I'll never forget my senior year of high school, when the spring break planning started. There were three types of students: (1) "CANCUN OMG GONNA GET SO LIT!" (2) People who didn't go anywhere (aka, me), and (3) the rebels who went against the grain and traveled someplace cold. They were outcasts at the time; but I think the rebels were on to something. There are actually a few reasons why you should consider going somewhere cold for spring break, because the party does indeed extend beyond Cancun.
Younger generations are changing the way we travel, largely because we might be the biggest customer in this arena. As the Boston Consulting Group shares, we want diversity and new experiences. According to their research, at the rate we're going, by 2020, we'll be 50 percent of the customer base for airlines, hotels, and other travel businesses; and it's projected to stay that way for another 15 years, says the BCG.
Aside from needing to cure our case of wanderlust, our taste in travel is also evolving. While fancy schmancy hotels and room service sound #ToDieFor, many of us are also opting for the digital nomad style — residing short-term in various countries and regions where the cost of living is super reasonable, all while working from our computers.
Sandy beaches and drinks served in coconuts are cool and all — don't get me wrong; but cold-weather destinations also deserve your love. Here are just a few reasons you should head someplace chilly for spring break.
1. It's More Budget-Friendly
Spring break is often associated with a heftier price tag. According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, gas prices tend to go up and peak around Memorial Day. As the Huffington Post says, it's a peak travel time where airfare also increases due to simple supply and demand. Even Disney parks have hiked up their prices during this popular time, to offer an incentive for visitors to show up outside spring break, says The Mercury News.
There's a lesson to be learned from supply and demand. You know that if the demand goes up, so too will the prices. Odds are, though, that in Carrabassett Valley, Maine (a top cold-weather pick from U.S. News), people aren't lined up outside the door. In other words? More affordable prices. Win.
2. It Won't Be As Crowded
There's a reason certain spring break destinations are high on everyone's list. They cater to the crowds and know how to give you one heck of a vacation. According to USA Today, some of these more popular spring break destinations include Cabo San Lucas, South Padre Island, Miami, Cancun, and Panama City Beach. The masses are headed there. You know where they aren't headed?
Bend, Oregon — another spring break pick from U.S. News.
The smaller crowds don't make it any less of an epic spring break! Other states like Montana, Idaho, and Utah also offer a memorable trip — even if it isn't spent tanning by the ocean sipping a fruity drink. Go for one of these chillier spots and you're all but guaranteed to have an easier time finding transportation and accommodations, and still have plenty of stuff to do (all at a cheaper price, remember!).
3. Winter Sports For The Win
Going for a leisurely dip in the pool is nice; but have you ever felt the wind whip across your face as your race down a mountain on a snowboard or a pair of skis? While there's much to be said for a little R&R, nothing's bad about a bit of healthy stress. In fact, as explained by Entrepreneur, what most of us recognize as an adrenaline rush gives us energy; and according to Mental Floss, a little extra adrenaline can improve your vision, breathing, pain tolerance (something I'll need if I go snowboarding), immune system, and even help fight aging.
This spring break, strap on your gear and head for the bunny hill. Just don't forget your helmet.
4. Comfort Food Will Make Your Heart Sing
Research suggests our favorite comfort foods can bring us happiness and security. As Psychology Today explains, eating sweet, salty, or fatty foods activates the reward center of our brain, and also evokes positive memories. You don't need me to tell you that comfort food goes with cold weather like chocolate and peanut butter. It's the reason I gain what I like to call my "winter fluff." So go on — plan that chilly vacation and treat yo self to something delicious.
5. You'll Still Get Plenty Of Vitamin D
We love to go someplace warm for spring break largely to escape the cold and gloominess, since that lack of vitamin D can leave us feeling dreary and depressed. Here's what we're getting wrong, though. Many of us equate cold with cloudy, and then cloudy with sadness. But! While you might need to pack a few pairs of thermal underwear, rest assured a drop in temperature doesn't mean you won't see the light of day. Besides, the winter solstice is well behind us, and the days are only getting longer. Plenty of colder destinations offer blue skies and warm rays. Just check the weather forecast before you make any plans.
6. Spending Time In The Cold Can Be Safer For Your Health
Many scary germs thrive best in mild or warmer climates, Huffington Post reminds us. On the other hand, freezing (or colder) temperatures kill off a lot of the bugs that can give us scary illnesses. It's ironic, I know, considering winter time is when colds and the flu run rampant. Remember, though, as Healthline points out: germs make you sick — not cold weather.