April often feels like a transition month, but that’s what makes it the perfect time to travel. Some dates are still considered off-peak for airline award tickets and spring temperatures in many destinations are mild and inviting. Tourism tapers off in destinations like the Caribbean, while travel to Europe still hasn’t quite picked up, so hotel rates and airfares are typically affordable — especially if you steer clear of Easter weekend.
Whether you’re looking for a fun festival or a sunny respite from all those springtime showers, here are five of the best places to travel in April.
Want to plan ahead? Check out our guide to the 12 best places to visit every month of 2019.
Following years of instability prompted by the Arab Spring, things in Egypt have been slowly returning to normal.
New attractions, like a recently unearthed sphinx and the forthcoming Grand Egyptian Museum (though no opening date has been set) promise to help Egypt’s recovery. And let’s not forget one of the world’s most spectacular cruising adventures: Sailing down the Nile River.
Helping to aid the rise of tourism is the new Sphinx International Airport in Giza (SPX), which is currently running test flights. Once the airport is fully operational, it will take some strain off the main Cairo International Airport (CAI), and its proximity to the Grand Egyptian Museum and the nation’s famous pyramids will make it a convenient option for travelers.
But Egypt isn’t all ancient artifacts and desert sands. The country also has plenty of modern luxury. In fact, Cairo already features an impressive roster of luxury properties including a Ritz-Carlton, two Four Seasons, a Conrad and more. And the city will get another boost with the opening of the St. Regis Cairo coming soon. Another plus? Egypt continues to be relatively cheap for Americans to visit. At the time of this writing, a single US dollar will get you about 17.50 Egyptian pounds.
With Southwest launching flights to Hawaii, you can finally say aloha to more affordable airfare to this island archipelago. Flights begin in March, and while the initial $49 fares sold out within hours, you still may be able to snag a $99 fare. (Of course, always compare prices with other airlines to make sure you’re getting the best deal.)
Hawaii has a little something for everyone. While adventure enthusiasts can dive with sharks in the Molokini Crater or surf some of the world’s largest waves at Pe’ahi, honeymooners and families can hang out on the beach or stay at fancy hotels such as the (very pink) Royal Hawaiian on Oahu or the beachfront Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island.
There are several celebrations related to art, nature and culture taking place across the Aloha State in April. At the Ritz-Carlton Maui, there’s an art festival on April 19 and 20, featuring live music, dance and cultural workshops and demonstrations. On Oahu, runners can compete in Hawaii’s largest half-marathon, the Hapalua, on April 14. And the Merrie Monarch festival takes place on the Big Island from April 21 to 27. It’s a local favorite with a hula competition, a parade and an arts and crafts fair.
If raucous revelry isn’t your thing, visit Ireland in April to avoid St. Patrick’s Day festivities and score post-holiday hotel deals.
Though a chill will still blow across the island, seeing the emerging greenery of the Irish countryside makes for a special kind of spring break. Consider a road trip around the fan-favorite Ring of Kerry: a 100-mile route that guides you through some truly spectacular scenery with harrowing curves, quaint villages and vertigo-inducing sea views. Check out the Cliffs of Moher, which tower up to 700 feet over the sea, or visit one of the 30,000 castles scattered across the rolling Irish hills.
And there’s plenty of fun to be had beyond the wonders of nature. Limerick Fringe Festival features all sorts of fun dance, music, theater and art events from April 3 to 6 this year. Music lovers can attend Dublin’s Music Current Festival from April 10 to 13 to hear contemporary electronic music, and if it’s traditional Irish tunes you prefer, check out the 11th edition of the Kilfenora Traditional Music Festival from April 26 to 29.
In Dublin, travelers will discover a rapidly growing hotel scene. Over 5,000 new hotel rooms are predicted to appear in the city by 2020, with the opening of several new hotels and extensions or renovations of existing properties. (A Moxy Dublin and Hyatt Centric Dublin are both currently under construction.) Until then, there’s the new 202-room Aloft Dublin, which opened at the end of 2018.
While tourism tapers off in Belize in April as temperatures rise in the US, Canada and Europe, spring is actually one of the best times to visit the country. The warm, sunny weather is often cooled by bursts of quick passing showers, and hotel and airfare prices see a significant drop after the snowbirds fly home.
You may notice during your visit that there’s a little less plastic floating around. Earth Day, which is April 22, 2019, is when Belize is determined to officially rid the country of single-use plastics. Considering Belize has one of the most impressive reefs in all the world, they’re doing everything they can to protect it. (The nation has also banned offshore oil drilling.) Beyond the standard Blue Hole dive, snorkelers and divers can experience the whale shark migration. Swim alongside these special animals as they feed and migrate a few days before and after the full moon on April 19.
Party animals should head to islands such as Caye Caulker, Caye Ambergris or the peninsula of Placencia to dance during Belize’s four-day Easter weekend celebration, from April 18 to 21. These spots have plenty of beach celebrations with DJs and live music, cocktails and even foam parties.
Don’t forget that Belize is relatively easy to visit for US tourists. Although you need your passport, English is the official language of the country, and it’s just a few hours south of the border.
Although it might be a little chilly to dive into Bermuda’s waters, April has warm spring temps (think: high 60s and low 70s) and sunshine, making the island perfect for a quick spring escape, especially from the East Coast. Join the locals flying kites along the breezy Horseshoe Bay (also known for its pinkish sands) on April 19.
Bermuda is a wonderful destination for a getaway with the kids in tow, with many family-friendly spots like the Bermuda Aquarium and the National Playground, which features structures like a giant eel and lighthouse that kids can climb and play on.
Although the St. Regis and Ritz-Carlton Reserve are currently under construction, you can stay at the laid-back Reefs Hotel or the very regal Rosewood Tucker’s Point, both highly recommend by TPG staff members. The new(ish) Loren Hotel at Pink Beach is the most luxurious of all, featuring a contemporary new spa that even has special treatments designed for exhausted golfers. Then there’s the Fairmont Southampton, which had a $100 million makeover a few years back.
For something a little quirky, you can attend the annual Peppercorn Ceremony, which takes place on April 24 in St. George. The ceremony reenacts the historic donation of the Old State House — the oldest stone building on the island dating back to 1620 (parliament once took place there) — to the Freemasons in exchange for rent of one peppercorn. The exchange is celebrated with a parade and festival.
Featured image by Abbie Winters/The Points Guy.