19 Cheap and warm Easter & Spring Break beach destinations for 2020

By the time Easter rolls around, usually in March or as late as mid April, everybody who lives in the north is so sick of the cold that they are dreaming of spending a week on a warm beach. Fortunately, there are warm beaches all over the Tropics, and many of them are very affordable even during peak travel weeks such as Easter and Spring Break.

These days many universities and schools schedule their Spring Break on different weeks, mostly focusing on the middle of March. The second and third full weeks of March tend to be the most popular and the destinations listed below will usually be most crowded during those weeks.

Easter 2020 is Sunday, April 12, and when Easter falls this late on the calendar it's not a very popular week for Spring Break, at least at schools in the north.

Note: This article was last update in December, 2019.

What kind of Easter beach vacation do you want?

In the list below we have a wide selection of beach destinations around the world. In order from top to bottom they are:

1 – Famous Spring Break destinations in the US
2 – Good value beaches and islands in Mexico and the Caribbean
3 – Smaller destinations in Central and South America
4 – Warm beach areas closest to Europe
5 – Asia's best and cheapest beach destinations

19 Cheap, warm Easter & Spring Break hot spots

Daytona Beach, Florida (Atlantic Coast)

  • March avg high: 74F/24C
  • March avg low: 54F/12C
  • March avg precip: 4.2″/10.8cm

If you were around in the 1980s you might think that Daytona Beach invented the concept of Spring Break parties, perhaps along with Fort Lauderdale. Either way, Daytona Beach is still very popular with college students as well as families. The town is quite generic and dominated by chain hotels and restaurants, but it's also quite affordable and fun.

Depending on your starting point, flights into Daytona Beach Airport can be fairly affordable considering how small it is. Still, the enormous Orlando Airport is only a bit over an hour away and it has far more flight options and usually better rental car deals as well.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$94 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Daytona Beach International (DAB)
  • Nearest large airport – 68 miles: Orlando International (MCO)

Panama City, Florida (Gulf Coast)

  • March avg high: 72F/22C
  • March avg low: 51F/11C
  • March avg precip: 5.7″/14.4cm

Panama City is another famous Spring Break destination, and it's especially known as the favorite of college students from Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, who are all within driving distance. The evenings are cooler in March, but the days are usually warm enough for sunbathing and beach activities.

Hotel rooms in Panama City aren't as cheap as you might expect, though still cheaper than similar hotels in South Florida. The local airport is small, but there are good connections from Atlanta and Houston as well as from several other cities on Southwest Airlines.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$127 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Northwest Florida Beaches International (ECP)

South Padre Island, Texas (Gulf Coast)

  • March avg high: 74F/23C
  • March avg low: 61F/16C
  • March avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

With a reputation for being raucous, South Padre Island is where folks from Texas typically spend Spring Break if they want a beach. This small town is near the southern tip of the state and obviously the border with Mexico, so it's not an easy drive even from the major cities in Texas.

The good news is that there are two airports serving the area and that gives you quite a few options for getting there. Hotel prices are quite moderate even for Easter Week, so this is a good choice if you are looking for something in this part of the country and don't mind being among mostly Texans.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$96 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO)
  • Nearest alternative airport – 42 miles: Valley International (HRL)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Atlantic Coast)

  • March avg high: 79F/26C
  • March avg low: 62F/16C
  • March avg precip: 3.6″/9.1cm

Fort Lauderdale is only 30 miles north of Miami, which could also be on this list, so this listing is really for the whole area. Fort Lauderdale itself is more of a destination for the college crowd, but also extremely popular among the LGBT crowd as there are many hotels specifically targeted to gay men. Miami and specifically South Beach in Miami Beach is more about glamour than about beer-guzzling and all that.

