Why You Should Travel in Spring
Over the course of our 35+ years in business, Austin Adventures has won top in its class awards from the likes of Conde Nast and Travel + Leisure. More than a tour group, we’re grateful to have become the trusted name in global active adventure travel, and we’re happy to help you roam a little off the beaten path toward the spring adventure of a lifetime. One way we do this is by offering excellent alternatives to the classic summer vacation by suggesting adventures for travel in spring. Looking for a different kind of spring break trip? We’re all about it. Looking for spring family vacations? You’ve got some incredible options.
Most of us grew up thinking of summer as the time to cut loose, discover new horizons, and in the process get to know ourselves and our loved ones better. However, the times are a changin’, and many of us are looking for a well-deserved escape in the spring months. That’s why we’ve put together a list of reasons why you should consider getting away this spring, as well as some of the best places to travel in spring in 2020.
Top 5 Reasons to Travel in Spring This Year
1. Travel crowds are smaller in spring
Despite flexible schedules, folks still flock to destination areas during the summer months, which can mean longer lines, longer wait times at restaurants, and less opportunity to get to know locals. Springtime is relaxed by comparison, and many locals are overjoyed to welcome adventurers during the off season. Recognizing this, we’ve taken advantage of off-season prices and spring attractions to put together some of the most enriching and relaxing adventure packages you can imagine.
Picture yourself drinking Guaro, a popular Costa Rican liquor, on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, or on the boardwalk of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, against the backdrop of Croatia’s rustic architecture. Or perhaps you’ll hit some of the breathtaking U.S. National Parks when you’ve practically got them to yourself. Austin Adventures guides work to create full-bodied experiences of a destination’s rich culture, cuisine, natural wonders, history, and architecture. So, when you return home, refreshed and relaxed, with an unexpected springtime tan, you won’t say that you’ve been on vacation—you’ll say you’ve been on an adventure.
2. Off-season travel has its advantages
There are a lot of advantages to visiting restaurants, museums, and local shops in the “off-season.” The fact that these destinations are less crowded means restaurant and museum staff, as well as shop owners, have more time to answer questions, share their knowledge of cuisine, artifacts, or local wares, and give you information that could lead to to some local watering hole after dinner that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Better deals mean we’re able to pack more incredible food, better lodging, and higher-end experiences into an even more affordable spring travel package.
Fewer crowds, less chaos, and better access to friendly locals means more opportunities to take in and capture all of the beauty around you, so you can enjoy it for decades to come! Grab that sketchbook and nestle in with a warm cup of coffee or tea, while you gaze off into only recently discovered vistas. Don’t forget that trusty camera you haven’t touched in a while! Stunning sunsets beckon you to capture the moment in a way that can only be captured on film. The luxuries afforded by the slower pace of the off season allow you to indulge in old hobbies and creative endeavors you may not have thought of in a while. An adventure is not only an exploration of the world around you, but also of the self.
3. Spring travel weather is the perfect temperature
The best way to beat extreme heat—but to do it in shorts and a t-shirt—is to travel in spring. Take, for example, our popular Spain trips. Barcelona and Catalonia get gorgeous weather in April and May, while things can get steamy in the summer months. Ireland in the spring tends to stay in the 60s, making it the best time of the year to visit Ireland. Temperatures in Croatia hover between 60° and 70° during this time, while Costa Rica hovers around 80° during the day and drops to a softly breezy 60°-something at night. (Many people swear that between March and April is the best time of year to go to Costa Rica.) High temperatures are made worse in the summer months by the metal, concrete, and close quarters of big cities—add to that the crowds, and you’re in for a sweat fest to rival your favorite hot yoga class. Any experienced traveler will tell you that weather can make or break a trip, and these are just a few of the places that have their best weather in the spring.
Heat can be exhausting, especially when you’re in unfamiliar territory looking to explore, that’s why the warmer (but not too warm) spring weather can be a welcome alternative to the slog of summer exploration. If you’re traveling with a spouse, friends, or children, you know how important it is for everyone to be in a good mood when you’re trying to have a good time. When traveling with others, keeping the overheated angst at bay is a must, and one way to do that is by taking advantage of spring, glorious spring!
4. Spring travel gets you natural spring beauty
If you’re into nature, spring has obvious advantages. We think Indonesia is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, for example. Why take another spring break trip to the beach in Florida when you can be somewhere as famously gorgeous as Bali? Indonesia boasts 40,000 different flowering plants. That’s a whole lot of flora!
Of course, in the springtime, it’s flowering all over the world, but part of the incredible wonder of going on an adventure in a place you’ve never been is experiencing all of the incredible wonders of mother nature. Not to mention, hanging out with plants can actually boost a person’s mood! So, why not get on that plane, get to know our fantastic guides, lace up those hiking boots, and get to exploring?
