MAIN Travel Spring Break
No two words fire the imagination quite like it including excitement so thick you can feel in the air everywhere as vacation lovers from New York to California make plans to break out and party down.
With the Easter holiday arriving anywhere from March to late April, you can anticipate many schools scheduling spring break getaways beginning in early March or later.
If last year was any indication, Fort Lauderdale and South Beach Florida, South Padre Island, Texas and Lake Havasu, and Scottsdale, Arizona continue to top the list of favorites.
However, even more popular spring break locations lured students further south as Acapulco, Cancun, Cabo San Lucas, and Rosarito
in Mexico continued to be the overall top exotic getaways for spring breakers. Students also zeroed in on Negril, Jamaica for
the ultimate in island fun.
At least for a week or two ...
students short on time, and money, many travel companies will offer a variety of affordable spring break package options. Most typically feature week-long excursions ranging anywhere from $500 to $1500 and include airfare, hotel,
meals and transfers.
For the college crowd, spring break "party packages" with hosted party nights and open bars are available at an additional cost.
Spring break travel tips
Do you have a passport? If you don't apply for one NOW. If you do, make sure it hasn't expired.
With heightened travel precautions, check out the latest air travel restrictions on what you can and cannot include in carry-on baggage.
At the airport and on the plane, chill ... and avoid hassles with travel security or service staff who may view any type of "spirited" behavior as a security threat.
If you're an American partying in Mexico local police WILL arrest you for drunken or disorderly conduct. And keep in mind that calling mom from a foreign jail or from a hospital room just isn't cool.
Alternative spring break
For those who want to opt out of the wild party scene, schools and travel agencies also offer spring break alternatives. These usually feature active participation on trips to aid the disadvantaged or to help clean up the environment.
New Orleans benefited from these programs when college students traveled to the devastated city to offer a helping hand in clean up operations following Hurricane Katrina.
Otherwise, those who aren't into the wild spring break party scene have plenty of alternatives -- like whale watching along the Oregon coast, or camping out in the wild at a national park.
Spring break around the world
However, most teens and young adults will almost universally celebrate a break from school with binge drinking and wild partying. Down Under, locals can set their clocks by the arrival of thousands of students in mid-November participating in Schoolies Week, drawn to the nightlife of Sydney or around the spectacular Australian beaches of the Gold and Sun Coast.
Also count on seeing UK students in equally large numbers traveling to the sunny beaches of Spain to celebrate school's end.
Spring break travel hot spots
Elsewhere around the Web, discover helpful guides geared specifically to first-time travelers with specific information on the most popular destinations and what to see and do once you get there.
Also check out feature articles offering closer looks at major attractions, beaches & nightlife - with good insider tips & advice for where to go and what to do...