Spring break destinations and travel tips for spring breakers

Photo by Tava Hoag
Photo by Tava Hoag

By Kate Domenichella 
The highly anticipated spring break is quickly approaching and those planning on embarking on a one-week trip should keep a few things in mind before they go. Do you know the popular places to visit? How can you protect yourself and those you’re traveling with?
There are many popular spring break destinations, and they vary from site to site.
Studentcity.com ranked Cancun, Mexico as the # 1 international destination and Panama City Beach, Florida as the #1 U.S. destination. Their other popular destinations? Nassau, Bahamas; Freeport the Bahamas Party Cruise; South Padre Island, Texas; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
The Travel Channel has a top 12 list of spring break destinations. Which includes:

  1.     Las Vegas
  2.     Bahamas
  3.     Dominican Republic
  4.     Miami
  5.     Puerto Vallarta
  6.     Daytona Beach
  7.     South Padre Island
  8.     Panama City Beach
  9.     Jamaica
  10.    Cancun
  11.    Cabo San Lucas
  12.    Acapulco

ABC News has their own top 10 spring break places:

  1.     Cancun
  2.     Panama City
  3.     Las Vegas
  4.     Jamaica
  5.     Miami
  6.     Dominican Republic
  7.     South Padre Island
  8.     Puerto Vallarta
  9.     Bahamas
  10.     Puerto Rico

Business Insider gives a top 50 list. Want to check it out? Click here.
Do you agree or disagree with their lists?
Do you know when the best time to book your vacation is? An article written by Jeanette Pavini for Market Watch sheds insight into this topic.
Here is a quick summary of her thoughts:
– Spring break is considered a peak travel time, which increases rates.
– Do not wait until the last minute
– Tuesdays around 4:30 Eastern time is the best time to book your flight.
– The best deals for flights are usually on the earliest/latest flights of the day.
– Be mindful that if you book a late flight you are more likely to have layovers.
– The best days to travel are on Mondays because you’ll save money. Friday departure adds 22% and Saturday departure adds 18%.
– Book early! 4-14 days before trip: increases 29%, 3 days or less: trips increase by 62%.
Here are some more helpful travel tips to keep in mind.
Roadtripping? Buckle up, take turns driving, stay awake when driving shotgun to keep your driver company. Make sure your license and registration is valid!
Staying in a hotel? Reserve a room above the first floor but below the 6th floor. Why? First floor is common for break ins and fire truck ladders may not be able reach above the 6th floor in case of emergency. Know where the fire exits are and the stairwells in case of evacuation. Use the safes if they’re provided.
Quick trick to the ATM? Go in groups, go during the daylight, do a 360 degree scan, cover the keypad with the hand not being used to type your PIN. Sounds extreme? Better safe than sorry.
Going to the beach? Drinking and the sun can equal a bad hangover. Take it slow, hydrate with water, wear at least SPF 15, sunglasses, and hats, cute hats!
Drinking? Party smart. Be responsible. Pace yourself. Know the country’s liquor laws. Do NOT drink and drive.
Going on a cruise? Stick with your friends and watch your pockets. (To find out more about safe crusing, please visit http://cruiseknowledge.com/beforeyourcruise/)
Leaving the country? Is a passport required? A Visa? File your application at least 6 months prior. Don’t bring flashy valuables, dress conservatively to avoid sticking out, and know the laws of the country.
Want more helpful hints? Please visit safespringbreak.org
Fitchburg State’s Spring Break begins after 4:30pm on March 6 and ends the 15.
Have an awesome vacation if you are traveling somewhere fun and exotic with your best friends. If you’re stuck at home working, don’t despair! At least you are making money to spend when the time is right.