Families also have many great choices in South Florida including Hollywood, which is just south of Fort Lauderdale. Hotel prices run the gamut, but it's important to be aware of location as many of the cheaper places are in boring neighborhoods near the airports.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$89 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International (FLL)
  • Nearest larger airport – 30 miles: Miami International (MIA)

>>>Miami Beach prices and advice

Los Cabos, Mexico (Pacific Coast)

  • March avg high: 809F/27C
  • March avg low: 56F/13C
  • March avg precip: 0.7″/1.8cm

Los Cabos used to be better known as Cabo San Lucas and it had become almost a forgotten resort area until around the turn of the millennium. Now it's extremely hot as the go-to Mexico resort area for celebrities and less-famous residents of the western United States and Canada. It's even got a reputation as a Spring Break party spot if that's what you are looking for.

Hotel prices in Los Cabos are reasonable by US standards but rather high by Mexico standards. And flights cost more than you might expect as well. Still, this is where you want to go if you want to spend your Easter break alongside famous people and paparazzi. Even if Cabo sounds like it's for you, it's still worth comparing airfares and hotel deals with Puerto Vallarta (mentioned below) because that is a much larger area with more options.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$119 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Los Cabos International (SJD)

>>>Los Cabos prices and advice

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (Pacific Coast)

  • March avg high: 85F/29C
  • March avg low: 62F/17C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

Down in the main part of Mexico you'll find Puerto Vallarta, which is the most enduring of the popular west coast Mexico resort towns. Puerto Vallarta is known to party, but it also has many high-end resorts and family hotels so it's a good choice for almost anyone.

The cheapest hotels here are quite inexpensive, but if you want a 4-star chain hotel on the beach it will cost you quite a bit more. Flights into Puerto Vallarta are similar in price to flights to Los Cabos, so it's worth going farther if you want to visit a resort area with an actual authentic Mexican town at its core rather than more of a purpose-built resort town. The Puerto Vallarta area also has far more interesting cultural sights and it's obviously more authentically Mexican, for what it's worth.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$58 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International (PVR)

>>>Puerto Vallarta prices and advice

San Juan, Puerto Rico (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 85F/26C
  • March avg low: 73F/15C
  • March avg precip: 3.7″/5.5cm

San Juan isn't necessarily known as a Spring Break party destination, but it's got excellent beaches right next to a gorgeous colonial historic town, so it's popular with experienced travelers nonetheless. And since San Juan is a fairly large city with so many permanent residents, this is a place where you can get away from other tourists if you prefer.

Flights into San Juan can be very cheap from many cities in the US and Canada, which is another reason it's so popular. Americans don't even need a passport or to change money, which saves a bit of time. There aren't many cheap hotels near the beach areas, but the value is quite good at hotels a bit over US$100 per night, and there are many airbnbs available in the same range. San Juan also has a nearby rain forest and a famous rum factory, so it's more than just drinking on the beach.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$107 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Luis Muñoz Marín International (SJU)

>>>San Juan, Puerto Rico prices and advice

Cancún/Playa del Carmen/Cozumel, Mexico (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 87F/31C
  • March avg low: 70F/21C
  • March avg precip: 1.7″/4.4cm

The Cancun hotel zone has become a famous Spring Break haunt among college kids and party people. The beaches are packed during the day and the huge (and expensive) nightclubs are packed at night. If you want something less generic you should head a bit south to Playa del Carmen or the island of Cozumel just a short ferry ride away. They are both more traditional and interesting, with a much larger selection of accommodations, shopping, dining, and nightlife.

Flights into Cancun Airport can be very reasonable from all over North America. All three of these destinations are close enough to Cancun Airport, though Cozumel does have its own small airport so that is worth checking if you are staying on the island. The cheap hotels are off the beach a bit, so check the location before you book.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$36 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Cancún International (CUN)

>>>Cancun prices and advice


>>>Playa del Carmen prices and advice


>>>Cozumel prices and advice

Montego Bay/Ocho Rios/Negril, Jamaica (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 84F/29C
  • March avg low: 73F/23C
  • March avg precip: 1.4″/3.5cm

Jamaica is another party mecca in the Caribbean, and many people love the place partly because it's the cheapest island where everyone speaks English, more or less. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are best for those looking for an all-inclusive hotel or people who prefer to stay in a large beach hotel and never really leave. If you want to experience Jamaica and have a choice of restaurants and beach bars and so forth, then head to Negril (pictured) instead.

