6 amazing places to go for spring break

Group of six friends taking selfie
Group of six friends taking selfie

6 amazing places to go for spring break

by Courtney Woodruff
Stripes Europe

Growing up, spring break in Texas meant a family trip to the Gulf Coast. I can still smell the sunscreen (and aloe vera gel for the inevitable sunburns) and taste the sea salt when I close my eyes.  Living overseas, my children have a unique opportunity to use these treasured vacation days to experience all Europe has to offer. Spring can be the perfect time for OCONUS military families to travel with the perk of off-season discounts and fewer crowds. In 2023, DODEA's spring recess is March 27- March 31.

Still trying to figure out your plans? Here are six awesome places to get you started.

6. Kid-friendly: Have a blast at LEGOLAND Deutschland

If you’re looking for a spring break destination the whole family can enjoy, check out LEGOLAND Deutschland. This year’s main attraction is the brand-new Ninjago World exhibit featuring an interactive 4D ride. The park opens for the 2023 season March 25. Make your vacation one to remember by staying onsite at Legoland Holiday Village (Feriendorf); you can reserve a room in a castle, stay in a themed cottage, spend the night in a cozy camping barrel, or pitch your own tent in the designated area.

5. Ski: Hit the slopes in Zermatt, Switzerland

You won’t have to worry about the snow conditions when you head to Zermatt, Switzerland for spring break — there’s powder on the slopes year-round at Europe’s highest ski resort. Zoom down runs for every skill level in the shadows of the iconic Matterhorn, and stop at one of the many inviting mountain restaurants along the way when you get hungry. If you’re up for the thrill of a lifetime, you can fly up to the highest peaks via chopper, and give heli-skiing a try.

4. Splurge: View the Northern Lights in Lapland, Finland

Use spring break vacation days (and a large chunk of your savings) to take advantage of what may be the last opportunity of the season to experience the breathtaking Aurora Borealis in Lapland, Finland. The night sky brightens during the summer months, making it more difficult to see the Northern Lights from May to late August. To make this once-of-a-lifetime adventure even more thrilling, reserve your own treehouse, glass villa or igloo designed for optimal viewing conditions.

3. Couples-only: Re-kindle the romance in Tuscany

Known as one of the most romantic regions in the world, scenic small towns, stunning views and tantalizing dishes make Tuscany the perfect place to escape for a couples-only spring break getaway. Sample wines at a vineyard in the Chianti hills; take a couple's cooking class to learn how to make homemade pasta or authentic Tiramisu in Lucca; get lost among the antique stores, museums and wine and cheese shops in Florence; and watch the sunset over the medieval village of Siena.

2. Beach: Catch some rays in Malta

Whether you’re a couple, a family with little ones, or a group of friends looking for someplace sunny and warm to escape to during spring break, Malta has a beach for you. The island offers rocky inlets with crystal clear water ideal for snorkeling, sandy beaches for sunbathing, lively spots for windsurfing, para-kiting and jet skiing, and quieter, more intimate locations perfect for relaxation. For breathtaking cerulean water, take a boat trip to Comino’s Blue Lagoon. Kids will love spending the day at the Playmobil Fun Park or getting up close and personal with dolphins and sea lions at the Mediterraneo Marine Park.

1. Budget-friendly: Save money in Porto

Looking for a destination to check off your bucket list that won’t break the bank? Consider heading to Porto for spring break. Compared to hotspots like Paris and Rome, it’s an affordable destination any time of the year. For the best deals, search for discount flights with budget airlines, like RyanAir, and consider renting an inexpensive apartment from an Airbnb host. A major perk for budget-conscious travelers is the ability to walk or bike anywhere you’d like to go. 

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