Although the typical Spring Break trip generally calls for sandy beaches and a drink in your hand somewhere domestic, you may be surprised to find out that a trip over to Europe or South America could overall be a cheaper destination. These calculated numbers come from KAYAK, a global online company that helps users evaluate prices for flights and hotels, and estimates the best (and cheapest) places for you to travel. So, if you’re looking for an unconventional Spring Break in 2017, here are some of the top destinations pulled by Kayak.
Setting up a trip on KAYAK is already pretty simple — you can either search prices for a destination, or explore destinations based on your budgeted price range for a trip (based on when you expect to travel). However, KAYAK just made exploring even easier with the recent release of their Travel Hacker guide. On the website, they provide five different categories including top trending locations, popular destinations, beach vacation spots, family vacations, and wallet-friendly flights.
In an interview with Bustle, Vice President of NA Marketing at KAYAK, David Solomito, reveals that KAYAK experienced over 1.5 billion searches last year, and from those searches they were able to pull ideas for their Travel Hacker guide based on not just the searches, but their total pricing.
“We rank the city based on how they fare, but we also provide median hotel rates, median flights,” says Solomito. “We give some guidance on when to book. So there’s a lot of useful information in there for someone looking taking a trip whether it is for spring break or other uses.”
Here’s a small glimpse at six spots to check out for your spring break — and then, check out the KAYAK’s full list of Top Trending Destinations over at their Travel Hacker guide.
According to KAYAK's guide, interest in traveling to Iceland increased by 77 percent in 2016, making it the number two top trending travel location for the year. “I think what makes Iceland so great is it really feels like you’re in a different world once you get there,” says Solomito. “And with the emergence of social media and people seeing these amazing posts of stuff like the northern lights and the spas and the hot springs that they have there, I think it really has created some buzz. And then they find out that it's really not that expensive to go to. Especially from the East Coast, it's not that far of a trip distance wise. So I think all of those things go hand-in-hand to make it a top travel destination.”
Cartagena, Colombia & Medellin, Colombia
Surprisingly, two different cities in Colombia made the top 10 trending list on KAYAK this year. “I think both of these cities are very different... they're not far from beaches, Caribbean beaches, that are nearby, which is incredible. So you get a little bit more culture," says Solomito. "And it’s a little bit off the beaten path...night life has certainly seen an increase, about 28 percent increase in searches.”
Even though there has been a sky-rocketing interest in this destination, traveling to Havana simply for tourist reasons are still banned .In order to travel there you must have a travel authorization that fits one of the 12 categories (which you can find on page two of this document by the U.S. Treasury). What is particularly special about Havana is the fact that volunteering is one of the categories available for travel — which seems like the perfect opportunity for those who want to volunteer during their Spring Break.
The most surprising trending place on KAYAK? That’s right, Canada. “The most surprising was Calgary, Canada to make the list,” explains Solomito. “To see it next to Havana and Reykjavik was just quite surprising.” Solomito adds that although surprising, Calgary does have an incredible national park, and features great places for skiing (which is certainly perfect for an unconventional spring break). Canada is also celebrating it’s 150th anniversary in 2017, so it's all the more reason to visit!
What seemed almost impossible for spring break is very much a possibility to travel to thanks to KAYAK. Bali sits at the number four spot on the top trending places for KAYAK, which of course, doesn’t seem that surprising. But what is surprising is the low prices that could actually get you there this spring break. March is one of the best months to travel to Bali according to Kayak. The median price fora flight to Bali sits at $827, while hotel rates are only at $75. Just a quick look at their data and you will notice that traveling any time between February and May to Bali certainly won’t leave your wallet hurting. So if anything, now is time for that crazy adventure.