Emily is still in Paris and taking over our Netflix screens again. But did you know that this year it may be cheaper to actually go to Paris than many perceived “cheaper” and closer destinations this spring break?
That's right. Priceline, the online travel agency for finding discount rates for travel-related purchases such as airline tickets and hotel stays, has gathered intel on the cost of sought-after travel destinations for the forthcoming 2023 spring.
According to Expedia search data, searches for flights in March and April are up 40% compared to the same time frame last year, indicating that U.S. travelers are getting a head start on planning spring break getaways.
While around 64% of spring breakers tend to lock in hotels 90+ days in advance, the ones who wait tend to get better deals. Expedia lodging data shows that, historically, booking hotels closer to a month out yields savings of around $30 per night.
Between March 1 and April 30, here are the Top 12 most affordable international destinations based on average daily hotel rates. And yes, a spring break in Paris is more affordable than in Cancún this year.
Condé Nast recently announced that Portugal took first place as the best country in the world in its prestigious Readers' Choice Awards 2022. This is great news for anyone looking to go abroad this spring. Portugal's capital city, Lisbon, was found to be the most affordable international destination, with an average daily hotel rate of just $127.
The charming Mediterranean city of Barcelona follows Lisbon as the second most affordable international destination. Here you'll find great beaches, a unique blend of Baroque and Modernist architecture, and delicious cuisine. The average daily hotel rate is $168.
For families wishing to skip Disney and enjoy an international spring break this year, a quick train ride from Barcelona to Tarragona will take you to Port Aventura, the biggest theme park in Spain and the third largest in Europe.
The capital of Tuscany, Florence is home to some of the world's greatest Renaissance art and will surely transport you back in time. Florence is the third most affordable international destination, with an average daily hotel rate of $169.
John Dealbreuin from Financial Freedom Countdown recommends Florence for the numerous renowned architectural marvels, such as the Piazza del Duomo, Basilica of Santa Croce, and Piazza della Signoria.
“We learned about Florence's long tradition of leatherworking by heading to the hidden workshops in Oltrarno. During the day, Oltrarno is a lush paradise of gardens and greenery–but come nightfall, it comes alive with lively bar scenes and vibrant outdoor dining experiences.
“A day trip to the nearby hill town of Fiesole provided spectacular views of the Tuscan countryside, and we explored 4th century B.C. Etruscan ruins. Fiesole is also home to an impressive cathedral and a partially restored Roman theater.
“We took a break from sightseeing by rejuvenating at the nearby thermal baths. No matter what activities travelers choose, Florence is sure to offer an unforgettable spring break experience,” comments Dealbreuin.
As the pandemic subsides and restrictions have lifted in East Asia, tourists from around the world have their eyes set on Japan as an ideal destination to fulfill their travel goals. The last region to reopen for travel, Tokyo is expected to be a hotspot for travelers keen on experiencing its culture.
Condé Nast rated Japan second on its list of Readers' Choice Awards in 2022, and Tokyo takes the fourth spot for the most affordable international destinations with an average hotel rate of $203 per night.
“The absolute, undisputed most popular destination for 2023 is Italy. And if you thought everyone went in 2022, buckle up,” according to the Washington Post. Rome is a particularly popular city with its ancient monuments, cobbled streets, delicious pasta, and gelato. The average daily hotel rate for Rome is $205.
Amsterdam is another top affordable international destination with an average daily hotel rate of $218. It's a great city for those looking to explore its many canals, sample its unique Dutch cuisine, and take in its vibrant art scene.
“When visiting Amsterdam, the best season to do so is spring. Amsterdam comes alive with colorful tulips, boats in the canals, and longer and warmer days. The Dutch go out and about when it's spring, and you can spend days relaxing in the Vondelpark, exploring the Jordaan neighborhood, or roaming the Amsterdam woodlands,” comments local resident Marjolein Dilven, a travel writer from Spark Nomad.
“If you want the full Dutch experience, rent a bike and use that as your transportation around Amsterdam like a local. Many of the top festivals and celebrations are in spring, the most popular one being King's Day. They even host a Spring Break festival every year with electronic music, which will be April 9-12 in 2023.”
This is the year to vacation like Emily in Paris and explore the City of Lights. When it comes to spring break, Paris takes seventh place for most affordable international destinations with an average daily hotel rate of $227.
Who would have imagined that Paris would be cheaper than Cancun for spring break, but there is no better time to bring out your inner Emily and explore Paris in the spring.
Rounding Out The Top Twelve
London takes eighth place and is another great destination for those looking to explore its world-famous landmarks, museums, and galleries. The average daily hotel rate in London is $237.
Aer Lingus recently announced that they will be reintroducing routes between the Irish capital and major cities in the U.S., such as Los Angeles and Seattle. Dublin is the ninth most affordable international destination, with an average daily hotel rate of $259.
Finally, a beach destination in the Caribbean makes it to the top ten. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, takes tenth place. It is a great spot for those who want to relax on its white sand beaches, sample its unique Caribbean cuisine, and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities. The average daily hotel rate here is $354.
Mexico has been breaking tourism records throughout the pandemic and will return as a powerhouse destination in 2023. Its most popular and easy-to-get-to beach destinations are major contributors to that success.
Cancun Airport Has Received Over 22 Million Visitors so far this year and is Mexico's most popular beach destination. While Cancun has an average daily hotel rate of $365, its white sand beaches and warm weather place it in the eleventh spot on the list.
Lastly, Nassau in the Bahamas rounds out the list in twelfth place for the most affordable international destinations in 2023, with an average daily hotel rate of $686.
Travel International This Spring
While spots 10-12 are North American warm-weather locales and often perceived as the cheaper spots for college spring breakers, these numbers showcase that Europe is eclipsing traditional spring break beach resorts in terms of pricing for hotel accommodations.
Overall, spring breakers can expect to find some of the most affordable international destinations this year if they are willing to explore beyond Cancun and other traditional hotspots. With a bit of planning and research, it's possible to find some great deals on international travel this year.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
You can follow her travel adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.