Letting Off Steam Before Spring Finals
It’s Spring! If you’re anything like me, you are putting together the cutest spring outfits, buying any bathing suit you can get your hands on, and getting a head start on your spring break tan lines. Get out your calendars students because Spring Break is from March 13th to March 21st, and it will be one to remember- like always.
Probably the most popular Spring Break trip these days is a cruise…with 422 IU students (think group rates). While on a typical spring break cruise, I always pity the family that was also on that cruise ship thinking they were getting a quiet vacation. Yes, generally four kids (one of which must be 21 or older) cram into the cheapest cabin possible, purchase the all you can drink package (this does not mean that the drinking age on cruises is anything less than 21) and go. If you are lucky, the worst thing they will come back with is minor sunburn.
Miami is probably the most popular IU spring break destination. All the northern students seem to adore spending all their money on $25 drinks and long days sitting by the pool (can you blame them?!). Most students will pitch in and get a week-long Airbnb in Sunny Isles.
While most students like drinking Pina Coladas on the sunny Florida beaches, some kids head off to Chicago. Some go skiing out west. Bimini has become a popular destination lately too. Wherever students and their friends may venture, there have to be some guidelines. One thing is for sure; Spring Break means a good time with close friends while also staying safe!
For those of you with students looking in that alternative realm, IU has trips that students can sign up to travel and volunteer. IU has a program called Alternative Break Program. These trips place their emphasis on education, service, and reflection.
- Before going on your spring break trip, it’s definitely necessary to go over these tips with your friend group:
- Don’t go anywhere alone.
- Don’t leave a drunk friend alone, particularly if they have “passed out.”
- Wash your hands…a lot. (I am normally germ-phobic but these cruise ships are a breeding ground for viruses, etc.)
- Wear sunscreen (sunburn happens in a bathing suit or ski jacket).
- Be aware of laws (open container, alcohol restrictions on beaches, etc.)
- Check-in (you can agree as to the right amount of times for your family)
Some of the other popular destinations for IU students these days are the following:
- Cabo – has long been a popular destination for any amazing beach vacation. The whole town likes to party. They kick off the spring season with unlimited drinking packages, beautiful beaches, and insane nightlife.
- Key West- Parties are a 24/7 event here at any time of year, and everything seems to kick up a notch when college kids swarm down Duval Street, Key West’s beaches and bars. Mallory Square pops, as always, with its sunset show, and there are plenty of restaurants.
- Bahamas – if you are on a serious budget, skip this destination. A night out there will cost you some money, but it will also be a great time. It’s also nice waking up to beautiful sandy beaches, endless pools, and everlasting poolside mojitos.
- Fort Lauderdale – This is where the 10 college kids in one room at the Holiday Inn happened. That isn’t the way Spring Break in Ft. Lauderdale looks anymore, but it can still be popular; the Elbo Room is still jamming. While “Kilroys” can hold its own, the current crowds are also dispersed onto neighboring beaches in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and Deerfield Beach.
Spring Break is sort of a rite of passage. Let’s face it, in just a very short few years they will (hopefully) be out in the working world, and vacations will take on a whole new look for them.
Residence halls close on March 13th for Spring Break and reopen on March 20th.
A few other things to note if you are traveling outside the country:
For students who are traveling abroad, they should enroll in the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). To enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
If a student is traveling abroad as an IU RSO (registered student organization) to perform service, they should make sure they have completed all required forms, and have completed all of the required steps including submission of proof of insurance.
For international students on an F-1 or J-1 visa that plan to leave the country during spring break, they need to make sure to have a valid student visa and an I-20 or DS2019 signed for travel within the last year. These will be required to re-enter the US.
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