Planning an Adult Spring Break? Here’s Where to Go

Planning an Adult Spring Break? Here’s Where to Go

Image Credit: Amanda Fray
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As a member of the 
trés tragiqué class of 2020, I am forever slightly (very) bitter about being deprived of my senior spring break, majorly jelling over those lucky souls who had earlier college opps to head to beach locales and snow-capped mountains. April was supposed to mean sarongs and mojitos, a hundred of my closest friends, and possibly a few morning regrets. 

In adulthood a few years later, with more daydreams under my belt and slightly more disposable income devoted to travel specifically, I’ve noticed the shift amongst my friends and peers towards a week-long hiatus from reality in April the same way we relished in college: adult spring break. Although those lucky enough to take PTO can take it at any time of year, planning an “adult spring break” can pull you back into a state of mind with less inhibitions. 

From gentle beach towns to exotic and boujée locales, here are four spots on my travel wishlist for my next adult spring break—and some recommendations for each ranging from doable (requiring some saving but potentially within reason) to aspirational (no shame to the nepo babies—we’re jealous of the funds.)

BRB, booking a plane ticket.

If I was a rich girl na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na…

Here’s where I’d go on an adult spring break. 



This year saw this star-studded, picturesque mining town in Utah—roughly 45 minutes from Salt Lake City—receiving its induction into the 500 Club, a collection of selective towns on the skiing circuit that receive 500 inches ore (typo but we’ll roll with it because uh, mining town) more in a given year. Park City also had its best snow in over 50 years according to locals.

I’m a bit biased because I just ended my 2023 ski season living in this fabulous tiny town, but with an advent of fresh snow (best April pow ever), the resorts in town have extended their seasons — which means suddenly they’re scrambling for travelers to book trips.

Doable or aspirational?

Doable, especially if you’re willing to stay a little further out. Be sure to check your ski passes for applicable discounts across lodging, food, and beverage.

Where to stay:

You could save quite a bit if you’re willing to stay in SLC and just take the bus into Canyons or similar to ski. But if you’re willing to spend on your trip and want to opt for a Park City-centric hotel, the Sheraton Park City currently has some great deals in April. Just make sure to stay before April 23 if you plan to hit the slopes!

For the ultimate crush, try the Washington School House Hotel. Its building was first built as a school in 1889, so the property is historically appointed with a chic ski lounge, heated pool (okay, not all historical), and soaring 16-foot ceilings. With only seven total rooms, you’re guaranteed some serenity after the chaos of the slopes (and of No Name Saloon.)

What to do:

Ski. Duh. 

Swing by the St. Regis Deer Valley at 5:30 PM aprés and score a free glass of champagne after the hotel brand’s signature sunset champagne sabering. (Yes, it’s as extra as it sounds.) The aprés spot at the resort, the Vintage Room, will cost you roughly $45 a glass—yikes!—so this coupe is a delight when you want to soak in a luxury atmosphere without a heart attack on your bank balance. If you’re looking to ball out, however, still head to the Vintage Room on Fridays and Saturdays for a live DJ and some shenanigans.

For a low-key bar scenario, you also can’t go wrong with O’Shucks Bar & Grill, the location near Jeremy Ranch, not downtown. This two-story Irish bar has the shocking combo of a pub and a sushi bar (sketchy sounding, as you are in Utah) with significant discounts, an extensive menu, and beer served in goblets. The relaxed yet jovial atmosphere makes it a local favorite, while the shockingly satisfying cuisine makes it a personal favorite. 


I wouldn’t normally call a jaunt to Europe doable rather than aspirational but budget airline PLAY Airlines is changing all that with the launch of its US-to-Iceland routes out of New York, Boston, Washington D.C., and a few select cities. Play it right and you can score round-trip tickets to Reykjavik for less than $300 total. Getting to another continent? Easy, especially if you can do it out of a backpack.

The flight itself is bare-bones, without power, Internet, or flight selection, but hey, those few hours might be the perf time for some meditation.

Doable or aspirational?

Shockingly doable. Checking a bag or, uh, jaunting to Paris afterwards would clock you more towards the aspirational side.

Where to stay:

The Kvosin Hotel in downtown Reykjavik is largely affordable too, with prices more similar to domestic stays than what you’d expect from an international destination. Although Iceland generally has higher prices across the board—so you’ll want to budget accordingly for food, beverage, transportation, and similar—this warm hotel in the city is comfortable, chic, and within walking distance to just about everything in town.

What to do:

For all y’all nature-focused girlies like us, Iceland will have you in awe. Start with one word: lagoons. Venture into the Blue Lagoon, a richly saturated natural formation. No doubt you’ve seen the Instas of this silica-rich natural beauty. The geothermal seawater is soothing and rejuvenative (maybe adult spring break priorities are a little different), while the striking blue color will have you positively giddy. But whatever you do, don’t dip your precious mane in the water. We (and all of Tiktok) are warning you. 