Montego Bay Airport serves all of these towns so it's quite busy and finding good fares is pretty easy. It's also worth checking for package deals including airfare and hotel if you want to do an all-inclusive or stay at one of the larger properties along the northern coast of Jamaica.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$79 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Sangster International (MBJ)

>>>Montego Bay prices and advice


>>>Ocho Rios prices and advice


>>>Negril prices and advice

Punta Cana/Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 83F/28C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 2.1″/5.4cm

The Dominican Republic isn't really known for Spring Break parties, but it's extremely popular for Easter vacations, especially for those who want to stay in an all-inclusive resort. Somehow the Dominican Republic is able to offer far nicer hotels than you could possibly imagine for surprisingly low prices at its all-inclusives. Punta Cana is newer than Puerto Plata with nicer beaches and a better airport, but Puerto Plata can be a bit cheaper.

The Punta Cana Airport is by far the busiest in the country, and very good package deals can be found from cities all over North America. You won't find better value at an all-inclusive resort anywhere in the Caribbean. By the way, in 2019 there was a scare after a few tourists died while staying in or near Punta Cana, but it turned out there was nothing going on and US authorities have deemed the area to be as safe as ever.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$57 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Punta Cana International (PUJ)
  • Nearest Puerto Plata airport: Gregorio Luperón International (POP)

>>>Punta Cana prices and advice


>>>Puerto Plata prices and advice

Ambergris Caye/Caye Caulker, Belize (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

Belize is too far from the US and Canada to be a popular Spring Break destination, but it's very busy during Easter week and it's a great choice for someone who wants something a bit different. English is one of the official languages so traveling here is less challenging than in most of Central America for non-Spanish speakers. Ambergris Caye and the town of San Pedro are a bit more upscale than Caye Caulker, but they are mostly similar.

You have to fly into the main Belize City Airport first, and then you can take a small plane to the tiny Ambergris Caye Airport or take ground transportation to the Water Taxi terminal for a ferry ride to either island. Belize feels a bit Jamaican, though quite exotic in many ways. It's important to note that the main Belize islands have very few sandy beaches, but they are all very close to the world's second largest coral reef, so the diving and snorkeling are some of the best in the world.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$92 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Philip S. W. Goldson International (BZE)

>>>Ambergris Caye prices and advice

Roatán Island, Honduras (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 78F/26C
  • March avg precip: 3.2″/8.1cm

Roatán Island is an up and comer on the tourism scene, as it's now a popular cruise port on cruises of the southern Caribbean. The island isn't too far from Belize, so there are definitely some similarities, although a bit less English is spoken. Both islands are just off the second largest reef system in the world, so the diving and snorkeling here are excellent.

Since Roatán Island is much larger and not nearly as close to the mainland as the Belize islands, you have to fly directly into the main airport here. Finding cheap airfare might be a bit tricky, but overall it's a good value destination for the Caribbean.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$88 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Juan Manuel Gálvez International (RTB)

>>>Roatán Island prices and advice

Cartagena, Colombia (Caribbean)

  • March avg high: 87F/31C
  • March avg low: 77F/25C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/1.9cm

Another destination that has become very popular lately, Cartagena feels like a cheaper version of San Juan, Puerto Rico since it has its own gorgeous walled colonial city and a stretch of beaches. Honestly, it's not as nice as San Juan and the sand on the beaches isn't white or powdery, but the value here is amazing and it's a fascinating place.

You can get good airfare deals from the US and elsewhere into Cartagena. The airport is only a few miles from the walled city, and a taxi literally costs under US$5. The food here is wonderful as well, as long as you appreciate the Latin and Caribbean flavors.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$43 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Rafael Núñez International (CTG)

>>>Cartagena prices and advice

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (North Atlantic)

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 60F/16C
  • March avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

As you can see by those temperatures above, Tenerife and the rest of the Canary Islands are warm, but not hot enough for many people in search of fun in the sun. Still, they are extremely popular because they are officially part of Spain and they are so close to Europe. The resort areas in the southwest of the island are usually warmer than the rest of the island, so many people do sunbathe all year round here.

