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December 29, 2008 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Please help me plan a vacation for my first spring break in what feels like a million years!

I have recently returned to being a full time student this year (2008) and now that spring semester is just around the corner, I realize I get a spring break! Woohoo! Now my wife and I just have to think of some place fun to go! That's where you come in!

Here's all the good info:

1. Preferred time to go is from 3/7/2009 to 3/14/2009, but technically we could leave late evening 3/6/2009 (after my wife leaves work) and return late evening 3/15/2009 (the day before I go back to class, and my wife goes back to work).

2. Ideally, we'd like to fly some place fairly distant (we're in Ohio).

3. No long distance driving (last vacation included a 14 hour drive, never again)

4. We'd need someplace to stay when we got wherever we decide to go.

5. We would like someplace that fills at least one of these guidelines, if it fills more than one - awesome:

a. warm, sandy beaches
b. not a cruise (been on several and we love them, but we're looking for something different)
c. amazing place to go for not particularly experienced world travelers
d. reasonably inexpensive (~$1,000 per person)
e. not filled with "traditional" spring-breakers

Mrs. Quhzk also wants me to mention Alaska.

Where should we go?
posted by QUHZK to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Subscribe to the Top 20. Every week you'll get an email with cheapo deals and if you jump on them, you can find something in your price range. We've done a few Vegas trips, resort destination trips, and cruises using it.
posted by k8t at 8:33 PM on December 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mexico City was awesome when I went for Spring Break a few years ago, and the flights were reasonable (we're from LA so it wasn't as expensive, but a quick search shows flights from Cincinnati and Columbus in the mid-$500s round-trip, though that's probably higher than you might find with some more online travel sleuthery). You also might be able to cobble together something involving a cheap flight to Texas or California, then a flight to Mexico, but YMMV.

Two of us stayed for 10 days (7 days in the city and 3 in Puebla, a nearby colonial jewel of a city) for less than $2000. The whole city is positively choked with culture, there are dozens of cool daytrips you can take if the city gets too crazy, and the vast majority of people we met in restaurants and bars spoke enough English to help us get what we needed (though my high school Spanish definitely helped). We used the Metro and collectivos (smallish buses) to get around, and used taxis called by wherever we were at night. The intercity bus to Puebla was the nicest bus ever - TVs, boarding passes, free snacks!

Our favorite things: lucha libre, the pyramids right next to the cathedral, the Virgin of Guadalupe, and Teotihuacan (we're big pyramid fans). Temperatures in the 60s-70s during the day, a bit cooler at night. No spring breakers, either.

We stayed here, which we loved (but was a bit out of the way), though we also looked at staying at this place.

Buen viaje!
posted by mdonley at 3:04 AM on December 30, 2008

Costa Rica meets all of the requirements (but I don't know whether it is filled with spring-breakers). It's very different from Ohio, you would fly there, it has sandy beaches (and volcanos, and a rain forest), is not a cruise, and is less expensive.

When I went, for the beach part I stayed in Malpais, at the Blue Jay eco-lodge. I cannot recommend it enough. The lodge is a set of (7 or 8?) cabins. Each is separate, so you have no near neighbors. They are set in the trees. The cabins have hardwood floors and roof, but screens and blinds for walls -- it's like a very fancy treehouse! There is a restaurant, which has pretty good food. Walk down a hidden path, past the horses (about 2 minute walk) and you are on a secluded beach. Walk down the road about 5 minutes and you are "in town" -- a few restaurants, a general store, and a place where surfers hang out.

Extremely relaxing!

Now, I must say that I went on their "off season," so perhaps it was more secluded than during spring break, but it was a quiet place when I was there -- there were tourists, of course, but it wasn't overrun with them and it wasn't a rowdy place at all. The lodge charged $55/night (extremely reasonable price for the accommodations), but I see that the rate is more during March.
posted by Houstonian at 3:28 AM on December 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Death Valley. You'll be in the peak of whatever spring blooming that happens that year, it's a place you can't go in the summer. Fly to Vegas, make a day of moseying up there (lots of state parks on the way), and explore the hell out of the park. You should spend a night at the Amargosa Opera House, which likely won't be going very many more years, either.
posted by notsnot at 5:04 AM on December 30, 2008

Puerto Rico! Vieques is an amazing, non-touristy island. Another nearby island, Culebra, has been cited as having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The rainforest on the main island of Puerto Rico is fab.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 8:02 AM on December 30, 2008

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