For a more elevated—and less crowded—experience, head to Sky Lagoon, a similarly connected experience of thermal baths. Located seven kilometers south of downtown in an area called Kópavogur, Sky Lagoon has a seven-step ritual experience including a cold plunge, sauna, body scrub, infinity pool, and more.

As we inch closer to summer, you can catch the midnight sun and relish the sunshine later in the day, much needed after all the 5 P.M. sunsets of winter. Hikes and waterfalls are the name of the game. Until then, there’s still a *small* chance of bucket-listing the Northern Lights.



New Orleans is sexy and sultry, whether you’re polka-ing on Frenchmen Street or mellowing out to local jazz Uptown over some beignets. It’s the ultimate spring break destination whether you’re deep in your party years or prefer the cultural fineries of food, art, music, history, with a vibrant energy capable of seducing anyone. 

To be completely honest, most of our peers who dislike the city only dislike the memory of a sloshed fraternity formal they don’t remember, throwing up glitter and kamikaze shots on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Scout’s honor. Budget-wise, you can find an entree and an activity to fit all from parched bank accounts to luxury. Do keep your wits about you when it comes to your purse, phone, and wallet in crowded, touristy areas however.

Doable or aspirational?

Doable on a budget, but with some breathtakingly aspirational options for stays.

Where to stay:

TBH, I have fully couchsurfed in NOLA before, but you’ll probably want to stay in an AirBnB or hotel. Picking which neighborhood to stay in will completely depend on your vibe. Do you want immediate access to all the bars or a more lush, upscale experience? I’m personally eyeing The Chloe, a decadent boutique hotel complete with record players in the rooms (featuring local musicians!) and a retro pool, as I adore wandering Uptown and along St. Charles Avenue. The design savvy is unreal. If you’re a runner like I am, jogging up to Audubon Park is easy, and the loop is well-loved for getting miles in. 

While your, er, spring break activities might not immediately scream convent, you should consider staying in a converted one: the Hotel Peter & Paul, a stunning property located in the bohemian Marigny. Each sumptuous room takes my breath away, and is of course resplendent in modern touches like fine Italian linens, flat-screen TVs, and gorgeous communal spaces for gathering. Because what’s “Forgive me Father, for I have sinned” more than New Orleans revelry?

What to do:

Eat and drink your way through the city. Wander along Magazine Street for an adorable assortment of boutiques and bars. Visit the Garden District to Zillow-stalk incredible mansions. Duck in and out of the parks as you wander, cocktail in hand (yes, it’s open container!) but not after dark. After dark, head up to Frenchmen Street for live music and dancing.



Live out your Outer Banks fantasies in this gentle, colorful beach town saturated in Southern history. Camp out near Folly Beach and fall asleep to crashing ocean waves, or set up downtown in a classic shotgun property full of Old World charm. Ideally track down a man (or anyone else) with a boat who can take you out on the water.

Doable or aspirational?

The boutique hotels are swanky and cater to the affluent, meaning that if you’re trying to budget, it’s likely best to hunt amongst the Airbnbs or pool together funds on a large group trip to afford more than one or two nights.

Where to stay:

I still dream of a few evenings spent at Zero George, a five-star European-inspired boutique hotel in the Ansonborough district that bends over backwards to ensure your experience is nothing short of impeccable. Embodying sophistication and luxury, this property is notable for its historic rooms, attentive service, and intimate ambiance—but most of all, its culinary excellence. I’m not normally a “foodie” but I dream of the hotel’s Caviar Bar and tasting menu—the best meal I’ve ever had. The chefs, sommeliers, and curators are the top of the top.

What to do:

Charleston’s what you make of it. As a history major dork, I highly recommend a walking tour of the city, acknowledging its role in Southern affairs (for better or worse, you’ll learn a lot about the formation of this Southern mecca.) The weather’s usually fantastic, making it tempting to meander in the sunshine for hours on end. Unlike most other cities, Charleston also prioritizes a high standard of treatment for its working horses, making a horse-drawn carriage ride along the cobblestone streets surprisingly ethical and of course enjoyable. Don’t forget to check out Rainbow Row, an iconic and ‘grammable collection of swanky houses.

Nearby Folly Beach draws surfers and loungers—all you need is a beach chair, floppy chair, and paperback (or your board.) You’ll find laid-back eateries and beach bars all along this stretch for the “traditional” Spring Break experience.

If you’re looking to extend your trip, drive roughly two hours South to Savannah—its sister city—on your way out of town to wander the squares and gardens under dripping Spanish moss.



Still craving the group trip feel of those college trips? I completely understand. Let me introduce you to For The Love of Travel, a curated collection of adult-only trips through an assortment of destinations. Pick from Greece, Costa Rica, Bali, and more. Billed as “group travel for people who don’t group travel” (and actually boasting thousands of five-star reviews), FTLO drops its 2024 itineraries on April 19—so you’ll want to get your credit card out. Use code OPENINGDAY2024 for 10 percent off your trip in the only sale you’ll see all year. I’m dying to go on a FTLO trip myself, and it seems to provide that missing community element I still miss from our ripped-away senior spring break.

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