Spring break: If those two words evoke a shudder -- or a flashback -- you're probably too old to enjoy its bacchanalian madness. And it can get pretty crazy, engulfing normally lovely vacation spots for a while.
In prime spring break destinations, the sudden influx of college-age students is huge, overtaxing local resources and spilling onto beaches, byways, cheap hotels, fast-food joints, and popular sightseeing spots. According to the US Department of State,
- "Over 100,000 American teenagers and young adults travel to Cancun over their Spring Break each year."
And if you've seen The Real Cancun, you've witnessed how spring break boozing and cruising can get out of hand in places that draw monster-sized crowds of college-age students eager to cut loose.
That means there are certain places where you would be wise to avoid during spring break if you want a quiet, relaxing, sophisticated honeymoon or holiday. (The rest of the year, they're fine places to visit.)
While spring break dates vary from school to school, most spring breaks are scheduled between early March and the beginning of April.
SPRING BREAK DESTINATIONS
Where do the giant spring break crowds flock? To warm places where cheap lodging is plentiful. If your vacation happens to fall during spring break and you're traveling to one of these destinations, you can still avoid some of the hysteria. Make reservations at one of the better hotels in the destination, where the management doesn't look kindly on accommodating four or more to a room.
If you haven't yet made reservations, consider avoiding the following destinations, which perennially draw large numbers of college students during spring break:
Spring Break In the USA
- Panama City, Florida
- South Beach, Miami, Florida
- Key West, Florida
- Lake Havasu City, Arizona
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- South Padre Island, Texas
Spring Break in Mexico and the Caribbean
- Cancun, Mexico
- Mazatlan, Mexico
- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
- Acapulco, Mexico
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Paradise Island, Bahamas
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Negril, Jamaica
In addition, there are numerous cruises that depart during spring break. If you're thinking of sailing during that period, check with a travel agent or the cruise line before you book to determine if a certain cruise will be filled with spring breakers... and consider choosing another line. River cruises are known to attract older travelers and have no facilities for children, so one could be your best bet at this time of year.
WHERE CAN YOU ESCAPE FROM SPRING BREAK?
Don't let the spring break hordes discourage you from traveling during this period, though. There are wonderful places to visit where the only wet T-shirt contest you will witness is in your own room, if that's your pleasure. All of the following are safe to visit during this month of madness in the US:
DOES EVERY COLLEGE STUDENT GO WILD DURING SPRING BREAK?
Absolutely not. Plenty spend their break working, visiting family, studying, and/or donating their time to charity. But those won't be the ones in the next room, keeping you awake at 5 a.m. as they drop water balloons (and worse) from the balcony....