For many college students, spring break is synonymous with Panama City Beach, sunshine, and an endless supply of freedom (at least for a week). However, some may fail to realize the many other options they have when it comes to ten days away from campus. Although some of these options may not be as carefree as a week in Mexico, they offer experiences that are enriching, culturally, or otherwise. Take a look over the following alternatives to the typical spring break for inspiration!
1. “Alternative breaks”
Many colleges offer service-learning trips. These trips take groups of students to areas of need of reconstruction after natural disasters, extreme poverty, or otherwise. Check with your university’s service headquarters; if you’re looking for service hours, or even just a way to help out people in and out of your community, an alternative break will suit your needs.
2. Hostel Trip/Backpacking
If you’re more of an adventuring type, why not take the big leap and go to Europe or South America? Although these kinds of trips do require some advance planning, a trip to a foreign country is not totally out of the question (or the budget). HostelWorld.com is a great website to peruse over hostel options all over the globe that can be your safe haven after long days of exploring some of the most beautiful cities in the world. Perhaps if spring break is too close for this kind of trip for you, plan ahead for next year with your closest friends. A trip like this could inspire and ready you for studying abroad!
Not looking to spend an extraneous amount of money, but still want to have an amazing time? Check out local camping areas near your campus! Many campus recreation centers offer rentals on camping gear, so your biggest cost would be food and gas. Grab a few of your closest friends and get off the grid for a while. Sometimes being without technology can be the biggest stress relievers (and plus who doesn’t want to have bragging rights about being a rugged camper?)
4. Stay at Home
So this option might have some running to the nearest sandy beach, but staying at home is not as bad as some might make it out to be. What’s better than vegging out for a couple days and getting to visit with your friends and family? As crazy as it sounds, this might be the vacation so many of us need. Nothing is more relaxing than watching infinite hours of Netflix and sleeping until noon.
5. Road Trip
Channel your best Kerouac and head for the open road. Many of us dream about cross-country road trips, but not many of us actually go. So why don’t you? Split the gas between a few friends, take a disposable camera, pack a tent, and travel to tourist traps and idiosyncratic sightsees. It will definitely be an unforgettable trip, and who doesn’t want to say they were a beatnik for a week?
6. Explore Your Major Outside of the Classroom
Similar to the service-learning trips, many universities offer alternative breaks for students interested in getting field experience for their majors. Sustainability majors can help build eco-friendly communities in areas of need, while bio majors have opportunities to work in labs. Inquire with your campus’s academic advising office to see if an alternative break is available for your major.
7. Go Home with a New Friend
Does one of your newfound college buddies live out-of-state or in a town you haven’t visited before? Talk to them and arrange to visit for a few days (or the whole week)! It will give you new perspectives about their lives off campus, plus you can offer for your friend to visit you in the summer or over the next spring break.
8. Take Care of Yourself
No matter what you do this spring break, the most important thing for you to do is take care of yourself. Watch out for your friends and be aware of new surroundings. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new environment, but being distracted can lead to incidents that make your spring break not go according to plan. Try to be cautious with where and how you spend your money; after all, you still do have a month and a half left of school to get through until summer break. Have fun and experience the world outside of your campus. We all need a break, and with the options listed, we can be sure to make ours count.