Flights into Tenerife can be quite reasonable from many cities in Europe, as both airports are served by many low-cost carriers. The South Airport is much closer to most of the resort areas, but the North Airport sometimes has lower fares and a bus connects them in about an hour. During March and April you'll find that the Canary Islands are mostly filled with northern Europeans who are escaping the end of their long winter, and often staying months at a time.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$74 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Tenerife–South Airport (TFS)
  • Nearest airport: Tenerife-North Airport (TFN)

>>>Tenerife prices and advice

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt (Red Sea)

  • March avg high: 77F/25C
  • March avg low: 61F/16C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

If you are in Europe and you want a beach resort area that is warmer than the Canary Islands around Easter, Sharm el-Sheikh on Egypt's Red Sea coast is one to consider. The country has had some famous security issues and that has kept the majority of possible visitors away, for better or worse, and fewer airlines serve the airport than before.

The hotel prices below might seem like a typo, but they aren't. This is a built-up beach resort area with many large hotels, and some of them now have prices so low that they look like a mistake. You'll obviously spend more for a nice room at a 4-star hotel on the beach, but it'll still be amazing value.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$12 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Sharm El Sheikh International (SSH)

>>>Sharm el-Sheikh prices and advice

Goa, India (Indian Ocean)

  • March avg high: 90F/32C
  • March avg low: 74F/23C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

Since “Spring Break” is mostly an American and Canadian phenomenon, you don't get any of it in India, which is literally on the other side of the earth. However, in Goa there is something of a Spring Break vibe all year long. This is a collection of beach towns and some of them (Anjuna and Vagator most notably) have a reputation for drug and alcohol-fueled beach parties that last all night.

Other towns in Goa such as Calangute, are known more as family beaches and even very popular among Indians themselves. Most visitors first fly into Mumbai and then you can change planes for a flight down to Goa Airport or take an overnight train if you want the full experience.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$31 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Goa International (GOI)

>>>Goa prices and advice

Boracay Island, Philippines (Asia Pacific)

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 76F/24C
  • March avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

Unless you are a frequent visitor to Asia, it's very possible that you've never heard of Boracay Island. This lovely little strip of sand off of a larger island in the Philippines has sort of an old-school vibe that many people love. It's a long and thin island so almost every hotel is on or very near the beach, and nearly everyone gets around on foot by drifting up and down the sandy footpath between the beach and the beachfront hotels.

Boracay Island is a bit of paradise but the price you pay is that it's not easy to reach. Most visitors first fly into Manila and then change planes to one of the airports listed below. And from either of those airports you still have to take a car or bus to the little ferry port for the short ferry ride to Boracay itself. The entire island was shut down to tourists in 2018 for six months to repair its infrastructure, and it's now fully open again and nicer than before.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$63 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Godofredo P. Ramos (MPH)
  • Nearest larger airport – 78 km: Kalibo International (KLO)

>>>Boracay Island prices and advice

Bali, Indonesia (Java Sea, just south of the equator)

  • March avg high: 87F/31C
  • March avg low: 78F/26C
  • March avg precip: 8.4″/21.0cm

Bali continues to be insanely popular among Australian surfers and party people, but it's also popular with families and budget travelers who enjoy the friendly and exotic feeling of the island. The main beach town of Kuta has a Spring Break vibe every night of the year, so you should either head there or avoid it entirely depending on your own tastes. Ubud in the foothills a bit to the north is the choice for the yoga crowd.

Flights into Denpasar Airport are good value from all over Asia and even from Europe if you book far enough in advance. Hotels in Bali are excellent value, although it's worth noting that the cheapest places are that cheap for a reason, so paying more for a nicer place is usually worth it. Bali has become so crowded in recent years that some fans are now staying away or going to nearby Lombok instead. If you don't want to deal with the traffic and big crowds it can be worth it to stay at a hotel in Nusa Dua, which is a purpose-built resort area that remains very mellow and rather upscale.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$13 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Ngurah Rai International (DPS)

>>>Bali prices and advice

Phuket, Thailand (Andaman Sea)

  • March avg high: 92F/33C
  • March avg low: 76F/24C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

Phuket is Thailand's largest island with over 1,000 hotels, but we could also have included Ko Samui or Ko Pha Ngan or Ko Phi Phi on this list. All of them are extremely popular for Easter breaks among European tourists. Patong Beach on Phuket is notorious for shopping, massage parlours, and “beer bars” so it's another place that feels like Spring Break every night of the year. Other beaches such as Karon and Kata, just a bit to the south of Patong, are more family oriented.

