Travel Advice: All-Inclusive Spring Break
I recently received a note from my friend Jess:
I know you are the travel queen, so I figured I’d ask you first about potential spring break destinations.
A couple of my girlfriends and I were looking to travel (somewhere warm) during our spring break next year. We want to go all-inclusive for sure. If you know of any good places in the Caribbean or Mexico or down there, that won’t break the bank I’d love to hear about them! Also – we’re not looking to go somewhere that’s absolutely wild (like Cancun or the topless places you see on MTV), but we also don’t want to be the only spring-breakers at the resort.
Thanks, and ANY possible info would help 🙂
First of all, the most important part is finding the right kind of resort more so than the destination. Do some research and find out which resorts would be welcoming to spring breakers (but not TOO welcoming!).
Here are some destinations that I think would be good for you:
Image: Space Ritual on Flickr
The Dominican Republic is chock full of all-inclusive resorts — and a bit off the beaten path when it comes to spring break. You’ll find a spring break scene here, particularly in Punta Cana, but you won’t find 24-hour parties and MTV cameras.
Even today, all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic are often cheaper than in other Caribbean destinations. A small splurge here can result in a big payoff.
Image: JohnRiv on Flickr
In Jamaica, resorts run the gamut from sleepy hideaways to party paradise. Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are the biggest party spots; Negril is quieter. In both places, you’ll find gorgeous white sand beaches and plenty of rum cocktails.
If you want, you can go to bed at nine and wake up for early-morning snorkeling. And if you want, you can spend all night dancing to Bob Marley. It’s up to you. Jamaica has it all.
Playa del Carmen
Image: Carolyn Coles on Flickr
If you want to be offered cocaine in the streets, go to Cancun. If you want to go to a pretty Mexican town with plenty of culture, plan a trip to Playa del Carmen! It’s a much calmer location for spring break and you’ll find plenty of beach activities, water sports, day trips to Mayan ruins and more.
But best of all, it’s close enough to Cancun that if you ever feel like you need to have a crazy night, you can grab a cab and enjoy it. (My recommendation? Senor Frogs! Go down the waterslide into the alligator lagoon!)
Image: Rob Inh00d on Flickr
Do any spring break options have better value than Caribbean cruises? Liberty Travel, in particular, has a lot of great cruise deals. Cruises are all-inclusive, and if you want to save on airfare, see if you can find one that departs from New York! Lots of my college classmates did that.
Relax on the deck, party in the clubs, eat amazing food, go snorkeling around the Caribbean, and be prepared to make a ton of friends. Just be careful to watch your money when it comes to shore excursions and alcohol. Other than that, Caribbean cruises are some of the best spring break bargains on the planet.
Again, be sure to research the cruise lines thoroughly — you don’t want to end up on a seniors cruise, or worse, a family cruise.
Advice for Saving Money
- Get a separate savings account — I use HSBC for my travel fund — and put all your spring break savings there. Don’t touch it.
- Have a set amount of money that you deposit toward your trip each week or each month.
- Start monitoring flight and hotel prices now. When they have a good price, book.
I’ve been in your shoes. I spent the entire summer before senior year saving for spring break — not a Caribbean spring break, but a concert tour to Italy with the glee club. (Yep, I was wild in college!) It took a lot of work and willpower, but sitting on the steps of Santa Croce in Florence with a bottle of wine and my college buds made it so worth it.
Any advice for Jess? Where would you go for an all-inclusive spring break?