Spring Break: Down Under

by Megan Byrd

It’s that time of year again, at least for those of us Down Under. While America and Europe are blazing their ways through summer, the South Pacific is whipping out those freshly sharpened pencils, lugging around those textbooks, and heading to Uni for another semester of rigorous academics. Fortunately for the full-time student a glorious reprieve always lurks about the corner: the blessed spring break!

Spring break is that light at the end of every student’s tunnel. It’s dreamed, fantasized, and thought about almost as much as Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Considering this, planning for the big week can never start early enough. Deciding and booking where you want go early on will not only lighten your stress load, but also give you something to look forward to in those last weeks of lectures.

Now we’re smart enough to know that you academics already have enough research on your plates, so we’ve taken the liberty to highlight some popular, rare, and always extraordinary destinations to keep in mind while planning your trip. Before we get started though, there are a few factors to keep in mind:

  1. One, always consider travel time. While it might sound glorious and extravagant to spend a week in Paris, the plane flight is a lengthy one and will certainly chop at least a day out of the fun you could be having. Staying somewhere close or opting to fly instead of drive will give you more time to do what you want.
  2. Two, always research student discounts. There’s a plethora of deals out there for the young scholar, so search around and find the best prices before forking over your credit card. Also, don’t forget to check with your school and local travel agency. They often have great package deals that make the whole process more convenient.
  3. Three, pay a little more to do something extraordinary. Yes, the Gold Coast is wonderful and you couldn’t rightfully complain about spending a week there, but if you’re from a city like Brisbane the Gold Coast is just around the corner. Spend the extra dough and do something you couldn’t normally do on a weekend trip. Tasmania anyone?

Now that the basics are all out of the way, let the fun begin!

New Zealand

Australia’s friendly neighbor should be in the running on everyone’s list. The beautiful north and south islands of New Zealand offer a myriad of extraordinary opportunities, especially for those that fancy a little ecotourism. Kayaking. Bungee jumping. Sky diving. You name it, they’ve got it. The biggest bonus of this exotic holiday, of course, is its location. Just hop on a plane and you’ll be there in no time. However, before booking be sure to consider weather. New Zealand is located south of Australia and might be a little chilly for the beach bunnies in need of bronzing.

Fiji

One of the more popular spring break destinations, Fiji is ideal for those wanting a relaxing vacation. Exotic and gorgeous, Fiji’s white sand beaches are unlike any other. Relax at the beach, dip your toes in the clear water, drink a cocktail poolside, take a dive, or explore the unique lagoons. Whatever you do, you’re guaranteed one of the most peaceful holidays of your lifetime. However, keep in mind Fiji might not be the perfect destination for the money conscious traveler. Flights alone can cost at least $600. If you go, plan carefully and be prepared to spend a little extra.

Cairns, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef. Need I say more? Popular anytime of the year, Cairns practically promises warm weather perfect for lounging in the sun or hanging out on the boat. Take a dive among the reef that is famous worldwide, or if you’re really apt on hanging out in the ocean, get your scuba diving license and make a week of it. There are lots of tours out there, so be wary of where you’re booking. It’s preferable to go farther out in the reef, as there’s more to see and explore, but it does take a little longer to reach your destination. Explore your options and be prepared to get wet!

Alice Springs & Uluru

For those out there who aren’t really keen on great whites and snapping turtles, the outback just might be the trip for you. Situated in the middle of nowhere, Alice Springs and Uluru offer a holiday you can find nowhere else in the world. I highly recommended booking a tour to see the desert, especially for those of you who are first timers. The outback, amazing as it is, can be a dangerous place for those who don’t know what they’re doing. There’s lots of options out there, but be sure you book a tour that insures a sunset and sunrise over Uluru. Both events offer a spiritual experience you’ll never forget. Pack your camping gear and your insect repellant and head out to the great beyond, but plan to dish out a decent amount on your flight. Getting to the middle of nowhere isn’t cheap.

Have Fun!

Those are just a few ideas to get your creative traveling genes flowing. There are so many options out there, it would be impossible to list them all. So start researching now and find something to look forward to. Of course the South Pacific is such an amazing region, there’s no way you could go wrong.