For many college students, the quintessential student experience is Spring Break. There’s nothing like getting away from school for a week and having a wild (or not so wild) time with good friends. But not every college student is looking for the same kind of Spring Break experience. Here are three Spring Break options to choose from – the traditional Spring Break beach vacation, the alternative Spring Break, and the wallet friendly cheap Spring Break – as well as some of the advantages and disadvantages of these Spring Break choices.
Spring Break Beach Vacation
For many, the phrase “Spring Break” is simply synonymous with the beach vacation–sand, surf, parties, bikinis, the works. Here’s some of the Spring Break hot spots that have been especially popular in recent years:
- Acapulco, Mexico
- Cancun, Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Miami Beach and South Beach, Florida
- Panama City, Florida
- South Padre Island, Texas
In addition, Spring Break cruises offer students sunny vacation options as well. Many of these cruises are all-inclusive, which means that most fees are taken care of with one payment.
The advantage of this kind of Spring Break vacation – for students who are into this sort of partying – is the promise of lots and lots of fun. On a dreary winter day in class, there’s nothing more motivational than to imagine sipping a cocktail on the beach. On the other hand, Spring Break beach vacations can be expensive and a little too wild for some students’ tastes. It’s important to be diligent about common sense Spring Break safety tips, including physical safety and alcohol safety. It’s also important to watch out for Spring Break travel scams.
Alternative Spring Break Trips
Beach vacations are not for everyone. For students who want to use their time helping others, a popular trend in recent years has been the alternative Spring Break trip. These trips involve large, organized efforts to send college students to impoverished or natural disaster stricken regions to volunteer their time. Alternative Spring Break trips are not hard to find, as many colleges and universities either organize these trips or provide students with information on where to find them. These trips also are organized by organizations with religious affiliations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Campus Crusade for Christ, and Hillel.
The advantage of an alternative Spring Break is that it’s an outstanding opportunity to volunteer, and also to meet other students in a not-so-wild environment. Usually these trips are considerably less expensive than Spring Break beach vacations, but it’s important to keep in mind that most come with an organizing fee. On the downside, not every volunteer opportunity is suitable for everyone’s physical; abilities or comfort levels, so it’s important to research these trips and their expectations fully.
Cheap Spring Break Travel
Not looking to spend thousands of dollars on a hotel, plane ticket, and other pricey Spring Break expenses? When it comes down to it, what most students want out of Spring Break is time with their friends. There are plenty of cheap Spring Break travel alternatives. Try a road trip, or a trip to a nearby big city, or camping, or a trip home with a friend who lives in an interesting place.
Cheap Spring break alternatives lack the pizazz of the beach vacation, and they require more creativity and thought. In order for these trips to be truly cost effective, genuine effort has to be made to stick to a budget. On the plus side, though, these trips really can make Spring Break fun much more affordable.
Remember, Spring Break isn’t a one-size-fits-all vacation. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of all the options before planning a trip. And hey, the college years come with more than one Spring Break, so why not try out all the options? Have fun!