You Deserve an Adult Spring Break — Here Are 5 Reasons to Plan One This Month
In my opinion, once January 1 hits, it’s time for spring to be here already. And no, I’m not talking about the teasing oscillation between fool’s spring and second winter that drives me absolutely wild as a Virginia resident. I mean the type of weather when it’s finally time to put away the sweaters and mittens and start wearing tank tops and shorts. There’s just a freshness in the air as the birds return, trees bud, flowers bloom, and grass grows green.
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If you’re having trouble waiting until summer to splash in the ocean or immerse yourself in a new place, don’t put it off! While arranging childcare, allocating PTO, and funding travel can all make a break feel like more trouble than it’s worth, studies show that taking a vacation improves both your productivity and mental health. Plus, there are ways to plan a trip that fits into your budget and schedule, even if you’re not too far from home.
Beyond the health benefits, here are five reasons to convince you to toggle on auto reply, close the computer, and head off on spring break — adult-style.
Going away breaks up the calendar.
Once the holiday season ends, anticipating summer vacation can be excruciating, and the days seemingly go by slower than they should. There’s nothing better to lessen the wait than to plan a break in the middle. Whether you go for a long weekend with your significant other or plan a whole week of activities with friends, your time away will be a welcome distraction as you renew your mind.
Pausing allows you to make time for yourself.
Being on a schedule can cause weeks to tick away as you perform tasks. The daily grind of work and necessary activities, such as grocery shopping and exercise, can leave little time to do what you want. Schedule a mini-getaway to finally read the book you unwrapped Christmas morning, or allow yourself to have a guilt-free experience somewhere new. Doing what you want, when you want, can be one of the most invigorating experiences.
You’ll feel closer to your family and friends.
Do you have children who will be on spring break? Whether they’re in grade school or college, plan to take your vacation simultaneously. Instead of having your kids spend the week sleeping in, scrolling social media, and playing video games, get them out of their regular environment and introduce them to other activities. Or perhaps your friend group has been joking about heading to a particular destination — now is the time to finally pack your bags. Gather your BFFs and plan a trip bonding over activities and chatting.
You can reminisce about your younger days.
As an adult out in the workforce or managing a household, your priorities are most likely different than they were when you were younger. And chances are you can’t handle alcohol and win belly-flop contests like you could in your youth. So instead of binge drinking, take a cocktail class or a tasting of locally-produced spirits. Focus on elevated experiences instead while still paying respects to your younger days.
Exploring new places is refreshing.
Part of the fun of traveling is simply going somewhere new. Being in a different environment, tasting regional cuisine, and visiting one-of-a-kind sights can change your perspective, even if you don’t stray far. Perhaps you already have your eye on a specific destination, but if not, take a peek at a few suggestions below depending on the type of spring break you’re craving.
If you want to explore nearby …
The staycation is definitely having a moment and is the perfect option if you’re low on vacation funds, so capitalize on what’s nearby. Either book a local hotel, swap houses with a friend, or stay home. The key to making this staycation successful is making plans you’ll stick with. Head to your area’s tourism site and visit local museums, new-to-you restaurants, and outdoor spaces. Become a tourist in your hometown.
To have an outdoor adventure …
Travel to Lexington, Virginia, where you can explore caverns and go dark sky stargazing at Natural Bridge State Park. For an international trip, head to La Fortuna, Costa Rica, where you can ride horseback to Arenal Volcano, zipline through the rainforest, and end the day by soaking in volcano-heated hot springs at Tabacon. Another Costa Rican option is to stay at Nantipa in Santa Teresa, where you can walk down the beach for a surfing lesson and relax afterward with an on-site massage.
If you long for more cold weather …
Plan an adventurous trip to McCall, Idaho, which is filled with ice fishing, snowmobiling, and skiing at Tamarack. Or gather the family for a snowboarding trip to Mt. Rose or Northstar, California, both in the Reno/Tahoe area. Another option is to head to the Jungfrau region in Switzerland to explore the ice caves at the Top of Europe and take in the snow-capped mountains from the train.
When you want to explore a city …
Fly to Mexico City and explore the artsy neighborhood of Condesa. Anchor your time by staying at Andaz, a dog-friendly hotel — there’s a “wooftop” beer garden, complete with a zero-proof beer for pups — with a pool overlooking the city. For an economical, U.S.-based experience, consider Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and visit botanical gardens, peruse museums, and explore trails on a Segway tour.
To splurge on a luxury experience …
For an island break, spend the day in the adults-only area, take a catamaran ride, and dine on lobster as the sun sets at Aruba Marriott Resort. Choose a room with a volcanic rock tub and have dinner in a cenote at La Casa de la Playa in Riviera Maya. Options on Mexico’s western coast are to book a Blue Desert Cabo villa — complete with a chef, housekeeper, and concierge — or have spa treatments and a sound bath under the stars at Paradisus Los Cabos.