March 17th, 2014
Spring Travel: Top 5 Shoulder Season Destinations
Avoid crowds and enjoy picture-perfect weather by visiting these locales during the spring season.
Do you hear the birds chirping and see the flowers blooming? After a particularly harsh winter, springtime has finally arrived. Hallelujah! So why not celebrate by packing your travel gear and taking a trip? Spring is an excellent time for last-minute travel, whether you’re interested in all-inclusive resorts or no-frills weekend getaways. If you choose your destination carefully, you can dodge peak tourist season and take advantage of warm temperatures. (And there’s less of a chance that a snowstorm will postpone your flight!) Check out our hit list of the top five travel destinations to visit during the months of April and May.
1. The Caribbean Want to relax on a beautiful beach or lounge beside a lagoon-like pool with a frosty drink in your hand? Head to one of the Caribbean islands this spring. Seasonal temperatures range from about 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (about 24 to 29 degrees Celsius) and the “high season” of winter will have passed, so resorts are likely to be less crowded. If a deal is what you’re after, check out the district of Puerto Plata on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic; it’s known for having some of the most affordable resorts. Don’t forget to bring a Pack-It Clean Dirty Cube with you! Since one side of the cube is water-resistant and helps control odors from getting onto your clean clothing, it’s the perfect place to pack a damp bathing suit.
2. Cairo, Egypt For those who’ve always wanted to see the pyramids, now is the time to book a trip to Cairo. There may not be a rainy season in Cairo, but it’s a destination that can become pretty hot, depending on when you visit. Going in the spring allows you to beat the extreme heat. During your vacation, don’t miss the Egyptian Museum: You’ll want to see the Royal Mummy Room, which contains 11 spectacular mummies.
3. Washington, D.C., U.S. Enjoy sunny days and gorgeous pink flowered trees during the annual Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs through April 13th this year. These maps and brochures can help you figure out where the best viewing areas are. While you’re in the nation’s capital, sneak a peek at the White House, visit the Lincoln Memorial and hang out on the National Mall. As you walk around tourist-frequented places like those, be sure to keep your money and credit cards in a money belt that’s tucked underneath your clothing to prevent theft.
4. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil The tourists coming for the annual Carnival celebration will be long gone by April and May, so you can have this breathtaking city practically to yourself. It’s the perfect time of year to go on one of the city’s stunning hikes. Some hiking routes take you through the lush Tijuca Forest, where you can see wildlife such as toucans and monkeys along the way, and some of the routes take you all the way to the top of Corcovado Hill, where you’ll find the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer.
5. Amsterdam, Netherlands April 26th will be a fun day to be in this city, because it’s King's Day (Formerly Queen’s Day). During this all-day and all-night giant street party, you’ll see a lot of live music, dancing, beer drinking, confetti, games, garage sales and much more. For any flower fanatics, spring is also a great time to see some of the country’s three billion colorful tulips. Quick tip: Upon arriving, you’ll notice the city’s passion for cycling, so rent a bike or walk to look more like a local.
As you can see, locations all over the world have something special to offer this spring, so what are you waiting for? Go book your trip!
Jane Bianchi is a freelance writer who has worked for a variety of national magazines, including Seventeen, Family Circle, and Good Housekeeping. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.