What to Do for Spring Break and Why You Should Have Planned It a Year Ago

Spring break is just around the corner, and if you're like me, you haven't planned out what you're doing for it yet. 

When deciding what to do for spring break, most people would consider going to a beach like South Padre Island or somewhere in Florida. But in order to actually go to one of those destinations, you have to consider booking an overpriced hotel, flights that are most likely twice as expensive as normal since it's spring break and choosing who to go with (as long as they don't back out).

If you can do all of these things within the next month, that's great! But if you can't, which is pretty realistic, you probably should have planned it a year ago. 

Here's the good news: there are other options besides relaxing on a beach (even though we know you would rather be doing that)!

Below is a list of places to go and things to do if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars.

1. Venture to Chicago

For those of you who live in or near Chicago and don't think of this as a destination vacation, you can skip on to #2. But, for those of you who are from places other than Illinois and still get excited about seeing the Bean or walking down the Magnificent Mile, this could be a great spring break trip! Chicago is only three and a half hours from Iowa City, which is the perfect amount of time for a short road trip with friends. You don't have to pay for any flights and hotels in Chicago typically aren't that expensive if you split it up with friends! Chicago has all of the perfect tourist attractions you're looking for in a vacation such as fabulous shopping, tasty restaurants, museums, an amazing aquarium and Navy Pier.

2. Road trip to a national park

Road trips are always a fun idea for a vacation with friends, and if you're looking for something a little further away than Chicago, driving to go see one of our country's many national parks is a great idea! Some of the more popular ones might include the Grand Canyon in Arizona, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, Yosemite National Park in California or Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The best part about this kind of trip is that the park entrance fees are relatively cheap and you can stay at a cheap hotel or Airbnb nearby.

3. Jet off to Las Vegas

I know above I talked about how expensive flights to warmer places can be, but if you want to fly to Vegas, you're in luck! Right now you can fly out of the Cedar Rapids airport to Las Vegas for only $150 using Allegiant Airlines! All that's left is booking a hotel room, which you can split amongst your friends, and you'll be all set for a fantastic week full of gambling, drinking (if you're old enough), shows and more.

4. Go on a ski trip

For a lot of people, ski trips are something they go on every year when it gets cold. If you love skiing, traveling to Utah, Colorado, or even Dubuque, Iowa could be a great getaway for you. But, even if you've never gone skiing before, it could still be a fun vacation for you and your friends! Learning a new skill can always be a fun thing to do, and even if it doesn't turn out to be your thing, there are always other activities you can do such as sledding or ice skating.

5. Stay-cation!

I know what you're thinking, "is she joking?!" But hear me out- whether it be staying home in Iowa City or going back to where your family is, not going on a "real" vacation can be just as much as a vacation as anything else. So you want to go to the beach to relax, why not relax at home? So you want to get away where it's warm, turn the heat up to 75 at your house! You want to relax on a beach? How about relaxing in the tub or laying in bed. Doing nothing for an entire week can be relaxing and be an overall de-stressor from school. I've done it, and it's not so bad.

There are plenty of things to do for a vacation that doesn't involve breaking your wallet. At the end of the day, spending quality time with friends or family and making memories, wherever you are, will make for a successful spring break! 

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5