Flights into Phuket can be quite cheap from Europe and of course from elsewhere in Asia. Many people fly into Bangkok for a few days and then hop a cheap flight down to Phuket for a few days of fun in the sun to balance out their trip.

  • Good 3-star hotels from US$17 (incl. tax) for 2 people
  • Nearest airport: Phuket International (HKT)

>>>Phuket prices and advice

4 Responses to “19 Cheap and warm Easter & Spring Break beach destinations for 2020”

Peter says:

Hi Roger ,Just broke up today after a 10 years relationship. im 42 , traveller and road tripper from Canada , im obviously devastated now and also tired of the -30C weather.

So I have decided to take a month off ( Fed 15th to march 15th) were would you go if you go if you were in my situation?

Not looking to get club med entertained or cheap sex to get over the ex, and would like to avoid the spring breaker crowd if possible, just trying to re-center myself with some zen time floating in the ocean in a warm peaceful environment.




    Sorry to hear that and I know that feeling. Since you have a full month the first place I’d recommend would be southeast Asia. Especially this time of year it’s a very social place with loads of travelers from all over the world as well as the locals, of course. The obvious place to start is Bangkok, which is also quite an easy place to start because so many people in the tourism industry speak enough English to cater to the thousands of visitors. I’d stay there maybe 3 or 4 days and then head to Siem Reap in Cambodia for a few days to check out Angkor Wat. You can take VIP buses that are very comfortable, at least to the Cambodia border. You might also check out Chiang Mai in northern Thailand, which is another very popular place with English-speaking travelers.

    After that you could fly to one of the islands or take trains or flight down to Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a really cool city where you get a lot for your money, and Penang is another place worth stopping. As for islands, Phuket is the largest and Patong Beach is the most social place, although parts of it are also filled with adult-oriented nightclubs and whatnot. It’s easy to avoid those if you aren’t in the mood. You could instead go to Ko Samui or Ko Phi Phi or Ko Phangan, which are smaller islands that actually have better scenery. Phuket is sort of a vacation factory while the others are a bit more exotic.

    And you could also fly down to Bali for part of your trip or even all of it. I have some suggestions for you if that sounds interesting. All of these places I’m mentioning are quite cheap once you get there, and staying a month would give you plenty of time to explore several places. It’s really fun this time of year because the weather is quite good and there are so many other travelers from all over to chat with if you want. I’ve got lots of information on this website about all of these places (except for a couple of the islands).

    Or you could do a trip through Central America from Bali down to Panama, with Costa Rica probably being the place to focus on. Or you could go to Buenos Aires and explore other places in Argentina such as the Mendoza wine country and Iguazu Falls and the Bariloche area. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to provide more info on any of these if you need it. -Roger

Lori K says:

Hi Roger
I have been trying to plan a vacation since last year for my 25th wedding anniversary. My husband does not like hot tropical weather or spending time on the beach. I’m more flexible but I want it to be warm. We are in our late 40’s early 50’s. He likes to do a lot of site seeing and exploring. I’m ok with that but I also just want to relax. We don’t have a specific date in mind but probably between March-August for a week to two weeks. Our budget is only about $3000-$5000Cdn. What do you recommend?



    This is an interesting request and it’s more challenging than it might seem to avoid hot weather in those months. Obviously you could go almost anywhere in March or April and the weather would be pretty mild. If you wanted to go between May and August I’ll suggest at least having a scan of this article about cool-weather destinations for summer months. Many of those are reasonably close to you and quite a few of them are within your price range.

    I hope that at least gives you some ideas. I’m happy to help more if you have other questions. -Roger


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