“Oh, The Weather Outside
It’s Christmas Eve and it’s raining cats and dogs outside. The temperature is dropping too, which means that we might get a few snow flurries on Christmas. What a treat for us Atlantans!
However, I’ll fully admit to being a beach girl so my mind is already drifting to warmer climes and our next vacation to somewhere tropical. I know many of you are also beach lovers and what better way to build a bit of sunshine + downtime into your student tour. (P.S. It is always a good choice to build in some downtime on your tour.) Here are my top five picks for beachy student tour destinations.
You don’t have to travel far to find some of the best beaches in the world. California is a wonderful option for student tour groups who are looking for culture and sunshine, but are also working with a smaller budget. I’ve already waxed poetic about San Diego and it’s over 20 beaches. But don’t forget that California itself has over 840 miles of coastline. A few hours north of San Diego is it’s more flashy neighbor, Los Angeles. For sunshine and people watching, check out Santa Monica or Malibu.
2. Costa Rica
Costa Rica is one of the top educational tour destinations and it’s not a mystery why. Perfect for all sorts of tour types, from language immersion to sports tours to service learning, you can’t go wrong with a trip to this friendly country.
So which coast offers the best beaches? This is a tough one and really depends on preference. The Pacific coast is more developed and most tour companies will send their groups to beach along this coast. It’s also closer to the major national parks and airports. For fewer crowds, calmer waters, and powdery sand, look to the Caribbean coast. This is also where you’ll find some really amazing wildlife. The Jaguar Rescue Center and Tortuguero National Park are both on the East coast and are worth a visit.
Just far enough away from home and doesn’t require a passport. Win! If you haven’t considered Hawaii for your student tour, do it now. The Hawaiian culture is fascinating and there are tons of natural, cultural, and historical hotspots for your students to explore including Pearl Harbor and Diamond Head. The beaches aren’t hard on the eyes either. Popular choices for student trips are Waikiki Beach and Poipu Beach. To check out some big waves, head to the north shore of Oahu or Maui.
Let’s head to the other side of the world! Australia is on many bucket lists, including mine, and is certainly a once in a lifetime trip. Student tours that hit Australia tend to be a bit longer than your standard tour and this makes sense. If you’re committing to such a long flight, might as well spend 2 weeks exploring. Bondi Beach is hot spot for many groups as it’s an easy drive from Sydney. If you’ve got the time and the funds, be sure to fly up to Cairns and do a Great Barrier Reef excursion. (It’s not a beach, but it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.)
Another spot closer to home and a bit easier on the budget – Mexico. Similar to Costa Rica, Mexico offers a variety of educational and cultural experiences. Spend your days exploring Mayan ruins, eating tacos, practicing your Spanish, and then, relaxing on one of many beautiful beaches. Playa del Carmen is the perfect spot to swim in turquoise water or maybe practice your snorkeling.