At Austin Adventures, our guides are trained by and participate closely with Dan Austin, founder of Austin Adventures and avid adventurer himself, in creating an itinerary for adventures that keep clients curious and engaged with their surroundings. The folks at Austin Adventures are not only invested in thoughtfully curating a memorable vacation experience for you and their loved ones—their love of the great outdoors, the finer points of art and culture, and fine cuisine influence everything they do. Next time you’re on a hike with one of the Austin Adventure guides, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the plants and animals you see along your way, and don’t be surprised if they answer enthusiastically with their knowledge of local flora and fauna!
5. You can see baby animals and major herd migrations in the spring!
In many places, spring is the best time of the year to spot wildlife, so if that’s on your to-do list, consider a spring trip. If you’ve ever thought of heading out on safari, for example, there’s no better time than the spring. We love visiting Tanzania and Kenya for the world-famous Great Migration, where giant herds of grazers make their way across the Serengeti. All across the world, baby animals greet the world in the spring, which just might be the cutest thing you could ever see on a spring break adventure trip. And, of course, it makes for some world-class photographs, whether you’re packing a DSLR or just looking for the best Instagram content on the planet.
The Best Places to Travel in Spring 2020
We’ve scouted out the best spring travel experiences for 2020, whether you’re looking for a spring break adventure trip or a spring family vacation, and whether you’re looking to head abroad or explore your own backyard. So if you’re researching the best places to travel in spring 2020, start your search here.
Called “the Pearl of the Mediterranean,” the hidden Dalmatian Coast of Croatia is truly one of the most unique experiences of a lifetime. With its Gothic castles, lush vineyard-covered hillsides, and azure blue water, stepping into Croatia is like stepping into a postcard. Our Croatia adventure package includes a wide variety of ways to experience the Dalmatian Coast, including trying your hand at a few of the local dishes through an authentic Croatian Cuisine cooking class, kayaking through the peaceful waters of the Pakleni Otoci Islands, and tasting the rich, full-bodied flavor of local red wines. There is also plenty of time built into this vacation adventure package to explore the rich history of Croatia, which was built in the 7th century on Roman ruins and is a central location for some of the pivotal moments in Europe’s past. It’s easily one of the best places in Europe to travel in spring.
Interesting Facts about Croatia:
- Game of Thrones was filmed on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast.
- The world’s biggest white truffle was found in Croatia! Yum!
- Croatia is home to more than 1,000 islands.
- Croatia’s national dish is Peka, also known as ispod čripnje, which translates as “under the bell. Pika is a tender meat and vegetable dish cooked under a terracotta lid over burning embers. It’s one of those bucket-list dishes every food lover should try.
- Croatians enjoy 2,715 hours of sunshine a year, which even beats Sydney, Australia.
- According to Alfred Hitchcock, the Dalmation Coast has the most beautiful sunset in the world.
Our adventure through this extraordinarily biodiverse island begins in the Arenal Rainforest and ends in Uvita, with lots of stops in between to take in the sights and sounds of one of the most mind-blowing swaths of land on the globe. As you hike through the Danaus Nature Reserve, keep an eye out for monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Indulge in hot and cold natural springs in the luxurious Springs Resort, which covers over 265 acres, and take your pick of early morning bird watching or horseback riding through the Arenal National Park, home to the Arenal Volcano. You can still see evidence of the incredible 1968 eruption, and you’re welcome to ask our enthusiastic expert guides any questions you might have about this geographical wonder.
Interesting Facts about Costa Rica:
- Costa Rica is home to more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity.
- In Costa Rica you can find more than 1,400 varieties of orchids.
- The country is one of the largest exporters of bananas in the world, next to Ecuador. You’ll never be short of potassium in Costa Rica!
- Costa Ricans call themselves ticos and ticas!
- “Pura Vida” is a common saying in Costa Rica. It means “the pure life!” We could all use a little more of that, right?
Indonesia is one of the most spiritually and culturally rich areas in the world, and our Indonesia travel package is fantastic way to take in as much of this diversity as possible in the course of seven days, with enough time built in to relax and reflect on all of the new sights, smells, and people you’ll encounter along the way. With over 6,000 temples throughout Bali, and a host agricultural and wildlife-centered experiences, there is never a dull moment in Indonesia. On the Austin Adventures excursion, you’ll have the opportunity to ride bikes through rice fields outside of Borobudur, see the biggest Buddhist temple in the world, and even learn to surf in the clear, blue ocean waters of the Pacific with a certified surf instructor! In the evenings you’ll have the opportunity to relax in some of the most historically, decoratively, and architecturally interesting hotels in the world, including The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta, built-in 1918, enjoying its Terrace Bar, which boasts some of the freshest, most flavorful and inventive cocktails in the region.
