5 Safe, Inspiring Spring Break Destinations

James Franco may lead you to believe that a Spring Break well-lived must include a sunburnt parade of pool floaties, tequila, and regret. Do not play into this MTV marketing scheme. Leave Laguna Beach in the early 2000s where it belongs. Instead, consider this: with new cheap airline carriers popping up left and right, maybe the world really can be your oyster for seven glorious days.

To save you some Skyscanning, we’ve rounded up a shortlist of our favorite Spring Break destinations where you’ll feel equal parts safe and inspired.

1. Amsterdam

An Amsterdam canal at night.

The Netherlands’ famous labyrinth of canals consistently ranks within the top 10 cities for personal safety worldwide. That may have something to do with the fact that its roads are quite literally an impeccably engineered highway system for bicycles. In Amsterdam, cyclists always have the right of way. Renting a bike allows you to securely zip to historic meccas such as the Anne Frank House and the Rembrandt Museum. Come to Amsterdam with an open mind to journey back in time, and an empty stomach for plenty of Stroopwafel.

2. Costa Rica

A Costa Rican beach scene with flowers.

If you’re more in the market for something tropical, Costa Rica is your ticket. It’s typically a quick flight from the U.S., way cheaper than Hawaii but just as stunning, and the language barrier is limited in most tourist areas. All this aside, the Global Peace index lists Costa Rica as the number one safest country in Central America.

Costa Rica is also a great safe Spring Break trip if you’re traveling in a pack, because the biodiversity ensures that there will be a little something for everyone. Sun worshippers can hit the beach, hikers can explore volcanoes and waterfalls, and the more adventurous types can venture into the jungle for zip-lining. Word for the wise: if you’re at all afraid of heights, stick with a Tarzan-style zip before trying full Superman.

3. Barcelona

Beautiful architecture in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona is a seaside retreat and a bustling metropolis wrapped into one. It’s definitely
one of those cities where your mom or grandmother may warn you to “beware of pickpockets!” when you are out and about. It’s obviously important to keep a tight grip on your cash and passport at all times. But a city-wide movement to increase police presence in the streets and on the subway has caused crime to drop 32% in just three years.

You’ll also find another (inadvertent) safety precaution baked right into the Spanish cuisine. At many bars and restaurants, it is typical to receive a complimentary plate of Tapas with each round of drinks. Since many of these appetizers are heavy on the bread, meat, and cheese, you won’t have to worry about drinking on an empty stomach.

4. Washington D.C.

A row of colorful buildings and cool businesses in Georgetown, Washington DC.

Our nation’s capital might not seem like an obvious place to blow off steam from the semester, but stay with us. Not only does D.C. rank high on the personal and digital safety indexes, but it also boasts one of the coolest, most secure college campuses in the country: Georgetown. With plenty of good bars and restaurants right by the school, you’ll feel confident exploring at night surrounded by plenty of foot traffic. By springtime the snow will have melted and the city’s signature cherry blossoms will be popping up along the National Mall. You could spend weeks just wandering around D.C.’s many museums, which all offer free admission.  

5.  Catalina Island

A landscape shot of a bay on Catalina Island off the coast of California.

Just a one hour ferry ride off the coast of San Pedro, California, Catalina is the perfect place to escape on a budget. Since the island is a mere 75 square feet in size, the whole place feels like a well-kept secret... an absolute sanctuary for nature lovers and social butterflies alike. 

The Catalina Express has two stops: Avalon and Two Harbors. If you’re looking to hop off the grid, Two Harbors is your best best. Rent a “tent cabin” right on the water, or pitch your own tent a bit deeper into the landscape. If you’re up for a hike, the beaches at Lily Harbor and Sharks Cove on the far side of the island are often practically vacant and absolutely breathtaking. If you’re looking to indulge in some island vibes without fully leaving society, Avalon is a fun beach town replete with great activities, bars, and a casino. 

While each of these destinations offer a solid balance of safety and fun, staying in touch with your crew on the trip and your family at home is also key. A Revolar device is the ultimate travel companion to add an extra layer of security so you can stop worrying and truly unwind.
So where did we miss? What's your favorite spring break escape?
-By Kate Mitchell

Keep in mind: Always be careful and make smart choices when you're traveling. This list is for entertainment purposes only. Make sure to do your own research about the safety of your destinations and the neighborhoods you'll be spending time in.