It’s just 44 days till students all around the country make the great migration south. Trading in their sweaters for swimsuits and forgoing studying for sun, over one and half million students will go on spring break this March.
“It’s worth every penny,” said Kelsey Johnston, a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. “I had a blast, and it’s the best way to make lifelong memories with some of your best friends.”
From finding transportation to booking hotels to figuring out which location is best for you, planning Spring break can be cumbersome and is often the first time students may be planning a large vacation away from their families. For those of you readers who still haven’t booked, don’t fret- below we provide six fail-safe tips that will ensure you have a spring break that you’ll be talking about for decades.
1) Decide how much you want to spend- The first decision that needs to be made is how much of a workout do you want to give your Visa for this trip. If you’re planning a trip overseas to Europe, get that card in shape now by building its muscle mass- meaning, start saving now to pad your bank account with enough cash. The important thing to remember is that you need to be realistic Also, keep in mind that it isn’t a bad idea to stay in a motel or cheap hotel while spring breaking in Florida or Texas. Often times, the more swanky resorts are not only expensive but bogged down with curfews and quite hours.
2) Figure out your roommates now- Once you know how much you’re willing to spend and where that money can take you, the next step is to assemble to perfect group of friends that you’ll be staying with. Remember, spring break isn’t like the sleepovers you attended as a child. Instead of pillow fights and gossiping with your bunk mate into the wee hours of the morning, you’ll be fist-pumping and potentially holding their hair back (for you unlucky few). It’s important that you are going with friends that are both fun and responsible to keep themselves and you in check.
3) Avoid company package deals- Coming from somebody who booked with a travel company last year, I can say with certainty that you shouldn’t purchase package deals. Companies like Student City will plan your whole trip for you if you’re willing to fork over an arm and a leg. Bundled with seemingly sweet deals that last all week long, the prices are inflated and these “deals” often aren’t worth their price tag.
4) Get picture perfect- What happens in Panama City, Fla. doesn’t stay in Panama City. We live in the age of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, so realize that pictures galore will be taken on your spring break trip. Not only do you want to hit the gym to get your bikini-bod back in time for March and tan your skin so you don’t burn from the Southern sun, but remember to only take shots or be in pictures that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to show to your own grandmother. Don’t let this one week of fun ruin any potential chance of you landing a job.
5) Finding the right transportation is a must- The last detail to finalize is transportation. I suggest you rent a van (if you yourself are old enough or you can find someone 25 to book it for you) if you’re traveling to Texas or Florida for break. The ride down can be just as much fun as your week in the sun and still much cheaper than airfare.
6) Always remember to be safe and responsible- I don’t mean to be a buzz kill, and anybody that went with me on spring break last year knows that I wasn’t exactly the wet blanket of the group. However, it is always important to play it safe on break. It’s okay to drink in moderation (if you’re old enough that is) and take a few days off while down there. The buddy system is helpful while stuck in crowds of thousands and avoid the balcony at your hotel. Also, be sure to follow your mother’s rules regarding applying sun tan lotion while in the sun- trust me, the inside of my ears were blistering last year.
Go forth and prosper, spring breakers!
If you’re more into snow than sun, you’ll want to hit the slopes of Beaver Creek, Colo. Sure Aspen is world-renowned for its celebrity clientele, but Beaver Creek has enough glitz to outshine even the brightest of stars. Cozy fire pits line the streets, an ice skating rink acts as the town square and the whole place is surrounded by undulating mountains perfect to shred with skis. This destination is ideal for students who prefer brisk weather over bikinis and for couples looking for a cozy town infused with plenty of romance.
Panama City Beach
For those of you that are looking to bronze your skin and put your toes in the sand, travel 22 hours south to the white beaches of Panama City, Fla. Over the months of March and April, nearly 100,000 students visit the self-proclaimed “Spring Break Capital of the World.” Nicer beaches than South Padre, Texas and without those pesky drug cartels nearby at the resort towns in Mexico, Panama City offers the perfect sunny escape for students. Panama City has anything and everything for those that are looking for a party-rocking adventure.
For those of you that are good Samaritans and prefer to help the community instead of damaging their liver, the United Way offers plenty of decently priced vacations with service opportunities. Travel to the nation’s capital to help childhood centers and after-school programs develop educational programming. Spend the week visiting historic sites like the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol Hill while also gaining good karma for only $350. Register for this trip and explore others like it at http://www.unitedway.org/take-action/alternative-spring-break/.