9 Vacation Spots For Spring Break

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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Top 50 Things You'll Hear A Southern Say

Y'all.
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For those of you who may need a little help understanding the slang of a southern, I made a list of the top 50 phrases and sayings, along with their translations.

1. Bless your heart.

My favorite saying. It is an empathetic phrase that is usually uttered when the speaker believes the recipient to be sweet, but misguided or stupid. It can also be used if the speaker believes the recipient needs to grow up and deal with it, when the speaker says it in a sarcastic tone.

2. Barking up the wrong tree.

Means being misguided or mistaken.

3. Aren't you precious?

Mostly this saying is used in a sarcastic tone in response to someone being offensive.

4. Britches.

Pants or underpants.

An example would be, "Your britches are too short, you can't wear those".

5. Coke.

Regardless if it's Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola, or another carbonated beverage, it's called Coke here in the South.

6. Fixin' to.

Simply means that you are about to do something.

7. Get the short end of the stick.

This phrase means that you basically got an unfair deal or cheated out of something.

8. Give Me Some Sugar.

Simply means give me a kiss.

9. Hissy Fit.

A hissy fit is a grown-up version of a temper tantrum that is as bad as one that a toddler would throw.

10. Hold Your Horses.

Be patient.

11. Holler.

When you say "holler" you are basically letting the other person know something.

Example: Holler at me when you are ready to get something to eat.

12. If the creek don't rise.

This saying simply means that if nothing bad happens, everything will go as planned.

13. You're as slow as molasses in the wintertime.

This phrase means that you are being EXTRA slow.

14. Muddin'.

Off-road four-wheeler riding with the intentions of getting mud everywhere and possibly losing control.

15. Skat Cat.

A phrase that can be used instead of saying "God bless you" when you sneeze.

16. There's Not A Pot Too Crooked That A Lid Won't Fit.

There is someone for everyone.

17. Pitcher.

We mostly mean a plastic container that holds sweet tea, not the position of a guy on the baseball team.

18. Reckon.

When you say "I reckon", you believe that something is true.

19. Hoot With The Owls, Soar With The Eagles.

This simple phrase means that if you are going to stay up all night, you should be able to get early in the morning.

20. Too Big For Your Britches.

Simply means that you take yourself too seriously.

21. Stompin' Grounds.

Your hometown or where you grew up.

22. Back In The Day.

Back in the day could be a month ago, a year ago, or 20 years ago.

23. You're A Spitting Image Of (Insert Family Member).

Yes, I know I'm a spitting image of my mother. "Spitting image" simply means that you look just like someone.

24. "Darlin, Sugar, Sweetheart"

These words are simply terms of endearment.

25. Buggy.

A buggy is a cart/basket at the grocery store.

Example: Who wants to push the buggy?

26. Quit Crying Or I Will Give You Something To Cry About.

This phrase simply means to quit crying and if you didn't then more than likely you got a spanking,

27. Where You Raised In A Barn?

If you are from the South, you have probably been asked this more than once, especially when you left a door open.

28. Close The Door. You Are Letting All The Good Air Out.

This southern heat is nothing to play with. It simply means to keep the door closed so the air (or heat if its winter) stays inside.

29. You Are Going To Make Me Lose My Religion.

When you say this phrase to someone, it more than likely means that person has done something to irritate you or made you mad. Thank goodness Jesus saves.

Example: You are going to make me lose my religion.

30. You Look Like A Chicken With Your Head Cut Off.

This is said when you are running around like a crazy person. It can be said if you are looking for something that you are searching for or if you are just really busy.

31. Y'all.

The southern way to say "you all".

32. You Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket.

If you've ever been told this, it means that you can't sing.

33. Have Their Feathers Ruffled.

You normally have your "feathers ruffled" when you are pouting.

34. Two Peas In A Pod.

When you and someone else are "two peas in a pod", it means that either you almost always together or that you two are almost identical in the way you think and do things.

35. Well Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit.

This saying can be used when you are surprised or excited.

36. Don't Let The Door Hit Ya Where The Good Lord Split Ya.

When someone say this they typically mean to get out and don't let the door hit you on the way out.

37. You're As Good As Gold.

When you are "as good as gold", it means that you are well-behaved and obedient.

38. It's Raining Cats And Dogs Out There.

This simply means that the rain is really coming down hard. It's not actually raining cats and dogs, people.

