When you’re a college student, the summer is usually the most enjoyable part of the year. You already made it through an entire semester of classes. You don’t have to worry about your homework or group projects for a few months. It’s simply time to kick back, relax, and unwind ─ which shouldn’t be hard with all of the hot summer days ahead of you!
Summer break is a special time for both high school and college students. It’s that period of time between the final bell in May or August and the start of classes in early September where students have to decide what to do with their free time. There are endless opportunities for summer vacation fun, but sifting through all the potential options can be daunting. That’s why a look at the best summer vacation ideas for college students can help you make better decisions. We will base our discussion today on – Best Summer Vacation For College Students. But, other resources which you can find on our website include some frequently asked questions such as: summer trips for college students 2022 and best vacations for young adults
Best Summer Vacation For College Students
13 Best Family Vacations with College Students and Young Adults
- Tanner Wilkes
Once your kids fly the nest to pursue higher studies, a vacation can mean spending time at home.
Planning and coordinating their breaks with your schedules and finding the right destination that will interest them can be daunting and discouraging.
We have a list of places that we think will be right for enjoying the best family vacations with college students.
You will not regret it, and what’s more, the memories you bring back are guaranteed to make you smile every time.
1. New York City, New York
If your college-going kids are into theater, a visit to New York City’s Great White Way will be the perfect family vacation destination you can gift them.
There is some new show that’s happening there always and could even be on the bucket list of the young adults in your family!
If you are traveling in January, you can even catch the NYC Broadway Week.
13 Best Family Vacations with College Students and Young Adults
You will also find it easy on your pocket with offers such as 2-for-1 tickets to many shows.
Don’t forget to dine at Ellen’s Stardust Diner that has a singing waitstaff.
Some of the other attractions are a walk through the theater district; visiting the Drama Book Shop to discover scripts and sheet music; or just a stopover at Shakespeare in the Park during summertime.
2. London, England
If your young ones have also been bitten by the Harry Potter bug, then a visit to the Wizarding World in London will be irresistible for them.
See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in his West End home, and then proceed to the Palace Theatre, where you can find the House of MinaLima, the one who did the graphic designing for the Wizarding World.
If you love shopping and munching, there is a shopping center nearby.
Hop over to the Chinatown a couple of blocks away, or visit the Warner Bros to complete the Harry Potter experience.
The Making of Harry Potter – Studio Tour just outside the city will be an unforgettable experience.
Don’t miss the photo opp at Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station.
3. Adventures by Disney Danube River Cruise
Experience Europe by booking your family on a Danube River Cruise to have a great trip with your college-age kids.
You can visit eight cities in four different countries as you cruise from Germany to Hungary or the other way round.
At each port, Adventures by Disney organizes special experiences that narrate the stories of each city and town, giving them a peep into European history and culture.
Don’t miss exciting activities such as climbing through the treetops 50 feet above the Bavarian forest floor or sliding into a salt mine under the Austrian Alps.
You will be hiking to the ruins of English King Richard the Lionheart’s castle built in the 1100s, tasting gourmet meals and exploring world-famous Christmas markets if you visit during the holiday season.
4. Quebec City, Canada
If you want international vacation spots but the budget is a constraint, you can still cross over to Canada and soak in the French culture, language and cuisine.
Quebec City has a 400-year-old history and Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It is the only fortified city in North America besides Mexico.
Samuel de Champlain set it up as the base for explorers, trappers, and traders from France in 1608, till the British defeated them and took over in 1759.
Even today you will find at least 95 percent of the population speaking French in the City.
You will also find tasty French cuisine and you can soak in the European charm so noticeable in the region continues.
Walk between towering walls, on cobblestone streets, ride horse-drawn carriages and watch street performers.
5. Tulum, Mexico
For ideas on family trips, Tulum, Mexico, is a must-visit destination, especially for those with interest in anthropology and archeology.
Located just an hour south of Playa del Carmen, you can visit the only surviving Mayan walled city with its well-maintained ruins of the Mayan port dating back to 564 AD and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The Mayan pyramid of Coba is just a 45-minute drive away from Tulum.
It is not just history, you can also have some fun time on the white sandy beaches by the turquoise Caribbean sea, visit the cenote river caves and the eco parks and experience Spanish culture, language and cuisine.
Don’t forget to drop into the trendy downtown area for some shopping.
6. Dublin, Ireland
There is something for students, the religiously inclined and the one with a parched throat in the capital city of Ireland.
Trinity College in Dublin was started in 1592 and is well known even among American college students who choose this as one of their destinations to study abroad.
Its “long library room” is popular among book lovers.
While here, you can see the 9th Century Book of Kells, the 15th Century Brian Boru harp, which is the national symbol of Ireland, and a copy of the 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic.
