With stress from final exams in the rear view and summer break in full swing, it’s time to get out and experience what has essentially become a rite of passage for the American college student: the summer vacation trip. Whether you are looking to hit the beach, experience the culture and nightlife of a massive city center, or simply escape civilization for peace and quiet, you’ll find the perfect destination below:
- San Juan, Puerto Rico. One of the best parts about a trip to San Juan is that you get to leave the continental U.S. without a passport, while still having the upside of an exotic, beach-front destination. In most cases, it comes without the premium of other island getaways as well. What’s not to like? San Juan provides loads of beaches, plenty of sun, and outstanding local food. If that’s not enough, cities party-all-night atmosphere and cheap accommodations and flights should help seal the deal.
- Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. If you are looking for breathtaking views and a way to escape the summer heat, then look no further than Niagara Falls. The Canadian side of the falls offers a number of cheap hotels, and plenty of attractions and restaurants within walking distance.
- Montreal, Quebec, Canada. For those seeking a chic city experience in Canada, there is Montreal, Quebec. This eclectic city combines familiar North American elements with French charm to produce a truly unique experience that is relatively close to home. The country features everything from world class cuisine to non-stop nightlife that has earned the city the nickname "Paris without the jetlag." To keep things on the cheap, the city offers the famed Bixi bicycle rentals that can be picked up and dropped off just about anywhere in the city for next to nothing.
- New River Gorge, West Virginia. For the outdoor fanatic, look no further than New River Gorge. If stressing over finals, computers, and Facebook updates has gotten the best of you, then a weekend getaway in one of the area’s many remote cabins may be just the thing. But if completely disconnecting from the outside world is not your thing, there are also a number of local resorts with all the amenities. For the adventure seeker, New River Gorge National Park offers 70,000 acres along the New River, featuring everything from hiking, to white water rafting, to scenic views at one of the park’s numerous scenic and historic sites.
- Australia. Another great way to escape the summer heat is to take a trip to the Southern Hemisphere, particularly in Australia. Whether you choose to explore the culture in Sydney, spend time at one of the country’s many mesmerizing beaches (though they’ll be chilly!), or go on an outback adventure, the country offers something for everyone. For the budget-conscious, Melbourne offers a number of hostels and an extensive public transportation system to help keep costs as low as possible.
- Backpacking in Europe. Last, but not least, there is the tried and true staple of the college student summer: backpacking in Europe. While you may need to wait until next summer for the cheapest flights there, once you arrive, you can easily hop from country to country by train. Some budget airlines even offer trips between countries for around 50 Euros if you book far enough in advance. For accommodations, the tried and true hostel is the way to go. Most hostels cost between 20-30 Euros a night for a room, and can be found for little as 10-15 Euros per night in Eastern Europe.
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