Popular Ways To Spend Your Break.
You haven’t seen them since January and are looking forward to some time with them home again over Spring Break. UCF’s 2020 Spring Break is Monday, March 9th through Saturday, March 114th. I recognize the scenario. They, our students, may have other plans though. Just thought I would give you the heads up. It is not uncommon for students to go away with their friends for Spring Break. It’s what they saved all summer for, right? Remember cramming 10 college kids into the Holiday Inn in Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break when you were their age? Perhaps that is what is frightening you.
Probably the most popular Spring Break trip these days is a cruise…with 422 of their closest friends (think group rates). My son has been on two. Based on his stories, I 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.
Some kids head off to the Keys. Some go skiing out west. Wherever they and their friends may venture, there have to be some guidelines. One thing is for sure; they will have fun. We all want to know our kids are happy; it’s how we get through those moments of missing them. Keeping them safe comes first though. And, if your student is planning a trip, plan way ahead as the prices get higher as you get closer.
Our List of Do’s & Don’t’s
Before they leave we review the following:
-Don’t go anywhere alone. Use the buddy system.
-Don’t leave a drunken 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 UCF students these days are the following:
Daytona Beach – has long been a popular Spring Break destination. The whole town likes to party. They kick off the spring season with the Daytona 500, Bike Week in mid-March, and more celebrations continue well into April. It especially gets crazy near the newly renovated Main Street Pier and boardwalk. It’s not always beach weather in spring though. If you want guaranteed beach weather, head further south.
Fort Myers Beach – During the past few years, its popularity has soared as a Spring Break destination with many converging on the beach for games, contests and other events.
Clearwater – not mentioned often, but apparently, the party action and crowds are still strong.
Miami Beach – if your student is on a serious budget, skip this destination. A night out there will cost them. Yet the Art Deco flair and topless beaches seem to crowd the beachfront hotels and Lincoln Road’s outdoor cafes during Spring Break.
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.
Cocoa Beach – is the surfing capital of Florida, but you don’t have to bring a surfboard to have fun. The beaches get pretty lively during Spring Break. 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 still jamming. While “The Strip” can hold its own, the current crowds are also dispersed onto neighboring beaches in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Pompano Beach, Hollywood, and Deerfield Beach.
Panama City/Destin – When local laws banned alcohol on the beaches and created other restrictions; its allure changed. Add to that, they are recovering from a major hurricane.
If your student is planning to stay in Orlando, this may be their chance to enjoy Disney and Universal Studios.
Perhaps your student is looking for an alternative to the wild Spring Break trip. UCF offers their Alternative Break Program which can be international or within the country. These trips provide a great opportunity to give back to communities in need while having some fun. Check it out here.
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.