7 Reasons March is THE Most Marvelous Month to Take a Trip
No matter which hemisphere or corner of the world you call home, the month of March is a dynamic period of change. Whether it’s the last frozen days of winter making way for the warmer days of spring or the end of the rainy season transitioning into the cooler, dryer days of autumn, the entire planet is in flux. While you might be tempted to stick close to home, March is actually a marvelous time to travel, with an uncommon number of colorful festivals and ancient religious celebrations taking place throughout the month. Considering almost a third (31%) of global travelers* are planning to take a trip for a specific cultural event in 2019*, we've put together a must-see list of March’s most marvelous reasons to travel. From the iconic to the underground, here are seven wonderful ways to satisfy your cultural curiosity and make the most of your March.
Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (March 1-9, 2019)
What better way to kick off the month of March than with the beating drums, pulsing rhythms and sparkling sequins of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. The city attracts visitors from every corner of the globe for its fabulous festivities. Whether you plan to stand on the sidelines and watch the many legendary samba schools strut their stuff or get in on the action and dance in the streets yourself, this is one party you’ll never forget.
Where to stay: Offering sensational views of iconic Copacabana Beach, Emiliano Rio is a great home base for your Carnival adventures in Rio. If you need a breather from the swaying masses or have just imbibed one caipirinha too many, you can recline by the property’s swanky rooftop pool to recover.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans, USA (March 5, 2019)
If you trade the samba for old school southern jazz and the caipirinhas for classic cocktails, Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the North American counterpart to Carnival in Rio. Two weeks of parties and parades culminate with a notoriously raucous celebration for Fat Tuesday in the French Quarter. For the full experience, make sure you arrive on the previous Saturday (March 2) and brace yourself for a few days of down home debauchery.
Where to stay: Just a short walk from the French Quarter, the apartments at Bluegreen Vacations Club La Pension offer the perfect blend of traditional Creole charm and modern comfort for your visit to the Big Easy. After a day of dancing in the streets, you can take a proper power nap before going out to collect more beads.
Holi, Vrindāvan, India (March 8, 2019)
Celebrating the triumph of good over evil and the arrival of spring, the Hindu festival of Holi is celebrated differently around the world, incorporating a variety of different local customs. In India, it’s most notably marked with the flinging of brightly colored powders and paints combined with joyful dancing in the streets. For a twist on this multicolored mayhem, head to Vrindāvan, where Lord Krishna (one of the principal deities in Hinduism) spent his childhood. For the town’s “Phoolon wali holi”, the colorful powders are replaced with flowers that are thrown into the crowds by priests from the temple. Same concept, just less laundry to do later on.
Where to stay: The MVT Guesthouse & Restaurant boasts gorgeous gardens that look like something out of Hindu paradise, including mango trees, parrots and peacocks. After a day experiencing the Holi festivities, you can relax beneath the shade of one of the stately trees or enjoy a traditional Indian meal before heading back out to the streets for more dancing.
Starkbierfest Beer Festival, Munich, Germany (March 15 – April 6, 2019)
As the lesser known little sister to Munich’s massive Oktoberfest celebrations in the early autumn, Starkbierfest is an excellent opportunity for beer lovers to soak up all that Bavarian charm without the crazy crowds. With a tradition dating back to the 17th century when Paulaner monks began brewing a special beer to sustain themselves during Lent, the “Strong Beer Festival” now attracts beer enthusiasts for a few weeks in March to down a few pints of freshly brewed “liquid bread” along with their fellow beer enthusiasts.
Where to stay: Conveniently located near the city center, MLOFT Apartments Munich are thankfully within walking distance of the Starkbierfest celebrations. Ideal if you need to be rolled home after a few pints and a traditional helping of pork knuckle and potato dumplings.
Saint Patrick’s Day Festival, Carrick on Shannon, Ireland (March 17, 2019)
Although St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated enthusiastically throughout the country, for a decidedly authentic Irish country experience, head to the quaint riverside village of Carrick on Shannon in County Leitrim. With only a little over 4,000 residents, St. Patrick’s Day is a truly family affair here with a parade, a competition for the best window display, face-painting and traditional Irish dancing – and of course, plenty of live music to enjoy long into the wee hours of the following day.
Where to stay: The family-run Aisleigh Guest House is just a short walk from the River Shannon and has plenty to entertain everyone in your travel party, including a large game room with a pool and snooker table. If you plan to extend your time in this picturesque hamlet, the property is just a short drive from Lough Key Forest Park, where you can visit the ancestral castle of the McDermott clan on an island in the middle of the lake.
Balispirit Festival, Ubud, Bali (March 24-31, 2019)
Founded in 2008, the Balispirit Festival is a week-long celebration of yoga, meditation and world music set in the island’s spiritual and cultural capital of Zen and self-exploration, Ubud. With numerous workshops during the day and concerts by night, it’s perfect for stretching both your muscles and your soul.
Where to stay: Laba Ubud Villa is a perfect blend of modern luxury and traditional Indonesian style. After a day spent perfecting the most complex poses, you can go for a late-night dip in your private pool.
Ultra Music Festival, Miami (March 29-31, 2019)
For a tantalizing taste of contemporary culture and to finish your March with a fabulous flourish, head to Miami for the 20th anniversary of the Ultra Music Festival. Founded in 1999, the event courts the biggest names in electronic dance music for three days of non-stop live performances. Get ready for back-to-back beats from your favorite DJs while communing with thousands of other dance-hungry fans.
Where to stay: Only a short drive from Virginia Key Beach Park where the festival takes place, the Fortune House Hotel Suites provides high-rise modern suites that will make you feel like a star. You can chill by the pool and soak up some of that fantastic Florida sunshine before heading out to get your dance on.
*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample of 53,492 respondents across 31 markets. In order to participate in this survey, respondents had to be 18 years of age or older, had to have travelled at least once in the past 12 months and be either the primary decision maker or involved in the decision making of their travel. The survey was taken online and took place between October 16th and November 12th, 2018.