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Jan 08 2018
by David Massart

A Guide to Planning a Fun and Memorable Spring Break

By David Massart - Jan 08 2018
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Spring break is one of the highlights of colleges and universities all around the world. It is a week (or two) dedicated to taking time off from work and relaxing with friends or even alone, which sometimes means taking a trip. However, no matter how relaxing the vacation itself can be, planning it is a hassle. Here are some tips on how to plan a fun and memorable spring break.

1. Location

This is what sparks up the most debate or uncertainty when planning spring break: Where do we want to go? According to Student City, some of the best locations include: Cancun (Mexico), Punta Cana (Dominican Republic), Nassau (Bahamas), Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) and Daytona Beach (Florida). However, all of these places are very similar: they are all on a beach or near an ocean. The first question you should be asking yourself when approaching location is: Do I want the typical beach spring break or do I want something a little different and unique? You should also be taking into account what environment you want to be living in. If you choose one of the five places listed above, you are most likely going to be surrounded by other college students. However, if what you are looking for is a little peace and quiet, then you should be looking for different, less known locations. Finally, finding a location is always a little difficult because everyone wants to go somewhere else. As an example, the list of places my friends and I wanted to go to were: Las Vegas, Singapore, Florida, Punta Cana, Barbados, Mexico and Dubai. So to make a final decision, we went through each option one by one and outlined the pros and cons of each place. Each person also discussed what they wanted to get out of this spring break and why they chose each location. I would say the most important aspect of deciding on a location is communication and outlining the pros and cons.

2. "Money, Money, Money Must Be Funny, In A Rich Man's World"

Spring Break is expensive. This is especially true if you go to popular places near a beach. This is also very important because people have different budgets and different amounts of money that they would like to spend. Figuring this out is also tedious, but it is the most important part of the trip. If someone doesn't have enough money to afford a trip to place X, then you need to discard that option right away and focus on place Y. Money is difficult because there are many things to keep track of: how you get there (travel), accommodations (Airbnb, hotel, etc.) and what you are going to be doing during spring break. The smartest way to approach this would to have multiple locations, each with a couple of accommodations and then figure out the price for traveling and sleeping. Once that has been figured out, you also need to discuss what you want to do during spring break. This could mean drinking all day, it could mean going to visit cultural and historic places or it could even mean doing fun activities like zip lining, kayaking or bungee jumping. Once these three things have prices, you make the decision. Moreover, I think it is important that the decision be unanimous.

3. Travel and Housing

How do you get to your desired location and where do you want to sleep. The travel part seems simple but is one of the most stressful. Do we take a plane? Do we take a train? Should we all book the same plane? To make this as simple as possible, I would suggest that each person takes care of how they want to travel. However, you should have a deadline where each person should have decided on their travel method and booked their flight, train or boat. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and makes the whole process less stressful and time consuming. When it comes to accommodations, there are so many choices: a friend's house, a hotel or an Airbnb. I would say the easiest and best choice is Airbnb. This new platform is incredible, especially for spring break. There are many  choices and the prices range from very cheap to very expensive. In short, you can find anything you want with Airbnb. However, you MUST book early. This is something that many people take for granted. You will definitely get what you want, but only if you book early. If you start planning housing only a month before your trip, you are guaranteed not to find anything cheap or of good quality. Airbnb is also wonderful because it lets you choose amenities: Wifi, smoking allowed, pets allowed, heater, air conditioning and more.

4. Rules and Regulations

This is most important if you are traveling to a different country. It is almost certain that they will have different rules. I would personally suggest looking into a couple rules before setting foot into the country just to make sure that you won't be doing anything illegal or will at least be aware that what you are doing is illegal. Some of the rules that might change are for drinking, giving tips, penalties (for when you get caught doing illegal acts) and/or drug use. It doesn't hurt anyone to spend 15 minutes looking at that city's rules, and the benefits you could reap from it are enormous.

5. The Arrival

Once you get to the place, or you finish the steps above, you need to decide what you are going to be doing! This is the easiest, most relaxing and most exciting part of planning a trip. However, it is very possible, that different people will want to do different activities. If you are traveling alone, you don't really need to worry about this. Just enjoy yourself. On the other hand, some members of a group might want to party day and night, while others might just want to chill on the beach. No one really has control over what other people want to do but the best way to make sure everyone is happy, is to do a little bit of everything! 

In conclusion, planning your spring break should be the least stressful thing you do in college. Compared to anxiously waiting to hear back from an exam, this should be nothing. But the fact of the matter is that for many people, its not. So as a general guide, try to follow the steps I laid out above since they helped me become more organized when planning not only spring break, but all trips abroad!

Lead Image Credit: Unsplash 

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David Massart - Tufts University

Hi! I'm a freshman at Tufts University who is currently thinking about majoring in Computer Science. I love to write and share my ideas with other students! Moreover, I love watching TV while snacking in my bed on the weekends!

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