Nearby, you can visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublinia, Christ Church Cathedral and the Dublin Castle.
For some drinks, for a bite or just enjoy a night out, go to the Temple Bar quarter.
Right across is the iconic, 200-year-old, cast-iron Ha’Penny Pedestrian Bridge over the River Liffey.
7. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Trips with college kids must include a visit at least once when they are twenty something to a wildlife destination as they are old enough to be able to patiently observe animals as well as handle the long journey.
South Africa’s Kruger National Park covers nearly two million hectares of land with a wide diversity of life forms along with historical and archaeological sights.
Apart from the Big 5, which include the Cape buffalo, African elephant, leopard, lion and rhino, you can also sight the wild dog, the ground hornbill, the fish eagle and see the Baobab and Marula trees.
Jabulani Safari in South Africa’s Kapama Game Reserve is also nearby and, if you are lucky, you can catch sight of the herd of elephants whose four-month-old calf had been rescued in 1997.
8. The Rose Bowl – Pasadena, California
No college-goer can resist the pull of sports, and no sports buff can resist a visit to the granddaddy of all football events, the Rose Bowl.
So if you are planning a trip with your college-going kids during the winter holidays, make sure you drop in for the New Year’s Day Tournament of Rose Bowl football game, a worldwide event with over a million viewers every year.
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It is preceded by a Roses Parade, an impressive affair with over 40 flower-covered floats, several marching bands and many equestrian units marching 5.5 miles down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California.
Even after the parade has ended, these floats are on display at the Showcase of Floats.
You can also have some fun at the public fanfest that happens at 8 am and is free and open for all.
9. Disney World – Orlando, FL
There is no age limit to have a fun-filled vacation at Disney World.
Plan a weekend getaway to explore, discovering events and activities you have never done before.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a new addition that is bound to go down well with your college-going kids.
Some of the other cool fun things that would keep your twenty-something entertained include Resist the First Order, Fly the Millennium Falcon and the water park.
Soak yourself in the atmosphere of Oga’s Cantina, a local hangout, and enjoy the DJ churning out some out-of-this-world music.
You may find it difficult to drag your young adult from the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex with over 60 sports and thousands of events for athletes of all ages and abilities being conducted over 230 acres of land.
10. Give Kids The World – Kissimmee, FL
College students today are aware of their social responsibility and are highly committed to working for their communities with a desire to give back.
Universities provide them with the opportunity to do community service by partnering with relevant organizations to organize trips related to such activities.
One of the summer vacation ideas for families with college students is the Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida, just outside of Disney World.
A cheap vacation that can also provide an unforgettable experience.
You can take college students to volunteer in this whimsical vacation resort where children with life-threatening illnesses wishing to visit Central Florida stay with their families.
The volunteers, selected after screening and provided training, work in shifts and are provided with meals, ice cream and entertainment in the evenings.
11. Disney Cruise Line
If you have made several trips to Disney theme park, Disney Cruise Line may be an option you want to try out.
Not just Florida, the Bahamas or the Caribbean, you can explore more exciting options such as the Mediterranean, Northern European or Alaska.
Not only will your family get to enjoy the entertaining shows and storytelling sessions along with exceptional service, but you can also experience new cultures and countries at the ports of stop of the cruise.
Your college-going children will also be allowed access to adult areas such as the Quiet Cove pool, Senses Spa and the adults-only restaurants such as Remy and Palo.
This can be also a great gift for a soon-to-be graduate as a reward for years of hard work in college.
12. Sydney, Australia
If the young adults in your family are wired for some thrilling adventures, they may want to try climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge cabled to the structure for safety.
As you ascend the 1,332 steps, the panoramic view gets exciting.
The ferry boats cruising the harbor below are a sight to see, and you may also want to take one to visit Manly Beach, a sandy stretch that is an attraction of its own.
Take Bonza Bike Tours to visit some of Sydney’s iconic sites.
The Great Barrier Reef is a must see, as are some of the many other attractions this region has to offer such as the lush national parks and restaurants serving delicious food.
Don’t miss the joy rides in the seaside amusement park, The Luna Park.
Iceland has many natural wonders such as volcanoes, hot springs and massive glaciers.
Float in Iceland’sn oldest hot pool, Blue Lagoon, go on a whale safari, hike to waterfalls or go caving.
The black sea sand of Reynisfjara Beach is a rare, not-to-be-missed sight.
If you enjoy snorkeling, Silfra in Thingvellir National Park with its clearest water on earth should be part of your itinerary.
Iceland lets you go on self-drive tours or you can book one of the packages and let someone else take care of the logistics as you sit back and relax the enchanting view Iceland has to offer.
