If your spring break plans are lacking compared to your Pinterest travel board, you’re not alone. Most of us can’t afford to party like these kids so booze infused destinations tend to take the win — everything looks better after a few Fireball shots, right? Although if you’re avoiding anti-freeze you might want to check out these pretty places instead. Each pin-worthy destination is accessible and affordable. As in I wouldn’t have to sell my Jetta to book (yeah, $1,500 flight to Fiji I’m looking at you). Spend spring break swimming in an underwater cave or skiing the slopes at one of these six pins you can actually afford to visit.
1. Porto Moniz, Madeira, Portugal
Flying to Europe outside of summer saves you some serious cash so if you don’t mind a 60° spring break, book a flight to Lisbon now. Once in Portugal you’ll take one of the daily flights to Madeira from a budget carrier like easyJet. The trip is just under two hours but the sights in Porto Moniz are out of this world. Hotels run under $50 a night and access to the lava pools (pictured) costs just a couple Euros.
2. Glacier National Park, Montana
Known as the “Switzerland of North America”, this gem in the Northern Rockies offers hiking, skiing, kayaking and pretty much every other type of outdoor recreation imaginable. Flights into Glacier Park International Airport can be a bit pricey so if it’s logistically sound, grab some friends, pack some snacks and make it a road trip. Stay in the sweet town of Whitefish, where quaint mountain-style lodging is inexpensive and surrounded by charming bars, shops and restaurants.
3. Tulum, Mexico
If you think Mexico is all about the three Cs (Cancun, Cozumel, Cabo) think again. Tulum is Cancun’s lesser-known neighbor that has emerged as a top beach destination thanks to authentic food, blue-green water, and a culture that hasn’t collapsed under an influx of tourists. To travel to Tulum, you can keep your cheap fare to Cancun then continue by car an hour and a half south. Here on the Mayan Riviera you will snorkel in underwater caves, catch a Mariachi show, and stuff yourself silly with spicy cuisine and tequila.
4. El Matador State Beach, Malibu, California
Fly into LAX but skip the Hollywood scene and take the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu. This laid-back beach town offers the perfect spring break for surfers but the true pull is about ten minutes west. Here, between Broad Bench and Decker Canyon roads, you’ll find a parking lot that will guide you to the picturesque El Matador beach. A photographer favorite, this preserved piece of California has yet to be infiltrated by tourists and offers quiet, peaceful sunbathing with a seriously scenic backdrop.
5. Alberta, Canada
Nature lovers’ hearts will melt in Alberta, home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Banff National Park (pictured). Situated in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff is a real life winter wonderland with snow covered mountains and turquoise lakes. This time of year you can score spring specials at some resorts, like stay-and-ski packages for under $100 a day.
6. Lake Tahoe, California/Nevada
This stunning fresh water lake in the Sierra Nevada draws visitors for its next-level camping, skiing and kayaking but unlike some natural sites, Lake Tahoe can also kick it spring break style. Casinos, bars and restaurants offer late-night entertainment for travelers looking to turn it up a notch. To get to Lake Tahoe, you’ll fly into Reno, which is just under an hour away. Your hotel options range from casino resorts to campgrounds so pick your poison — or pitch a tent.