Spring brings melting snow, budding flowers, warming temperatures, and a hidden season of traveler opportunity. Visiting before the rush of summer means avoiding the crowds … and the corresponding high prices. Our cheap spring destination picks offer a variety of cultural activities, seasonal events, and affordable prices to make a trip worth both your time and budget.
Whether you’re looking for a cheap spring break trip or just an affordable spring vacation, these spots around the world offer great value.
Pro Savings Tip: Sign up for airfare alerts from our sister site, Airfarewatchdog, to monitor the best flight prices from your home airport for cheap spring break flights. And for accommodations, use an app like HotelTonight for last-minute savings, or consider a vacation rental.
March: Best Cheap Spring Vacations
Take your pick among Anaheim, Los Angeles, Orange County, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, or even San Diego—historically, all of these SoCal hotspots make for a cheap springtime getaway when you look at average round-trip airfare and nightly hotel rates.
Historical spring temperature averages show a good chance at warm weather to enjoy the beaches, amusement parks, and hotel pools before the summer heat sets in. For the best spring travel prices, avoid peak travel dates like school breaks and popular music festivals. Spring also brings wildflower season (blooms vary year-to-year) to destinations like Palos Verdes, Antelope Valley, and Malibu.
While you’ll miss the crowds of foreigners by coming in the spring, you won’t miss out on local festivals and attractions. Saving money is a big perk of spring travel to Southeast Asia, too. Hotels reduce rates, airfare prices drop, and vacation packages may be hundreds less.
Take Bali for example: You’ll be able to explore Bali’s wild interior and witness locals performing traditional music and creating art with little competition from other tourists. Other Southeast Asia hotspots that make for a cheap spring break include Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia. For savings on Southeast Asia trips in spring, check tour operators like G Adventures and Intrepid Travel.
South America’s Southern Hemisphere location means it experiences fall during the Northern Hemisphere’s spring, with many of its countries offering pleasant temperatures in the 60s and 70s. Although spring weather is preferable to the area’s cooler winter (our summer), fewer tourists from the north visit at this time. So, if you can break away from work or school a little earlier than everyone else, you can take advantage of better weather and lower prices.
Consider a trip to Argentina, where the peso typically fluctuates in favor of the U.S. dollar. Capital city Buenos Aires boasts a strong European flavor, with cobbled streets, chic restaurants, festivals, and a lively atmosphere. Make the most of your time on the continent and extend your trip to Patagonia and Chile.
For a beach spring break trip, look to affordable Colombia, Guyana, and Brazil, particularly Sao Paulo.
April: Best Cheap Spring Vacations
Costa Rica’s high season stretches into April, but if you can wait to visit the Central American country until late in the month, or even in May or June, you’ll find deals worth your while. Expect savings on airfare starting in mid-April, and similar trends at hotels and resorts.
The trade-off? More rain, though the tropical showers are often limited to afternoon or evening. And more than in other destinations, Costa Rica’s “green season” actually has a following of visitors who prefer the lush landscapes and smaller crowds of the spring and summer months. It really is the perfect backdrop for zip-lining in the Cloud Forest or spotting three-toed sloths.
While Hawaii never really experiences a low season, winter and summer tend to be more popular times to visit the islands, so the spring (as well as the fall) tends to be a cheaper season to come. And, the weather between April and June is actually better than the in winter, with less rainfall and pleasant temperatures ranging from about 68 to 86 degrees. In springtime, water temps are higher and the waves are calmer.
Accordng to the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, spring airfares average about half the price of summer or winter airfare, and hotel rates drop $15 to $20 per night. Plus, thanks to plenty of new air routes, you have more nonstop flight options than ever before to get here. Now all you have to do is decide which Hawaiian island you should visit for a spring vacation.
Lounging on beach, surfing, and exploring the islands’ undersea and volcanic wonders are always in season, but visit in the spring to see unique events like the Big Island’s Merrie Monarch Festival in April, and the Waikiki Spam Jam (Oahu). Check out this article for more springtime events in Hawaii.