Ecuador might not be every traveler’s first pick when planning a South American adventure, but that’s part of why it’s a budget-friendly trip for college students. This country has some beautiful beaches, sights to see, and is a great place to work on those Spanish skills you’ve been working on in class.
Tourist-targeted crime dropped dramatically, and as long as you’re smart about traveling you shouldn’t encounter safety issues. Of course, one of the big draws here is the Galapagos islands, which are totally worth a visit if you can pull it off during your trip.
2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an easy trip for American students because flights usually aren’t too long or expensive and you don’t even need a passport since it’s a U.S. territory. San Juan has lots of student-friendly hostels that have rates as low as $15 per night.
You’ll get to meet other students and tourists from around the world and enjoy a fun party scene with local rum-packed mojitos. Make sure to walk over to La Plaza del Mercado in Santurce, a neighborhood with lots of authentic restaurants and bars frequented by locals. It’s an awesome place to try Puerto Rico food, people-watch, and find happy hour specials on drinks.
3. Arenal Area, Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of several great Central American destinations for college students because of the prices and adventure opportunities. You can find some really affordable hostels here, and some even serve complimentary breakfast every morning. Airfare has been pretty cheap when traveling from the U.S., and the exchange rate makes this trip a great deal.
This is a touristy area, so spend some time getting acquainted with the local businesses so you can spot tourist traps and avoid them. You can find local eating establishments called “sodas,” that serve authentic Costa Rican specialties at a low cost.
Visit local grocery stores in the neighborhood you’re staying in to stock up Costa Rican beer to save money at the bars. It is one of the budget-friendly trips for college students.
Although Bolivia has been growing in popularity among travelers, it continues to be one of the cheap vacations for college students. Depending on where you’re coming from, the plane ticket might set you back, but once you arrive, you’ll discover that you can afford lots of things on a tight budget. Transportation, food, alcohol, and accommodations can be afforded at around $20 per day if you are thrifty and plan your trip in advance.
5. Panama City, Florida
Florida has always been a top spot for college spring breakers, but why not visit during the off-season for better prices and fewer crowds? Consider visiting Panama City in the fall, say September or October.
The temperatures are warm, the sun is shining brightly, the beaches less annoying, and flight and hotel prices very reasonable. Take a look at vacation rental properties along the beach during the off-season, because you can sometimes find nightly deals as low as about $50 per night and be just steps away from the sand.
It’s no secret that traveling to Europe isn’t generally cheap, but Albania is an exception to this rule. The cost of living in Albania is much more affordable than elsewhere in Europe, a fact that helps out travelers on a budget too.
There are some amazing beaches to visit in this beautiful Mediterranean country if you’re looking for sunshine and relaxation, and the traditional food here is nothing short of amazing.
7. Niagara Falls, New York/Canada
If you’re looking for stunning natural beauty that’s not too far from home, then consider a trip to Niagara Falls, which straddles the border between New York and Ontario. There are lots of cheap hotels in the Buffalo area, especially if you don’t travel during the busy summer tourist season. From the U.S. side, walk over to the Canadian side for a fun nightlife scene.
Even with the popularity of countries like Thailand and Vietnam, Asia is still considered one of the budget-friendly trips for college students. And what’s one of the best Asian countries for college students on a budget? That would be Cambodia. This enchanting country offers visitors starred hotels for much lower prices than other destinations around the world.
Food and transportation costs are also low here, as are entrance fees to places like Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Even better is the fact that many of Cambodia’s most beloved sites are completely free, as is the case with Monkey Island, said to be the real-life inspiration behind the story of King Kong.
9. New Orleans, Louisiana
Even if it’s not Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve, or Halloween, New Orleans is a fun place to party any time of the year. It’s an incredibly unique place in the U.S. that’s full of fascinating history, intriguing culture, delicious food, and a constantly buzzing nightlife scene that encourages cocktail to-go cups.
There are actually a couple of hostels in and near the French Quarter that offer very reasonable accommodation rates for students. Hotels in New Orleans can get quite pricey, so look into these hostel options well in advance so they don’t get booked up. Take the streetcar or simply walk to get around instead of driving and paying high parking rates.
Indonesia — and especially its island of Bali — is currently one of the most popular and cheap vacations for college students, and for good reason: it’s cheap! From lush rainforests to postcard-perfect beaches, Indonesia is a great destination for those who love adventure but are on a budget. Whether you choose to visit Bali, Sumatra, or one of Indonesia’s other islands (there are more than 1,000!), you’re likely to find:
- clean accommodations
- activities like snorkeling and beach yoga
- delicious delicacies that won’t set you back more than a few dollars each.