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As winter continues in the Midwest, one thing is typically on our minds after the holidays settle — spring break vacations. While traveling to a far-off, exotic, and WARM destination may not be in the books for spring break 2021, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take ANY vacation this year. There are many local alternatives that are safer destinations during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in comparison to popular spring break destinations that take you farther from home.

Check out our list of local, low-risk spring break travel ideas to consider.

Top list of spring break 2021 options for local travel during the pandemic


  1. Camping and RV travel
  • Consider camping at a nearby campground this spring break (yes, winter camping is a thing!). Embrace the fresh air and take time to be secluded and one with nature. Disconnect and enjoy the beauty of our region as seasons begin to change and the freshness of spring is right around the corner.
  • Camping and RV travel can provide a safe option to be socially distanced from others while allowing for endless outdoor activities.
  • Be sure to check out online resources in your area and review the list of open campgrounds in Wisconsin and Illinois.
  • According to RVshare, RV rentals have surged in popularity throughout the pandemic as families have searched for safer travel options that provide the ability to be able to distance from others. Search for available RV rentals on sites like RVshare.
  1. Rent cottages with your own designated bubble
    • Not looking to be so close to nature? Consider renting a cottage or house and possibly inviting your own designated bubble of family or friends along for the escape. Enjoy outdoor activities and whip out the board games in an option that allows you to getaway while managing your own social distancing expectations.
    • Home rental websites like Airbnb and Vrbo provide a great selection of options for you to create those endless memories during this unusual spring break.
  1. Day trips and special events
  • Since snow can typically last until April in both Wisconsin and Illinois, keep your eyes open for activities and events that can be enjoyed as the brisk air gets a bit warmer and snow remains on the ground.
  • Excursions to explore state parks in both Wisconsin and Illinois are open year-round. Visit one (or two!) during spring break 2021.
  • Special events allow for unique experiences — especially those outdoors at this time of year. Be mindful of the ever-changing weather and how COVID could impact events on the calendar.
    • If ice conditions are favorable, consider a road trip to the far northern tip of Wisconsin to view the incredible ice caves in the Apostle Islands.
    • Explore Door County in Wisconsin with its endless trails as well as window shopping throughout picturesque towns.
    • Consider venturing to Wisconsin Dells or Illinois’ Starved Rock State Park to take in the beauty of countless rock formations created by glaciers years ago.
  1. Get active
    • If you’re up for physical activity over spring break, there are many local options to get outdoors during your upcoming time off.
    • Weather permitting, our region offers an abundance of outdoor activities including downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing. Most ski hills create artificial snow into April, making this a great outdoor activity for the entire family. Venture north into Upper Michigan for a weekend getaway at resorts like Ski Brule, explore smaller ski hills such as Little Switzerland just north of Milwaukee or check out countless options within an hour’s drive from Chicago.
    • For those seeking a less adrenaline-thrilling ski experience, cross-country skiing is a great option. Many nature preserves, such as Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton, offer both cross-country skiing and snowshoe rentals.
  1. Online tours and experiences
    • With travel options limited due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, consider creating your own experience right at home by bringing in authentic culinary creations from popular spring break locations and pairing it with music that fits the reimagined destination in your own home.
    • Virtual experiences are another option, allowing you to dive into the culture. Explore unique places all around the world from the comfort of your own home. Check out AAA’s virtual tours with everything from Walt Disney World theme park tours to options for you to virtually explore the pyramids of Egypt, and beyond!


Be sure to pay attention to local health protocols and be aware of travel regulations in that area. Some attractions may be weather permitting or have reduced hours due to the pandemic safety protocols. Be mindful when planning your getaway (even a local getaway).

Do your research, even for those closer-to-home spring break 2021 getaways to understand what regulations may exist. Exercise utmost caution and continue to practice the recommended guidelines wherever you travel — near or far. Per the CDC don’t forget to wear a mask, stay socially distanced (at least six feet apart), avoid crowds and wash your hands often.

As always, consider your own comfort level and individual risk factors. And if booking accommodations is necessary, be smart. Book refundable options in the event that changes need to be made. With a few tweaks, there are many low-risk alternatives to enjoy a simple escape.

Have you started dreaming of far-off destinations for 2022 and beyond? Start saving $100 a month and you’ll have that future vacation paid for in no time. Check out our savings options to find what works best for you.