Give Me a Break

17 Mar

Spring Break is officially here. Las Vegas is a No. 1 stop for breakers, but what about those of us who live here? There are some things to remember when traveling. Unless you are planning on staying in the United States, you will need a passport. If you don’t have one yet, you can get one expedited that takes a week or two to receive. Search for travel packages on Tuesday afternoon (3 p.m. EDT) as most travel sites post their lowest rates at that time. Try to return on a Tuesday or Wednesday because the rates will also be lower. Due to recent travel warnings to stay away from Mexico because of increased violence, other spots may be more attractive. It is hard to pass up cheap tequila and tacos, though, and some killer deals to Mexico still made my list. This is my opinion of the best places to head to for Spring Break based off personal and peer experience.

Best Known: Cancun, Mexico

No matter where I searched, Cancun came up as the No. 1 destination. When choosing a hotel, make sure it takes spring breakers. You can choose all-inclusive, but remember you’ll only be able to drink and eat for free at that hotel. Oasis Cancun is considered the best hotel for spring breakers by multiple Spring Break websites. Tipping 15 percent is standard in Cancun, so don’t be cheap with the pesos. Don’t drink the water, even the hotels. Try not to fall asleep on the beach; one of my friends did and had to bribe an officer to get out of going to jail. A Mexican prison is the last place you want to spend Spring Break. Students can get great discounts for Cancun at www.springbreakcancun.com.

Best Leisure: Playa Tamarindo, Costa Rica

In the last season of The Hills (don’t judge me), the crew headed down to Costa Rica and showed MTV viewers a great new place to party. Playa Tamarindo is one of Costa Rica’s top 10 beaches and the No. 1 in nightlife ranked by about.com. Costa Rica is newer to the Spring Break tradition, so it’s a less-crowded spot. You can fly into San Jose or Liberia, whatever is cheaper. You can rent a hotel room at an affordable price at Chocolate Apart. If you are looking for luxury, JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort and Spa has the highest rating. Another option is to a rent beach house at http://www.tamarindo.com/bhouse.html. U.S. dollars are accepted in most places, but you may need to exchange for the local currency, the colon. Tipping is usually included for dining and drinking, but if not, tipping is usually 10 percent. For more information and rates, check out www.paradiseparties.com.

Best Party, Party, Party!:Panama City, Fla.

More than 500,000 college students flock to Panama City each year for Spring Break. According to www.springbreakhq.com, it is “the biggest party for Spring Break 2011.” I beg to differ, have they seen Las Vegas? Okay, Panama City has two things we don’t have: beaches and tropical weather. There are a lot options for hotels but stay in the Panama City Beach area. You can expect daily beach parties and nightclub parties. Club La Vela is a hot spot that throws concerts and major events geared toward the Spring Break crowd. With Panama City being a top U.S. destination, make sure you bring enough cash to last through your week. A typical student can spend more than $600 on drinks and food alone. Another website for more information is www.pcbeachspringbreak.com.

Closest Party Spot: Lake Havasu, Ariz.

With gas prices being outrageous, flights are priced very high for travel. Borrow your friend’s Prius and take a three-hour road trip down to Lake Havasu, Ariz. The weather is 10 to 20 degrees warmer than Las Vegas. There are two options for hotels: London Bridge Resort and The Nautical Beachfront Resort. Or, you could rent a house boat for the week. Find a designated boat driver, because you can get a DUI on a boat. There are bikini contests, DJ parties, and concerts going strong until April 2. Spring breakers tend to cluster to Copper Canyon, Bridgewater Channel, or right in front of London Bridge Resort. Once you get your intake on the lake, Kokomo, Martini Bay, Turtle Beach Bar and Grill, and Javelina Cantina are ready to serve you. For information on partying in Lake Havasu, check out www.azspringbreak.com.

Farthest Best Spot: Jamaica

To fly to Jamaica from Las Vegas can take a whole day, but it will be worth it once you land. Whether you decide to party in Negril or Montego Bay, you can compete in volleyball tournaments, cliff dive, snorkel, or enjoy some good reggae music on the beach. Mostly every hotel is all-inclusive and there are packages available www.springbreakdirect.com/montego-bay-jamaica/spring-break/ or www.negrilspringbreak.com/. Tips to remember when going to Jamaica is that marijuana is illegal. Whatever stories you heard about being able to pick as much as you for $5 is not true — a friend once told me that. Jamaica does accept the U.S. dollar, but it would be better to exchange because the rate varies at each spot and an establishment isn’t required to tell you.

No matter where you decide to spend your vacation make sure you know the local laws and don’t go on any adventures by yourself. If need be, don’t forget I have my hangover cure blog for when you get back!

One Response to “Give Me a Break”

  1. Glenn M May 7, 2011 at 5:18 am #

    I love to spent summers vacations at playa tamarindo

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