With spring just around the corner, 'tis the season to get  restless. Whether or not you're a college student with a full 10-day-long break coming up, you may have the travel bug, and everyone knows there's only one solution for that ... getting the hell out of town. (This is particularly easy to desire when it's fifty degrees out and raining in said town.)

If you're looking for creative new places to go wild, look no further than this list. TripAdvisor's top travel booking site, Viator, teamed up with Offers.com to complete a study on the top travel destinations for 2018. The study included asking 18-34-year-olds what their plans and desires were for spring break.

The study didn't just look at popular locations -- it named destinations that are seeing the highest growth in interest and numbers of travelers. These ended up being:

  1. New Orleans (+126%)
  2. Reykjavik (+82%)
  3. Paris (+55%)
  4. London (+51%)
  5. Barcelona (+43%)

The winner, New Orleans, is always easy to love. It's got temperate weather, unbelievable music, out-of-control nightlife, and is just a roadtrip away from many parts of the country.

But if you're looking for truly exotic, nothing on the list can compete with Reykjavik, Iceland.

Extremely low airfare to the capital of the gorgeous country (Wow Air has $99 flights from Boston), combined with the city's internationally-recognized music scene, quick access to world-class natural beauty, and epic nightlife make it a strong and well-rounded choice for spring break (or any other trip). Besides -- who needs Florida beaches when you could take a full-day Game of Thrones tour? (You actually get to go to the Eyrie, people.)

Other appealing things about Reykjavík:

  • It's the only capital on earth to have a major puffin breeding colony (adorability quotient: high)
  • Closing time at most pubs is 5AM (some places don't even get going until 1AM)
  • The area boasts gorgeous natural hot springs, the steam rising from which gave Reykjavik its name; it literally translates to "Cove of Smokes," or "Smoky Bay"
  • One of the most popular foods in Iceland is hot dogs, and there's a famous, lamb-based one sold in Reykjavík that's not to be missed (President Bill Clinton even nabbed one there in 2004)
  • The country's largest flea market is held every weekend right near Reykjavik Harbor, with stands selling everything from vintage clothing to fermented shark meat (yes, it's a thing)

According to the study, over 53 percent of Millennials plan to travel for spring break this year, spending an average of $369. If you nabbed one of those $99 flights, stayed in hostels, and used only public transportation instead of taxis, you could maybe pull that off going to Reykjavik. But even if you spent a few hundred more than, you'd be likely to make memories that would last a lifetime.

The fact is, while many people view vacations as an semi-indulgent nice-to-have, research shows that taking meaningful breaks away from work or school actually leaves you healthier, happier, and better to those around you. Getting out of town isn't just good for your soul; it makes you smarter, more resilient, and more productive when you do get back to the grind.

Happy trails.

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"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." Saint Augustine

Published on: Mar 9, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.