Another destination with almost guaranteed cheap airfare this time of year is Florida. Of course, you’ll want to avoid peak travel dates to amusement parks and cities like Orlando, but in general, round-trip flights to Florida can be inexpensive this time of year.
Consider a trip to Miami, where you can compare flight deals to both Miami and nearby Fort Lauderdale. If you’re renting a car, you can search for Florida flight deals farther afield: West Palm Beach Airport is about two hours away and sometimes yields better prices.
Pro Savings Tip: Instead of staying on South Beach, stay downtown to avoid the Miami Beach resort tax.
Or plan a cheap spring vacation to Florida to a lesser-known destination. With a top-rated beach, cute surrounding towns, and access to nature activities like forest walking trails and kayaking, Navarre Beach is an underrated Floridian spring break spot.
Off-peak but not off the radar—that’s the case for most of the Caribbean in spring. Starting in mid-April or early May, prices for airfare and hotels drop after the winter high season. Since hurricane season doesn’t officially begin until June, there’s a window of fantastic beach weather and good prices. Check CheapCaribbean.com and cruise lines for last-minute deals.
Based on past years’ trends, stand-out destinations in the Caribbean for a cheap spring break vacation include Cancun (and most of Mexico), the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Check out our hotel finds in the Caribbean with nightly rates under $100.
May: Best Cheap Spring Vacations
The Pacific Northwest
For spring events in the Pacific Northwest, you can travel for the Portland Rose Festival, Seattle Restaurant Week, Emerald City ComicCon, and the University District Street Fair. For outdoor activities, enjoy the mild (and sometimes sunny) weather in late spring at the Mt. Hood Territory near Portland, or Washington’s Rattlesnake Ledge in Snoqualmie Pass.
Shoulder season also brings deals to both the city of Vancouver and its alpine neighbor, Whistler Blackcomb. From cherry blossom spotting to spring skiing, there are plenty of reason to book an affordable spring break to these two British Columbia destinations.
Thanks to shoulder season, spring (New Zealand’s fall) is the best time to go.
A favorable exchange rate and abundance of free outdoor activities make a trip here affordable once you step off the plane. As a bucket-list adventure destination, you’ll have no shortage of activities on both the North and South Island, plus amazing vineyards to visit.
May is the ideal time to visit almost any spot in Arizona. Hotel rates tend to drop in popular locations like Phoenix and Scottsdale just before warm-season temperatures start to spike, and places that are popular in summer—like the Grand Canyon and Sedona—don’t have their crowds yet.
Also, don’t discount “second cities” like Mesa. Popular spring activities in Mesa include hiking in the Tonto National Forest, tubing on the Lower Salt River (public access starts in May), exploring the Fresh Foodie Trail, and visiting the Mesa Arts Center. Mesa’s tourism board has tons of budget-friendly itineraries to help you plan your perfect spring break. You can even glamp in a vintage Airstream trailer on a peach farm, at Schnepf Farms. Mesa Airport serves over 45 nonstop destinations, so if Phoenix fares are high, consider flying to Mesa instead.
Where to Go Cruising in Spring: Alaska
According to our sister site, Cruise Critic, cruising in Alaska in May is the best time to save. This is right after the ships arrive in the region to start the busy season, which kicks off in early summer. While you might luck out with less rain during May, the temperatures are still a bit cool.
Bonus Affordable Spring Destination
Spring is one of the best times to visit this North African country. Even as early as mid-March, the weather can be mild and dry—ideal for market wandering and desert camping.
Traveler’s Note: Ramadan occurs during the spring months and may result in some closures due to the religious holiday.
More from SmarterTravel:
- The 11 Best Spring Dresses for Travel
- Affordable Europe in the Spring Off-Season
- 12 Spring Travel Sandals You Need Now
Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2019 and has been updated with the latest information. Ashley Rossi, Christine Sarkis, Jessica Labrencis, Molly Feltner, and Sarah Pascarella contributed to this story.