Unique spring break ideas

Spring break is coming up, and even though some people have had their plans decided for months, others are still unsure about what they’re doing — or whether they’re going anywhere at all. For anyone that falls into the latter group, read on to find some unique and exciting ideas that definitely beat going home or staying on campus.

The service break

While some people are interested in partying on a beach, there are plenty of students who would rather do something more worthwhile with their time. For these people, service trips are a fantastic way to spend spring break.

The ideal service break varies by student and by interest, and finding the best option can be as easy as tracking down the most appealing charity. Some options don’t even require distant travel — find out whether a local Habitat for Humanity chapter is having a build day during spring break, or gather a group of friends to participate in the Collegiate Challenge, a week-long build event for groups of five or more. The cost will be cheaper than flying to Cancun, and, if you’re not into the party-on-the-beach scene, the experience will be more enjoyable and definitely more worthwhile.

Already have a passport and looking for something international? Try going to Costa Rica or Honduras to build homes for the needy, or maybe travel to Kenya or Uganda to help the environment and local wildlife. Whatever your interests, there are options available worldwide for charity during spring break. These options may be a bit more pricey, but a chance to work with the wildlife in Africa is certainly memorable.

The cultural break

Not interested in service or partying? Try a cultural vacation. These trips can vary depending on what part of culture or the world seems most interesting. Within the United States, there are museums and performances scattered across the country.

For example, if modern art interests you more than pop culture, try heading to New York to visit the Guggenheim; if the West Coast is more your style, visit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. For some, pop culture is more exciting than art, and exhibits like “White Canvas,” which is on display at the Guggenheim, don’t really make sense; if you’re one of those people, maybe you can try to head to Austin, Texas to visit the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture. Or, for those who like all sorts of culture, try heading to Washington, D.C. — the city has a Smithsonian for almost every aspect of culture, and you’re bound to find something interesting in at least one of them.

If an international vacation is more appealing, try somewhere new, and not an old standby. Sure, London and Paris are exciting, but why not visit St. Petersburg (the Hermitage Museum is full of great European art) or Tokyo — a cultural vacation doesn’t have to consist only of visiting museums, and cities like Tokyo are full of unique culture. Try something new — like new food or even a new interest (karaoke, anyone?) to make spring break exciting and memorable.

The travel break

Even if you don’t want to go to a beach full of students on break, traveling for no purpose other than the travel itself can provide a fantastic and much-needed break from university life, and many of these options are safer and more enjoyable than party hot spots like Cancun.

For a different sort of vacation, try going on a cruise. This can provide a fun, relaxing experience, as well as the chance to visit other countries. There are different kinds of cruises to suit different personalities and interests.

For example, a European cruise will stop in various European countries, offering a different kind of European vacation, and a Caribbean cruise will stop at an island, offering a beach vacation that isn’t quite like the traditional spring break trip.

Not interested in a cruise? Try going to the mountains for skiing or hiking, or stay in a cabin by a lake for some quiet relaxation. Other options include visiting landmarks like the Grand Canyon, or maybe a national park. The opportunities for unique and interesting travel are plentiful, and there’s sure to be at least one appealing vacation for every student.