Although it’s only February, spring break is approaching fast! While most of Tulane’s campus will be staying for Mardi Gras, many are leaving for seperate trips for the remainder of break. If early midterms season and piles of homework have left your brain too full to even consider spring break plans, take this as a reminder to start planning.

Assuming the first part of break will be occupied by Mardi Gras, once you recover, you’ll still have four or five days of either hanging out in New Orleans or traveling with friends or family. So for that second part of break, whatwill you eat? What will you do? Who will you be with?

First, I’d focus on what your friends plan on doing. Breaks are no fun by yourself. Whether your friends plan on staying or travelling, find a group that you can plan with.

Second, decide if you’re staying or leaving. If you’re staying, plan some post-Mardi Gras activities. The city will be much more relaxed than normal, so this would be a great time to enjoy some classic destinations as tourists. As we all will be needing some detox after all of the celebrating, there are some great healthy activities in NOLA.

There are plenty of free yoga and zumba classes at City Park, which would be great ways to destress. After one of these classes, go to a restaurant on your New Orleans bucket list. Whether you’re looking for a healthy place like Raw Republic or greasy spot like the Big Cheesy, any excuse to not to eat at Bruff is a good excuse. Otherwise, take the chance to stroll down Magazine or visit Lake Pontchartrain without the looming threat of homework. 

On the other hand, if you think a trip may be in your future, get excited! Leaving campus is more accessible than you may think with on-campus car rentals and a nearby airport. An out of state trip actually needs to be planned now, especially when you consider hotels and/or airfare. Luckily, Louisiana is right next door to warm and fun southern states with beaches, such as the Alabama and Florida. For the most cost-effective option, you and your friends could easily split one of Tulane’s student-rentable cars and a cheap hotel room or AirBnB. If you’re looking to fly, good old Spirit has a hub at the Louis Armstrong airport. Once you have those logistics planned out, be sure to budget! Remember that you’ll need to buy your own food and transportation for a few days, and you certainly don’t want to be stressed about funds on vacation.

Whatever you do after Mardi Gras, be sure to stay safe and enjoy not having that 8 AM on Monday. Take a break to relax and reset after a long month of fun and before finals season rolls around.

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