Despite recent below-freezing temperatures, beaches still dominate coverage on MTV’s Spring Break party segments. And while signs of snow linger and midterms loom ahead, minds drift to the MTV-popularized Spring Break destinations.
In mid-March school will let out and many students will fly to their own destination paradise.
Sophomores Gandhi Lindor and Donovan Vassell said they plan to travel to Cancun with three other friends. Attracted by the “hot-body spot and nice weather,” they signed up for their trip in mid-December, Lindor said.
“Lots of parties, lots of fun, that’s what Spring Break is all about,” Lindor said. “A break from all the school stuff for a week.”
While MTV’s presence in Cancun did not influence their destination decision, MTV coverage of Spring Break parties did draw them to the Spring Break hot spot.
“It’s very wild from what I see on TV,” Vassell said. “Even though I’m not a big drinker, I hear they have like every drink. Everyone’s there to have fun and no one’s there to put a damper on things.”
Lindor and Vassell’s group organized their Cancun trip through STA Travel in the Marvin Center. Their $728 package includes a seven-night stay at Marina Club Resort, round-trip airfare, airport/hotel transfers and insurance.
Julie, a travel agent at Council Travel, another student travel agency, said travel insurance is a smart purchase. But insurance does not cover accidents that happen when the insured is intoxicated – a fact she said many students do not realize.
STA Travel’s least expensive Cancun packages cost between $700 and $800 a person for a stay on the beach. The least expensive Cancun package Council Travel offers comes as low $400 a person for a four-person group, but the package does not include a hotel on the beach.
While Cancun and Jamaica are two of the most popular student Spring Break destinations, Julie said Costa Rica may offers the best deal and a less crowded beach scene. For $700 a person, a group of four can get a five-night stay on the beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica and two nights in San Jose, including airfare and airport/hotel transfers.
“Costa Rica is beautiful, it has the beaches plus rainforests,” Julie said. “You can go on rainforest walks and it’s not overcrowded yet.”
Senior Rachel Dorman said she wants to avoid the crowds for her last college Spring Break experience. She and four female friends will spend seven days and nights Mazatlan, Mexico, which is located on the west coast of the country.
“My friends and I wanted to go some place tropical, but not trendy like Cancun or Jamaica,” she said. “I wanted to go somewhere warm and somewhere that wasn’t sleazy. And cost was also a factor.”
For $800 Dorman’s trip includes a hotel on the beach, airfare, hotel/airport transfer, some meals and a party package that includes 50 hours of drinking. Dorman said she got a good deal because she signed a contract in November.
“This is my last vacation in college and I wanted to go to a place that was somewhat nice, instead of staying in a dirty motel for a week,” Dorman said. “I think this is going to be worth the money.”
Other students said they decided against tropical locations or working at home to cross the Atlantic for the weeklong vacation. Sophomore Brett Kaplan will visit two friends in Florence, Italy, where he plans to “go out every night, eat very good food and travel.”
Kaplan estimates his trip will cost about $1,200, which includes travel money, food and airfare. To save money, he said he will trade in the luxuries of a hotel for a couch in his friends’ apartments.
“It’s 10 days with two of my best friends in Florence, you can’t really go wrong,” he said. “We’re going to really milk those 10 days for all they’re worth.”
Whether enjoying food of Florence, basking on the beaches Mexico or on a tanning bed in New Jersey, students await the weeklong break from classes.
“I think just getting away from D.C. and all the other things I’m dealing with this semester, to really get a break from everything and relax is what I look forward to most,” Dorman said.