Fall break is the first pause in the semester, and in most cases, it’s a well-needed break. The first few weeks back on campus are a whirlwind of starting clubs back up, joining new activities, figuring out a routine, discovering which classes you love and hate, and making time to catch up with all of your friends after a summer apart. When a gloriously free four day weekend rolls around, you won’t want to miss the chance to capitalize on it. Here’s how to make the most of your fall break, while still recharging.
1. Travel With Friends
One of the best ways to spend your fall break is to travel with friends. Whether you want to travel with friends from your college or plan a trip with the high school bffs you never get to see, this is a great opportunity to spend complete leisure time with the people who make you laugh the most. Most other breaks are largely family oriented (Thanksgiving, winter break, even spring break if it coincides with Easter), so use this small reprieve for a gals trip or a group getaway. During the rest of the year, you’re bogged down with tests, homework, practice, and a tired going out routine — use fall break to spice things up!
2. Plan Ahead
The most important step to having an incredible fall break is also probably the least exciting one: plan ahead. Waiting until the last minute to try and figure out your schedule, see which friends are free, and budget your time and money is a recipe for disaster. Instead, start thinking about what you want to do, who you want to go with, and how much time and money you have months in advance. If you and your friends have a tight budget, think about places you can drive or take a bus to or areas with plenty of affordable air bnbs. If the trip coincides with someone’s 21st birthday and everyone is looking to have a blowout celebration, consider splashing out on flights to Paris, Vegas, or just a big city. You’ll want to book travel, accommodation, and activities early on for the best rates. Also, consider the season! Think about going somewhere with stunning fall foliage and avoiding places with terrible fall weather before you commit to a destination.
3. Seek What You Need
The worst feeling in the world is coming back from what was meant to be a vacation and feeling more exhausted and burnt out than before. Take a minute to think about what you really want out of this year’s fall break before you decide on any plans. If you really want a relaxing weekend, pitch a spa weekend to your best friends. If you’re in a very cold climate and know the winter is going to be brutal, try and get some sun in to keep you going. Think about what you want from your break before you spontaneously agree to try and get to Bali and back in four days or sign up for an Appalachian trail hike.
4. Don’t Try To Do Too Much
Fall break should be exactly that — a break. Plenty of students try to plan extravagant trips that leave them running from place to place without ever really stopping to enjoy the moment. Give yourself time to travel to your destination and plan a few big things you really want to do or see do while you’re there. Having said that, that doesn’t mean you can’t be ambitious or go abroad. I know plenty of students who have spent their fall breaks in Canada or France and coped just fine with the travel. Just pick places that have direct flights and manageable flight times before you start enjoying the world.
5. Document It All
If you’ve thought about what you want out of fall break and planned accordingly, you are almost guaranteed to have a blast. Document the trip so that you can enjoy the trip’s best moments in the grueling months to come, staying up late for wine nights where you reminisce about getting lost in Paris or going to that vegan restaurant that only served broth. The telltale sign of a good trip is one you can’t stop thinking about, so be sure to take plenty of photos and videos while still being present in the moment.