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The wheres and hows of partying on spring break

SmarterTravel

Almost five years after getting my undergrad degree, I’m a student again (albeit a grad student this time). Maybe that’s why I’ve been dreaming about spring break lately. Spring break is the epitome of an escape from reality. And staring down the barrel at mid-terms, it can hardly come soon enough.

If you’re ready to blow off some steam but not sure what this year’s “hot-spots” will be, the Travel Channel has compiled a nifty little cheat sheet. It’s no surprise that Cancun and Panama City top the list yet again, but be sure to consider some of the relatively unhyped spots like Rosarito Beach and Lake Havasu, especially if you’re not necessarily looking for the “traditional” spring break.

Cancun and Panama City are definitely heavy partying and hooking up spots, whereas Rosarito Beach might be more appropriate for someone like me (twenty-seven, married, and unable to deal with hangovers anymore). Getting old is so depressing. Maybe I’ll just go skiing instead.

Once you decide where you want to go, the next step is figuring out the logistics. I recommended checking out SpringBreak.com. Instead of the usual cheesy ads and annoying package deals, this site actually offers information. There’s a great article on the new passport rules (you’ll need a passport to go to Cancun, Jamaica, the Bahamas, or basically anywhere but the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico) as well as tips for planning a safe and successful spring break.

When it comes down to booking your trip, reputable companies to start with include STS Travel, Student Universe, STA Travel, StudentCity.com, and Sun Splash Tours. A quick Google search will bring up countless others, but I know people who traveled with these companies, and everyone seemed to make it home unscathed.

Plus, I was able to find some great deals. (I used Denver, my home airport, for the purpose of these sample prices):

  • STS Travel: Quadruple occupancy seven-night packages to Cancun, including airfare, hotel, and taxes from $889 per person.
  • Student Universe: Airfare and seven nights in Miami from $340 per person.
  • STA Travel: Seven nights in Costa Rica from $323 per person (airfare is not included).
  • Student City: Seven nights hotel accommodation in Panama City from $219 per person.
  • Sun Splash Tours: Quadruple occupancy seven night packages to Jamaica, including airfare, hotel, some meals, and taxes from $959 per person.

Last but not least, I know that for some of you out there, spring break is synonymous with MTV. However, in addition to live Fergie concerts and embarrassing game shows involving whipped cream, you might be surprised to learn that MTV also advocates alternative spring break projects. What’s that, you may ask? It’s where you forgo the wet T-shirt contests in favor of helping the less privileged. Not a bad idea.

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