39. I'm Full As A Tick.

This phrase means that you ate too much food.

40. I'm Sweating More Than A Sinner In Church.

When someone says this, it means that they are really hot and sweating A LOT.

41. Pot Calling The Kettle Black.

This phrase is used when one person is guilty of the very same thing of which they accuse another person.

42. There's More Than One Way To Skin A Cat.

It means that there is anyways more than one way to fix something.

43. Shut Yo' Mouth.

Means to be quiet or hush up.

44. Whatever Floats Your Boat.

This saying means to do whatever you want to do.

45. Slap Yo' Momma.

This phrase means that something is good.

Example: This BBQ is slap yo' momma good.

46. She's Like A Bull In A China Shop.

When you tell someone this phrase, you are telling them that they are clumsy or careless in the way that they move.

47. Cuttin' A Rug.

Cuttin' a rug is used to describe dancing.

Example: Let's go cut a rug tonight.

48. Clicker.

A clicker is another name for a TV remote.

49. Slow Your Roll.

This also means to be patient.

50. You're A Hot Mess.

When you tell someone that they are a "hot mess", you are simply telling them that they don't have it together.

Cover Image Credit: silhouetteamerica.com

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I Have A Love-Hate Relationship With Summer Classes, Let Me Explain

While I can easily see the benefits of taking classes over the summer, as I sit here studying for exams worth 80% of my grade, I have also realized that signing up for classes definitely has some negative aspects too.

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I absolutely love learning and often joked (and eventually seriously stated) that being in school taking classes year-round would be one of the best things ever. So, this summer I decided to take fourteen credits, which is essentially an entire semester of courses within a 10-week period. While I am definitely enjoying what I'm learning and can easily see the benefits of taking classes over the summer, as I sit here studying for exams worth 80% of my grade, I have also realized that signing up for this many classes definitely has a few downsides. Thus my love-hate relationship with summer classes was created.

Initially, I decided to sign up for one summer class because the idea of being able to finish a math course in five weeks instead of 15 weeks was VERY appealing to me (I don't really enjoy math). However, that one class quickly turned into four classes when I thought about prerequisite courses and how much I would be able to learn within such a short period of time. It seemed to make sense to me, I loved school and had the opportunity to continue it for a few more months - why wouldn't I?

Well, halfway through my first set of classes, I have an answer to that question. Walking into my first summer class and reading the syllabus made me quickly realize how rushed this semester is going to be. I have exams pretty much every week in addition to quizzes, projects, and papers - not to mention meeting for actual class 12 hours every week. On top of that, there's also homework assignments and studying, which probably consumes an additional 12 hours of my week. The classes I'm taking created a busy schedule and my routine needs to be strict if I am going to keep up with everything.

My current summer routine looks a little something like this: wake up, go to class, do homework, drive to the next class, sit and take notes, and drive home. I also have to fit in sleeping and eating. On my days off, work gets added into that routine or spending time with my friends or family, depending on the weekend. It is a somewhat monotonous cycle that has left me feeling a little exhausted sometimes. I am so busy that it got to the point where I spent the entire day with my best friend while she essentially watched me do homework and drink coffee. It gets tiring doing the same thing over and over again while constantly experiencing school-related stress and I can feel myself starting to slowly burn out.

But, as soon as everything starts to feel overwhelming and I don't think I can balance classes, work, and summer all at once, I try to remind myself why I decided to take these classes in the first place. I love school. I always have and as nerdy or lame as it sounds, I think I always will. As a college student, I have the opportunity to spend extra time over the summer learning new things about a variety of topics.

This summer, it happens to be statistics, ecology, ethics, and the history of jazz, but who knows what next summer could hold? It seems nonsensical to me to not take advantage of such a great opportunity for growth even if it leaves me feeling a little stressed. Being in classes this summer also allows me to remain in my school routine of productivity (and procrastination) which will hopefully make the transition into my challenging fall semester go more smoothly.

As easy as it is for me to complain about summer classes and the burnt out feeling associated with them, I honestly have no regrets. I love what I'm doing and I wouldn't have it any other way. But don't get me wrong, I will DEFINITELY be taking advantage of my break in between the fall and summer semesters of classes. Relaxation and vacation will be the only two words in my vocabulary during those five weeks and if you need me, I'll be at the beach.

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