Interesting Facts about Indonesia:
- Indonesia is made up of over 18,000 islands.
- Indonesia is home to some of the most captivating wild animals in the world, including the Sumatran Tiger, the Anoa Buffalo, and the Borneo Elephant.
- Indonesia is home to the Komodo Dragon.
- Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of tea and coffee.
- Try spicy sambal! It’s one of Indonesia’s most popular condiments. Sriracha, eat your heart out.
We’re forever amazed at how a country so small can have such a diverse range of dramatic landscapes. Our Ireland adventure takes us from the rolling Wicklow Hills in the East to the iconic Cliffs of Moher and the Wild Atlantic Way, and we believe in savoring it. We believe in exploring the country on foot or on horseback (we do both), meeting the locals and experiencing thousands of years of history. And since you know we’re huge foodies, we can’t help but have a full-service banquet at Bunratty Castle, a 15th century Irish castle, and—of course—sample some Irish whiskey straight from the source. All of this makes Ireland one of the best places in Europe to travel in spring, hands-down.
Interesting Facts about Ireland:
- As in Croatia, there are numerous Game of Thrones locations in Ireland you can visit.
- There are no snakes in Ireland. Since it’s isolated from the European mainland, several species have never made it there, which also includes moles and weasels.
- The Irish town of Muckanaghederdauhaulia boasts the longest name for a place in English.
- The stunning Cliffs of Moher appear in countless movies, from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to The Princess Bride.
Forbes recently wrote of our Azores vacation: “Wonderful itinerary, incredibly balanced, enough activity and plenty of local culture. Bravo!” Savvy adventurers already know that Portugal is one of the best places to travel in Europe in spring, but we find it delightful all year round. You’ll have plenty to write home about upon visiting the Portuguese archipelago, where you’ll swim in oceanic pools heated by underwater volcano vents, stroll through the Vinhas da Criação Velha vineyards (a UNESCO heritage site) before tasting the wine wrought from this rich terroir, visit the cheese factory, São Jorge, and hike the volcanic crater of Sete Cidades. As in all of our excursions, in building the itinerary for this Azores adventure, we’ve tried to strike the perfect balance between active adventure and world-class leisure that’s authentic to this spectacular terrain. If you forget your binoculars, never fear! Our guide is sure to have a pair or two handy for some of the best whale watching in the world.
But Azores isn’t the only Portuguese hotspot on our radar for spring 2020 vacation destinations. Algarve is also a knockout in spring, and we explore the southern seaside region with a special eye on taking in the high-end fresh local cuisine and lounging in some of the most luxurious surroundings in Europe. It’s not all downtime, though—we go on dolphin adventures, kayak seaside caverns with marine biologists, and enjoy boat trips to some of the world’s best birdwatching locales.
Interesting Facts about Portugal:
- Portuguese is the official language of the Azores Islands.
- Pico Island is covered in vineyards and has been producing wine since the 1500s.
- Horta on Faial is home to the world’s most famous sailor bar, Peter’s Sports Cafe.
- The Azores is one of the world’s largest whale sanctuaries.
- The islands of Azores are home to some of the most diverse and inspiring street art in the world!
Wildlife lovers should consider a trip to see The Great Migration in Kenya and Tanzania a true bucket-list adventure. Herds of up to 2 million wildebeest and thousands of other grazers—like zebra and antelope—participate in the largest migration of its kind in the world. By day, our groups explore the African plains to find wildlife like Masai Mara’s famous “big five”: lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and black rhinos. By night, we unwind in comfy safari lodges and encampments. In 2020, this trip is led by our founders, Dan and Carol Austin, who bring their wealth of travel knowledge (and outgoing personalities!) to the adventure.
Interesting Facts about Kenya and Tanzania:
- Kenya’s Masai Mara is the best place in the world to hard-to-find species like the “big five.”
- Kenya produces some of the best coffee beans in the world.
- Tanzania is the home to the largest crab in the world, the coconut crab.
- Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, was born in Tanzania.
- The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is one of the world’s oldest ecoystems, and researchers believe little has changed in the park in over a million years.
There are just a few of the experiences Austin Adventures has endeavoured to put together. We pride ourselves on crafting trips that are unique, culturally rich, and give adventurers the opportunity to challenge themselves. Our guides share an enthusiasm for travel, local culture, fine cuisine, and natural wonders, and their inquisitive spirit guides around curation of the adventures we hope to share with you. We encourage you to join us on your next adventure into the history, wonder, and wilderness of this vast and incredibly diverse global village we all share!