Ecotourist

5 Eco-Alternative Spring Break Trips

Whether your kids are out of school, or you’ve just completed your finals and need to kick back, we’ve got some pretty awesome places to check out for your spring break getaway.

The best part is, these are all green alternatives to traditional getaways, so you can increase your vacation fun while reducing your carbon footprint. Check out these 5 ecofriendly spring break destinations that are all worth giving a try.

Couples Retreat

Who said spring break was only for the kids? Whether you were wiping snotty faces all winter long, answering your bosses e-mails 24/7, or simply saving up while hibernating with your significant other and watching Netflix, you deserve to get off the grid and enjoy the uninterrupted company of your loved one.

Head to the rugged and sparsely populated Big Sur, California, and decompress at Treebones Resort. Here, you can curl up next to a fire in your very own yurt for two as you stargaze through the skylight. Or, overlook the Pacific Ocean in an autonomous tent, a cocoon-shaped shelter with a flushable composting toilet and energy sourced by its own solar array. Visit the organic garden on the premises or sign up for earth-friendly adventures like hikes and kayaking tours guided by staff.

For the Whole Family

Move over, Disney. Instead of weaving through crowds and missing your FastPass time slot for the ultimate rollercoaster ride, check out Washington, D.C, America’s political playground instead. The entire family will have plenty to see and do, with the city’s hands-on museums, countless monuments and parks to explore, and plentiful history to indulge in.

Source: Shutterstock

Fun fact: Washington, D.C. also happily holds the title of America’s greenest city. It provides visitors with an efficient transit system, 230,000 acres of open park space and tons of farm-to-table restaurants as a nod to our farming founding fathers. Check out Founding Farmers DC, an LEED Gold Certified building that houses the 3-Star Certified Green Restaurant. An extra perk to visiting the city during the spring is that you’ll get to take in the flowering cherry blossoms all around the city as mother nature bids farewell to winter.

The Student

Not quite sure if the classic throngs of volleyball on a sandy beach are calling your name for spring break this year? Consider doing some good and volunteering your time instead. American Hiking Society offers alternative spring break trips with America’s parks and forests. Choose from week-long trips like the project and hiking trip in Wekiwa Springs State Park.

A blue water spring surrounded by lush green trees in Wekiwa Springs State Park, Florida.

Source: Shutterstock

You’ll spend each day with 15-20 other student volunteers tending to trails, having campfire talks, hiking, swimming, kayaking and other fun outdoor activities in central Florida. Trips offer accommodations like bunkhouses or campsites and are spaced around college breaks making it super easy to plan a getaway and give back to a community at the same time.

Extended Winter

Sometimes, spring approaches too quickly for the cold weather lover and you need a touch more winter before you kick off your boots and lather on the sunscreen for the warmer months.

Four friends sitting on a chair lift on a snowy spring day in colorful ski and snowboard gear.

Source: Shutterstock

Smugglers’ Notch, a super green ski resort in Vermont, is a great place to close the curtain to an epic winter. Besides great skiing, they have established a top-notch (no pun intended) educational program that brings visitors into nature by teaching them about animal tracks, the maple extraction process, and the resort’s wildlife and habitat protection program. Facilities are well insulated and energy efficient with LED lights. Even the pools are heated with highly efficient boilers, so you can soak, guilt-free, after a powder-filled day of skiing or boarding.

The Couch Potato

Sometimes planning a trip alone can make you feel like you need a vacation after your vacation. Why not consider being the ultimate eco-tourist and have a stay-cation instead? By not contributing to air travel, unnecessary water usage at average accommodations, and other high impact carbon emissions that can come with traveling, you are already way ahead. Opting for having fun just outside of your backyard is a great alternative.

A person in grey sweatpants overlooking a city and grassy field while writing their name in a geocache log book.

Source: Shutterstock

Have some fun while tracking down hidden geocaches around your neighborhood or city. Geocaching is a scavenger experience where you hunt for tiny to medium-sized caches filled with a log book to document when you discovered it and track the activity of others. Some even have little trinkets you can trade (usually stickers or small plastic toys), so be sure to bring a little something to leave behind for the next adventurer as well. This is a great way to get out and explore your local stomping grounds in a new way and maybe even discover areas you’ve never heard of before.

Have you decided to go green this spring break? Post a picture of your favorite ecofriendly spring break activity and tag us on Instagram.

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