Spring Break is a time to rest, recharge, and experience life-changing adventures. However, millions of travelers have that same idea, making those precious days some of the most expensive on the calendar. The budget-conscious, however, don't need to worry: many ambitious locations feature sun and fun without the high price tag, letting you live it up without breaking the bank. These destinations offer something for everyone, from pristine beaches to scrumptious cuisine, around-the-clock parties, and adrenaline-filled activities.
If Jamaica's on your bucket list, then Ochos Rios is calling your name. Spring Break parties abound on the island, with bars and nightclubs including everything from rooftop oases to laid-back dives. Margaritaville is a local favorite, with all-day, all-night fun featuring a rooftop whirlpool, two-story 100-foot-long water slide, and a swim-up pool bar hosting the top names in entertainment. Food events, Reggae music, museums, and waterfalls round out the itinerary, and you can even stop by Columbus Park, the spot where Christopher Columbus first stepped into the Americas.
As one of the premier Spring Break destinations in the Bahamas, Nassau doesn't skimp on excitement. Nonstop action brings the city to life from sunup to sundown, with around-the-clock parties, roaring clubs, booze cruises, dance contests, and VIP packages giving guests the best that the Bahamas has to offer. If relaxation is more your speed, then soak up the rays in the aqua waters of Arawak Cay, Goodman's Bay, or the aptly named Love and Paradise beaches. As the largest casino in the Caribbean, Baja Mar offers over 1,000 slot machines and 18 types of table games.
Puerto Rico is truly an adventure lover's paradise, and San Juan is a jewel on the island. The historic city houses centuries-old forts and incredible architecture, so a stroll down the streets is an excursion in itself. Old San Juan features an extensive selection of world-class museums and attractions set against a backdrop of stunning tropical scenery, making it a must-see for the explorer in all of us. Beach lovers will be thrilled with the city's many party beaches, while those craving serenity can find solace at more remote destinations like Playa Escondida and Playa Colorá.
The ideal home base for beach lovers on a budget, this vibrant city is nestled along Florida's Gulf Coast. Considered the "Spring Break Capital of the World," Panama City Beach designs spring break like the occasion it should be, with lively activities and events occurring around-the-clock along 27 miles of white sand beaches. Bustling nightclubs bring the beach to life after dark, when Mardis Gras and glow-in-the-dark-themed parties take over the city. Explore the Tiki Bars, swim, snorkel, or sample international cuisine at the shore's premier restaurants.
Georgia's southern charm and historic ambiance make it a distinctive destination for spring breakers. Founded in 1733, the city blends the spirit of times gone by with a bustling modern lifestyle. Take a paddlewheel boat down the Savannah River and take in the sights or discover the city's story at the Telfair Museums. A stroll through the historic district gives you an up-close glimpse of centuries-old homes and museums, including the American Prohibition Museum, Fort James Jackson, and the Georgia State Railroad Museum.
This tropical Mexican paradise is regarded as the friendliest city in the world, and it lives up to its name. A resort town built along the Pacific coastline, Puerto Vallarta is a go-to destination for sand, sun, and fun. Snorkel, swim, or take in the rays at scenic Playa Los Muertos or Playa Boca de Tomates. Explore cultural landmarks like The Church of Our Lady Guadalupe, take in striking views of the ocean from one of nine popular hiking trails, explore the Palo Maria Waterfalls, rush down a waterslide, or pump up the adrenaline at one of Mexico's longest and highest ziplines, which can run 1,000 feet long and 250 feet high.
Get prepared to play on the Caribbean Sea in Cancun. Bustling beach clubs feature some of the world's best laser light shows, up to one million watts of sound, multiple floors, video screens, and up to 10 different bars under one roof. Soak up the rays on the shore or try aquatic activities ranging from scuba diving and surfing to jet skiing, surfing, paddleboarding, and parasailing. Explore Mayan ruins at the 600 C.E.-era Chichen Itza, go horseback riding through the caves, zipline over the sea, or engage your wild side during 360-degree turns from a Shotover Jet.
While most tourism-driven cities hike up the prices to unbelievable rates, Las Vegas is an exception. You don't even have to leave your hotel to have an incredible time here: shopping, gambling, and dining options are available for every budget and taste. Cost-conscious buffets, show, and event tickets offer ample entertainment, while lively pool parties, day clubs, lounges, and DJ shows rev up the night. Downtown, the Freemont Street Experience offers everything from ziplining to penny slots, fresh tacos, and karaoke at a discount. The Mob Museum, the Neon Museum, and Madame Tussaud's offer more to explore.
Beyond the glamour, Music City has plenty to offer budget-friendly travelers. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame to discover one of the world's largest destinations dedicated to American music. Grab a hot dog and cheer on the team at a baseball or hockey game. Head to Shelby Bottoms, explore the forest, and settle down for a picnic by the river, hike up the hills, live out your mythical dreams at a life-size replica of the Parthenon, or catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry — the choice is all yours.
Quintessential California living is stepped up a notch in seaside San Diego. Save your dough and hit up a free concert downtown, or head to Harbor Island Park for captivating views of the bay. Explorers can easily spend entire days at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Natural History Museum, maritime, automotive, and art Museums, or the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Head out for a boat cruise or ferry to Coronado Island, or jog through the greenery at the 1,200-acre Balboa Park.