Before you wince at the idea of a vacation that focuses on the best Spring Break destinations, let’s take a look at the reasons why travelling February to April makes a great deal of sense for the whole family.
Technically, what to do for spring break seems at first glance to involve a mass migration of scantily clad college students to a warm beach location where gallons of cheap alcohol can be imbibed. MTV has a lot to answer for! There are certainly pockets of Mexico, Florida and California that are set up for this type of hedonistic revelry. But for the family who like the idea of grabbing a vacation that allows for some quality fun and frolics for some of their party while offering a more sedate experience for the ‘mature’ travellers, then this guide to some of the best spring break locations in luxury vacation rentals – might just be what you are looking for.
Picture this, your darling son or daughter has almost completed their first or second year at college. They aren’t the hard-core party types. In fact, they have other goals than simply acquiring a badly spelled tattoo on some booze-cruise to a three-star all-inclusive. Then these suggestions of some of the best places to go for spring break that allow your student traveller to safely dip in and out of the party scene while hanging with you during the daytime, might be just the ticket.
Here are my top picks of fun and cool places to vacation for the whole family.
Hawaii – One of the best Spring Break destinations
A trip to the heart of the Pacific is always a wonderful idea. The amazing islands of Hawaii provide a tropical and relaxed destination and is are one of the best places to go for spring break without any of the party-overload experience.
The island of Oahu is home to the capital city Honolulu. The gorgeous Lani Wai villa is a four-bedroomed property sitting in a quiet cul de sac on the edge of a marina. With your own pool, you can enjoy private family time or get out and about paddle boarding and kayaking. This is one of the ideal places to base yourself if you want to have an adventurous vacation that involves hikes, jeep rides through hills covered in lush tropical jungles, visits to the amazing Waimanalo Beach – voted the US’s best beach. Honolulu has a lot to offer – shopping, restaurants, bars, cinemas. For a family with young adults, it’s a great place to enjoy a multi-faceted vacation experience.
If you want to dial it right back, then the glorious island of Kauai is certainly one of the most unspoiled islands of the group. Anini Beach Front Home is a stunning four bedroom property that looks across beautifully appointed grounds to the beach and ocean. This is a modern property that is designed to capture the spectacular views all around. This is the ideal place to kick off your shoes and embrace a day of beach-related activities. Windsurfing, snorkelling, swimming … it’s all accessible from your terrace. If you like to stay on dry land, the sweep of beach in front of this lovely villa is the place to quietly stroll and enjoy the sounds of the sea.
In summary, Hawaii is a destination for discerning travellers all year round. It charms guests of all ages as the laid-back vibe of the islands seems to cast a spell over everyone.
When I mention Mexico as some where to go for spring break you may tune out. Please don’t! This is one of those incredible countries that encapsulates the very best of beach vacations for absolutely everyone. Historically, Cancun was the go-to place for the party thrill seekers and there are still pockets along the 15 miles sandbar that is the Cancun coastline that cater specifically for the budget break, late night clubbing scene. But do be assured, there are some gorgeous resorts and villas within an hour of Cancun that offer a luxurious experience for lucky travellers and are light-years away from the ‘cocktail culture’ found around Club Coco Bongo.
As a family, you can locate yourself at Quinta Clara villa in Playa del Carmen and take in some of the fantastic day-trips to Xcaret Park and Chichen Itcha – some of the best places to visit in Mexico. The Riviera Maya – the magnificent Caribbean coastline that starts just south of Cancun, has stunning beaches, pretty towns and lovely scenery to enjoy. You can sample some of these brilliant family adventures and then allow your student / teenager to dip into some of the more restrained party experiences in Playa.
Mexico realised in the 1990s that the reputation of Cancun as a wild spring break destination was unhelpful and misleading. Over the past decades, Mexico has worked to re-establish its image as a country that offers so much more than cheap tequila thrills. Mexico City is a cosmopolitan destination, the beautiful city of Merida – accessible from Playa and Cancun – offers some incredible Mayan and Colonial architecture.
If you prefer to focus on the western coastline of Mexico, you can explore the perfection of the Pacific Ocean from the fabulous destination that is Puerta Vallarta. The six bedroom villa Punta del Cielo offers a panoramic view over the pretty town of Puerta Vallarta and the dramatic sweeping coastline. A hillside funicular will transport you to this lovely private property that has its own heated infinity pool and open terrace. The villa is ideally suited for quiet relaxation or hosting a fun barbecue for your group as you watch the sun set over the Pacific.
When does a fun-loving college student morph into a conservative ‘grey suit’? I am pleased to say that some magic switch doesn’t just flip the moment you walk out the gates of your Alma Mater. In fact, you might be toiling away in a very grown-up job in a big city for years before that party-loving student heart of yours decides to be sensible. One of the best ways to keep that youthful attitude is to ensure that you get a couple of vacations a year that keep the flame burning.
One of the best things about being a fully-paid up member of the earning classes, is that you can look at some of the best spring break destinations knowing that you can enjoy them in style. Gone are the days of looking for the bucket-shop deals. Now you can stay in some attractive properties with five-star luxury credentials within easy access of some of the fun hot spots.
My number one choice for you would be Jamaica. With special emphasis on Montego Bay. A fabulous property like White Owl at Tryall offers eight lucky guests a very traditional colonial style villa set within the exclusive grounds of the Tryall Club. This lovely property sits in immaculate grounds with its own pool and access to the sea. Quiet relaxing days lounging on your private terrace can be interspersed with exciting tours that capture the colour and flair of Jamaica.
A short trip into the heart of Montego Bay will allow you to explore the high intensity of the Hip Strip – Gloucester Avenue’s hectic offering of restaurants and bars with none more famous than the legendary Margaritaville. ‘Waste away the day in Margaritaville’ is the slogan of this unique restaurant / bar / aqua park / night club – and it is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica. You can drop in with young kids during the day to enjoy some spicy Jamaican dishes and lots of fun in the pools and slides. Later in the day, the party atmosphere cranks up a few notches and the cocktail and club atmosphere takes off. You can enjoy fun-filled evenings knowing you can retreat and replenish your energies at one of the lovely Exceptional Villas located within easy access of Montego Bay.
The charm of Costa Rica has earned it a reputation as one of the most desirable countries to visit. It has a particular appeal among young travellers as it has gorgeous beaches, vast areas of unspoiled forests, fascinating cities with centuries of history and a young vibrant population. For any travellers who want to learn something new or expand their skills, there is excellent yoga and surfing to be enjoyed all along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline.