April is one of my two favorite months of the year. Why? Well first of all, it’s my birthday in April – it’s a season of celebration! And, it’s a great season to take advantage of changing temperatures and shoulder season deals in destinations around the world.
Over the years, I’ve found there are two ways to explore the world: you visit the places on your ‘must see’ list, or you spin the globe. I’ve been fortunate to travel enough that I am mostly done with my must see list. I now like to research and dream and imagine about places I never planned to visit before I find myself there. As we approach the spring season, I’m sharing where to travel in April, based on that spin-the-globe method.
In this new series of ‘Where to Travel in [Insert Month Here],’ I’ll be examining some of the world’s top destinations. Because most people plan trips roughly two months in advance or ‘maybe flights are cheapest 56 days before departure’ or whatever… After sharing where to visit in March last month, I’m back to suggest cool places to travel in April this month.
How I Chose These Destinations:
You might wonder: how did she pick these? She hasn’t even been to all of them! Very true, dear reader, and a fair question. These destinations come from two sources: my Where to Travel in 2020 list and Kayak’s When to Book tool, which identifies deal destinations each month. I’ve pulled them together, sorted with consideration of weather and other fun activities, and present them to you.
Without further ado, here’s where to travel in April 2020; these 10 destinations (plus one bonus just from me for good measure!) will inspire you to book your next trip.
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica isn’t plagued by these pesky winter and spring seasons the rest of us in the northern hemisphere have to deal with. Instead, April is the final month of High season in most parts of the country before Green season (aka the rainy season) kicks off. That makes it a shoulder season too – always a good time to visit if you want to save and face fewer crowds.
I had the fortune to spend a port day in Costa Rica as part of a cruise in April 2017, and I was completely enchanted. Banana plantations, sloths in trees, and trying my first taste of cacao convinced me why locals are all about that pura vida.
2. Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Spring in the Pacific Northwest is a beautiful, lovely thing. After months of grey weather and possibly a lot of rain to go with it, April marks the beginning of clear skies, blooming flowers, and indulgent warm weather. Vancouver Island – not to be confused with the city of Vancouver – offers that perfect combination of adventure and urban for every traveler, and you can make the most of it once the skies return to blue.
Victoria, B.C.’s capital city on Vancouver Island’s southern tip, is a dreamy combo of PNW sensibility and European design. Use it as a base to explore the rest of the area.
3. Copenhagen, Denmark
Winter in northern Europe is harsh, and as it winds down it’s a perfect time to plan a trip. Copenhagen, Denmark is overrun by tourists by mid-summer (like July 2013) when I visited, so traveling there in April allows you to enjoy the city during shoulder season with lower hotel costs and fewer crowds.
Be sure to sample local food (after all, noma restaurant is in Copenhagen!) and grab a bike to get around like a local while you explore the city.
4. Bariloche, Argentina
Bariloche made the list of destinations this year for an event happening in December: the December 14, 2020 total solar eclipse. Why visit in April then? Because this mountain resort town is shifting into winter mode and you can hike or potentially ski (depending on the weather) with virtually no crowds.
By mid-2020 tourism drops to zero at Bariloche beyond local visitors, but April is a nice time to still enjoy all the area has to offer as the seasons shift.
There’s a pattern in what makes all these destinations great in April: they’re all in shoulder season. Shoulder season is great because – as I’ve mentioned – lower costs, fewer crowds, and still-good weather. The same is true for Maldives, an island paradise that’s at risk of devastation as climate change continues on a global scale.
That’s why Maldives is on my list for 2020, and I may have some very exciting news for you all if you want to join me… more details coming soon if the project comes together! Until then, we’ll all dream of overwater bungalows at lower nightly rates for bucket list-worthy resorts.
6. Salzburg, Austria
The hills are alive… with wildflowers, budding grasses and trees, and possibly some sounds of music. Yes, we’re talking about Salzburg, a culture capital in southwestern Austria that makes a perfect add-on destination from Vienna or day trip from Munich.
While Salzburg may be warmer in the summer, it’s also more crowded and rainy. Instead, planning a trip in April lets you enjoy all the city and surrounds have to offer. Just pack an extra layer to stay warm on cooler days and in the evenings.
7. Cairo, Egypt
If you want to visit Egypt this year, April is the last month to plan your trip before the hot, dry summer season begins and you’ll need to wait until the autumn. Use Cairo as your entry point – the city is increasingly interested in foreign tourism and has so much to offer for history buffs. Just imagine visiting the pyramids at Giza, exploring the Grand Egyptian Museum, and sampling local culture and food.
Be aware though – if you want to visit Cairo in April, Ramadan begins on April 23rd and tourism offerings may change at that point in the month.
8. Palm Springs, California
Y’all know I like Palm Springs, as I literally just wrote about it and shared my tips on spending a weekend in Palm Springs. It’s a fantastic destination for combining food and culture with outdoor adventures both in the city and surrounding region.
It’s important to remember: Coachella happens in April. So if you plan your trip on either of those festival weekends, be prepared for bohemian Instagrammers flooding the streets, causing brunch rushes, and snapping selfies in between sets. If that’s your scene, that makes April an even better time to visit PS.
I never wrote about my trip to Kauai in 2014… but I really wish I had. First of all, I got there on one of those dream error fares and I never wrote about that. Second, it was a weekend getaway that proves you can do the Garden Island on a weekend. (I’m actually planning to write about it later this spring…)
April is a great time to visit Kauai – admittedly it’s more rainy than earlier in the year. That’s probably why Kayak reports great deals for flying to Kauai in April. (Also, we visited the rest of Hawaii in April 2019 as part of our Uncruise and highly recommend a multi-island trip!)
As part of the same cruise that took me to Costa Rica, I visited Aruba for a port day (the first one on the itinerary, actually). During that day, I tried my hand at snorkeling over a shipwreck. It was one of the scariest experiences I had done (I’m afraid of deep water) and I wrote about why facing fears through travel is so important.
April is a great time to visit Aruba as it’s hot, sunny, and part of the driest season of the year. You can enjoy snorkeling to cool off, explore the island’s 75 square miles, or just lay on the beach. It’s a perfect way to end any winter blues you had this year.
V’s Pick: The American Southwest
Each month in this series, I like to add one place that’s totally my own suggestion. This month, I’m recommending the American Southwest. Think red rocks in Utah, Arizona’s grand canyon, stargazing in New Mexico, and the dry deserts of Southern California.
Why do I suggest these destinations in April? Because I have a habit of visiting them in April, and I know how great they are! After starting an annual trip tradition with my friend Marissa from Postcards to Seattle in 2017, we’ve planned April trips to Joshua Tree and Zion National Parks. This year, we’re headed to Death Valley. Bring on that dry desert heat before it gets too hot!
Do you have any trips planned in April? Where to? Or which of these destinations most inspires you? Let me know in the comments!