then you can go home and do nothing like you were planning on anyway. If you're afraid a job will get in the way of hanging out with friends - we're adults, just learn how to plan around it.

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Hanging with friends and family is a great way to spend break, though. Make sure to do that as much as possible. Especially if your friends don't go to the same college as you, or if you're going somewhere far from home where you won't see your family as often as they would like to see you.

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Finally, I'm not gonna sit here and pretend like laying around and doing nothing isn't the absolute best way to spend break, so if that's how you're gonna spend it, might as well bang out those Netflix series. Personally, a day of laying in bed feels much more productive if I've gotten through 8 episodes of a series rather than just playing around on my phone. So on that note, some series you should check out right now:

-"Narcos" and "Narcos: Mexico"
-"Black Mirror"
-"The Ranch"
-"Mad Men"

These are just some of my top favorite right now, so check them out if you are looking for something good to start watching.


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Don't let this break get away from you. You can relax and get stuff done all at the same time.

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