As you struggle through the blistering cold streets of campus to get to the last few weeks of your winter quarter classes, the thought of giving up and throwing in the towel may cross your mind. But keep your head up, because spring break is officially right upon us and 2009 promises to be better than any other year! Although I can't take your finals for you, I can point you in the direction of the hottest and, most importantly, cheapest destinations for this year's spring break.
Because spring break is only a disappointing week long, it is important to find the best deal for not only your money, but your time. Although you can go through any travel agent, my research has concluded the best place to plan your vacation is with STA TRAVEL. This agency is created for students in order to give them the best prices, offers and destinations with the best packaged deals. All packaged trips include round trip flights/ cruises, hotel stays and transfers, and a welcome orientation. They also offer flexible payment options for any budget. If you reserve early, you can take advantage of numerous deals such as free meal and drink plans, day trips and most importantly- a free New Year's Eve trip to Montreal. For more information, go to their Web site (www.statravel.com/springbreak) or the branch office, conveniently located at the campus Barnes & Noble (on the 2nd floor). Now without further ado, the winners of 2009's hottest spring break destinations…
#1 Panama City Beach, FL:
As a result of the weak economy, this traditional hotspot beats out Cancun as the ultimate place for spring break fanatics in 2009. Not only is Panama City close enough to drive or get a cheap flight to, it boasts a jam-packed program specifically for students on spring break from March 8 thru the 21. Hosting the infamous MTV and MTVU Spring Break programs, this is the place to be if you want to do nothing for a week but get wasted and watch (or partake in) people making complete fools of themselves. Thanks to MTV, there are programs set up all week long, including shows for the network and the hottest musical acts. Previous concerts include: 50 Cent, Lupe Fiasco, T.I and Three 6 Mafia. This is hands down the cheapest and craziest place to be this year, but make your reservations soon!
#2 Cancun, Mexico:
According to Linda Gonzalez, travel adviser for STA Travel, the hottest place to be this year is once again Cancun. She said although Cancun is further away than Florida, prices are not necessarily up and because of the economy, there are great deals and offers out there. Cancun has always been at the top of the spring breaker's list, mainly for its lush beaches and hot nightlife; but it also boasts opportunities to get off the beaten path. Cozumel and little Tulum are close enough for a day trip and have quieter beaches, as well as indigenous ruins for the sightseer in all of us. This is the ultimate place to be if you have a little more cash. Just don't forget your passport!
#3 Mazatlan, Mexico:
This is the official up-and-coming as far as spring break destinations because of two words: Party Bus. Taking off from such Southwestern U.S. states as California, Arizona and Texas, you will enjoy a first class ride right over the border with, according to STA travel, a chartered luxury motor coach, complete with bathrooms, TV's and a full service bar. Once you are there, you can opt to purchase a City Pass (available at any STA travel destination) and gain entry to all the hottest night clubs, complete with an open bar pass for all five nights. The best thing is, you don't need a passport- just your birth certificate and valid I.D.
#4 South Padre, Texas:
Another great place that is not out of the country is South Padre. This hotspot is right on the Gulf of Mexico, and highlights spring break Texan style. The beach boasts all types of water sports and activities, as well as huge spring break crowds and nightlife. According to about.com, because of last year's hurricane, nearby Corpus Christi is also going to be popular this year. If you want to go on spring break but don't want to leave the country or go to Florida (for the millionth time), this may be the place for you!
#5 Miami/South Beach, FL:
A spring break list would not be complete unless it included Miami and South Beach, Florida. If you can't decide which twin to visit, ask yourself this simple question: Would you like to spend your time relaxing, or being seen? If you want to relax in style, the best destination for you is probably Miami. Beautiful and colorful, this Florida city is full of people living it up and partying down. If you have a bulging bank account, or maybe a trust fund, and want to go to the clubs full of the coolest people wearing the coolest clothes, then South Beach is for you. Just be sure to be on the lookout for haters and women who have D cup boobs, wear a size 0 and are tan all year long.
The only reason why this luxurious hotspot is not on the list is because of its turbulent domestic problems, i.e. the turf drug wars. Although no serious problems have occurred in the last year, it may not be the place you want to go if you just want to go crazy and feel completely safe. Although beautiful and a traditional spring break destination, Suzanne Barbezat of about.com said if fears of violence will inhibit your fun on your holiday, consider a different destination. Sorry, Acapulco!
There are also many other options than just the traditional, drunken ****-show that is college spring break that are just as fun, if not a little more rewarding. These options include ski resorts, renting a cabin in the woods or even a trip to Europe or Africa. You could also opt to give back on your spring break by volunteering for an Alternative Spring Break program, where you can help those who are less fortunate for a week. Regardless of where you choose to spend your time this spring break, please remember to be extremely careful and most of all, HAVE FUN!