Travel Picks: Top 10 destinations for spring

Fri Mar 9, 2012 12:27pm EST
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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Spring is just around the corner for the northern hemisphere and as the winter weather lifts, northerners might consider getting a jump on the summer holiday crush by taking a trip to the more popular places well before the heavy June-September tourist season. Online travel adviser Travel Ticker ( offers its top 10 spring destinations. Reuters has not endorsed this list:

1. China

Average temperatures during spring vary depending on the region, but from a purely weather standpoint, this is one of the best times of the year to visit China. Add on the fact that there are fewer crowds and stellar deals to be found during spring, and a visit to the Far East sounds even better. Business and leisure travel picks up in April, so consumers should try to visit in March for the lowest prices and shorter lines.

2. Ecuador

Travelers wanting a more exotic trip should head south to Ecuador. All of the many regions in this South American country boast savings during this time of the year, and this is truly a part of the world that has something for everyone. Travelers can visit the famous Galapagos Islands, relax on pristine beaches, explore the wonders of the Amazonian rain forest or take in views of the majestic Andes mountain range. Rain may linger in some areas, but that helps keep both tourist levels and prices low. Consumers can beat the peak season rates that start in May by visiting just a month or so early.

3. Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the easiest island paradises to get to from the U.S., so travelers should take advantage this spring. In one small chunk of land, travelers can experience an active city life, pristine beaches, rainforests, art, history, and nightlife galore. Since Puerto Rico hasn't yet become top-of-mind for sun seekers, prices continue to remain low and all-inclusive deals are abundant.

4. Barcelona

Spring is the perfect time to visit Barcelona, when the beautiful weather enhances the experience at historic buildings, cobblestone roads, seaside vistas and vibrant cultural center points. The current economic situation in Spain is helping to drive prices down, so the country is offering some amazing deals to attract more travel business. 2012 is a great year to enjoy traditional Spanish Tapas, visit the fantasy-like structures designed by Gaudí and lounge on beautiful beaches, all at an affordable price.   Continued...

A boy plays in the water at the Punta Veleros beach in the northern city of Piura December 2, 2010. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares