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3 Easy and Affordable Spring Break Destinations for 2016

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Jackie NourseGuest Blogger
February 18, 2016 · 3.3k Views

(Jackie is a guest blogger from The Budget-Minded Traveler.)

It’s already February, and Spring Break will be here before we know it. There’s no better excuse to travel than taking advantage of holidays from school and work, so if you haven’t made your winter escape plans yet, now is the time to get on that. To help your cause, I’ve come up with three affordable, easily accessible, sunny destination ideas for your upcoming spring getaway:


Oahu, Hawaii

Kailua Bay, Oahu © Jackie Nourse

No, I’m not kidding. Oahu can certainly be done on a budget while still experiencing plenty of adventure and beauty. There are many places to hike, opportunities to learn how to surf, rent stand up paddle boards, go kayaking, or even go on a zip lining adventure without breaking the bank. If you haven't already, do check out Groupon and plan your trip ahead of time so you can buy vouchers for discounted activities (that can save you up to 70% off or more). Alternatively, if you prefer to do nothing on your vacation (and no one will judge you for this), the countless, sun-drenched, palm tree-lined beaches are waiting for you. Mango smoothie, anyone?


Why It’s Easy & Affordable:

 US citizens don’t need a passport

 Tropical paradise at your fingertips

 No foreign transaction fees or currency

 Great flight deals from the west coast

 Hostels (check out the North Shore)

 Boutique hotels or Airbnb

 Shrimp trucks (trust me on this one)

 Adventure activities for all budgets


San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Pelican Eyes Resort, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua © Jackie Nourse

While the masses travel next door to Costa Rica, take advantage of less crowded and more affordable Nicaragua. If you’re looking for beach, San Juan del Sur is your place. Here you can enjoy fresh natural juices, catch-of-the-day seafood, night life, sailing trips, beach days, and your choice of budget to luxury accommodations. There are several beaches to explore nearby, and the more adventurous could consider a trip to Ometepe Island to hike a volcano or two. For a full 7-day itinerary, click here.


Why It’s Easy & Affordable:

 Short flight to Managua from southern US

 US dollar is widely accepted, making it easy to bring the cash you’ll need

 Tropical adventure at your fingertips

 Great flight deals from southern US

 Low cost of living means the US dollar goes far

 Adventure activities for all budgets


La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

Lunch stop on Isla Espiritu Santo, La Paz, Baja California Sur © Jackie Nourse

Cabo may be in the spotlight, but my favorite (and very underrated) destination in Baja California Sur is La Paz, just a couple hours north of Cabo on the Sea of Cortez. La Paz offers travelers a taste of real Mexico, rather than just a taste of the overpriced, over-crowded American resort bubble of Cabo.

Accommodations and restaurants are plenty, and don’t miss the food carts and taco trucks. There are tour companies on every corner offering opportunities to swim with whale sharks, go whale watching, spot manta rays, snorkel with sea lions, kayak to Isla Espiritu Santo, and more. You could also simply rent a car and explore the beautiful beaches of the peninsula yourself, renting kayaks or stand up paddle boards along the way, or, of course, parking yourself in the sand with a margarita.


Why It’s Easy & Affordable:

 Cheap flights to Cabo from many destinations across the US

 Two hour flight from LA

 Baja is especially used to catering to American tourists

 Great destination for a shorter trip since it is so close

 Adventure activities for all budgets

 Baja California Sur is considered the safest region in Mexico


Do these destination sound good to you? We hope they do! Spring Break is right around the corner and two useful sites we can always vouch for is Groupon and Hotels.com when it comes to frugally planning our way to a productive and happy vacation. Alternately, you can also try Airbnb where available but either way, with careful researching and planning, you're well on your way to a sun-filled break. Enjoy!


Always check the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to stay on top of the latest health and travel alerts before booking trips.

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Jackie Nourse is a travel blogger and award-nominated podcaster at TheBudgetMindedTraveler.com and TravelingJackie.com. Since her first study abroad experience in 2003, she’s been traveling the world and making it her mission to inspire and equip others to do the same. She is the author of The Aspiring Traveler’s Handbook: A preparation guide to international travel, has lived in Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina, speaks four languages and considers food one of the best parts of travel.
bear45Feb 18, 2016
Love these! Nicaragua has definitely been on my list of places to visit! My friend went recently and she loved it!!
BluSkyGreenGrassFeb 18, 2016
I'll take all three!
wasabiFeb 18, 2016
I've never visited Hawaii but its on my list.. and so are these other two now! Thanks for the tips :)
dtran5Feb 18, 2016
oooh, definitely want to visit Nicaragua!