5 Spring Break Destinations Where You Can Avoid the Crowds

NerdWalletJanuary 16, 2020

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Everybody loves a spring getaway. But not everyone loves the hordes of college students in popular spring break destinations. This year, ditch the overflowing beaches and rowdy parties by heading to one of these five spring break destinations where you can avoid the crowds.

1. Holbox Island, Mexico

Skip right over Cancún and head to this car-free island off the coast instead. Sandy beaches accommodate soaking in the sun and you can even search for bioluminescent phytoplankton after nightfall.

Want to get more adventurous? Go swimming with whale sharks or bring your snorkeling gear to search for colorful fish and stingrays. There are also plenty of places to order a fresh mojito or margarita, if that’s what you’re after.

You can book an award flight to Cancún with most major airlines, then take a bus out to the island.

Use your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to book a stay at a beachfront property like the Villas HM Paraiso Del Mar, which requires around 14,500 points per night in mid-March. (The exact points rate will depend on the cash price of the room.)

2. Bordeaux, France

Paris may be the shining jewel of France, but this famed wine-growing region of the country is just as, if not more, picture-perfect — and you’ll likely find it less crowded in the spring. You can stroll around the river, gaze up at the Gothic architecture and explore sprawling gardens (in addition to sampling fine wines and visiting the Cité du Vin wine museum, of course). The city truly offers a cultural escape like no other.

American Airlines and Delta are just two of the airlines on which you can book award flights to Bordeaux. Once you’re there, book the Intercontinental Hotels Bordeaux Le Grand at 55,000 IHG points per night.

3. Rincón, Puerto Rico

San Juan is the more popular destination on this island, but if you head to the western shore, you’ll find a much quieter and picturesque escape. You’ll still get to enjoy beaches and palm trees in abundance, but without the cruise ports and college crowds.

Go surfing or snorkeling, relax on the beach, explore lighthouses and satisfy your cravings for Caribbean cuisine, all in a quieter atmosphere just two and a half hours from San Juan Airport.

United and American Airlines are two of the major airlines that fly to Puerto Rico, and you can book with miles. As for where to stay, check out the beachfront Rincón of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel and Villas. Book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal to redeem points.

4. Dresden, Germany

Everybody heads to big cities like Berlin or Frankfurt when jetting off to Germany. Skip the crowds of college students, families on vacation and tourists by heading to Dresden instead. Half of this historical city is shiny, modern and new, and the other half is a rich tapestry of history and culture.

Wander through castles, visit museums, grab a bite on a patio and then do some shopping across the river. Then revel in the hidden oasis you’ve found.

From the U.S., you can use United MileagePlus miles to book an award flight on several airlines, including United and Lufthansa, depending on where you live.

5. Bogotá, Colombia

Bogotá is the perfect base for the many grand adventures to be had in beautiful Colombia. Explore the culture of this historic yet modern city, then head into the surrounding Andes for epic nature excursions, and relax back in town with people-watching on the plaza and fine cuisine.

Most major airlines fly to Bogotá, so it’s easy to book with miles. For a classy stay booked with points, check out the Hilton Bogotá Corferias starting at 40,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

The bottom line

Skip the spring break hot spots (and the accompanying crowds) this year by setting off to a different destination. You still get all the relaxation, cultural exploration or adventurous excursions you want, but with less hustle and bustle.

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