Hundreds of thousands of students take off in February, March and April for fun in the sun destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico, Florida, and elsewhere. Hordes of Spring Breakers aren't found everywhere, but a number of Caribbean islands still roll out the welcome mat for the annual college party scene. Read on for my picks of the best Caribbean Spring Break destinations, plus some advice from other About guides about the best destinations for families and adults, and tips on making your Spring Break a safe, healthy and fun experience!
Cancun is nearly synonymous with Spring Break in the Caribbean and continues to attract thousands of U.S. college (and some high school) students each year with the promise of reasonably priced airfares (Check Flights) and hotels (Compare Prices), inexpensive alcohol, and a liberal drinking age. There's always a variety of youth-oriented activities in Mexico's party capital, from wild nightclubs to themed bar parties to parasailing, snorkeling, and other sun and surf excursions. Cancun All-Inclusive Resorts
In many ways, the Dominican Republic offers an ideal combination to Spring Breakers, with affordable flights and hotels and plenty of all-inclusive resorts where travelers ages 18 or older can sleep, eat, drink, and play for one price. There's also a variety of beach resort areas to choose from, including youthful Cabarete, Boca Chica (close to Santo Domingo and the best place to soak up local culture), the emerging eco-tourism destination of Samana, and the all-inclusive hotspots of Punta Cana and Playa Dorada.
Suffused with the spirit of reggae and a "no problem, mon" attitude, Jamaicans embody island cool and share a love for a good time. Negril and Montego Bay are the hot spots, with a good selection of all-inclusive and budget accommodations, along with their famed beachfront nightlife.
Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan is not only rich in history but also nightlife: this cosmopolitan city has more nightclubs than anywhere else in the Caribbean, from gay bars to salsa clubs to sophisticated rooftop lounges. Cheap flights (Compare Prices) from the U.S. to the San Juan airport -- just minutes from major resort areas -- make this an attractive option for student travelers, along with the fact that you don't need a passport to visit. Students on a tight budget also will appreciate the city's many fast-food options, just like back in the U.S.
Like Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands attracts Spring Breakers with no-passport-required travel and the comforts and familiarty of home (English, U.S. dollars, familiar restaurants and hotel brands). You'll find the most nightlife in St. Thomas, both in Chalotte Amalie and Red Hook, and Cruz Bay is the party spot on otherwise quiet St. John.
Book Flights to St. Thomas, the U.S.V.I's transportation hub
Nassau is the prime destination for Spring Breakers heading to the Bahamas; it has tons of direct air service from the U.S. and a wide variety of hotels. Many students like the Disneyesque aspects of the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, though like Disney, a stay at Atlantis doesn't come cheap. But there are budget hotels even on tony Paradise Island, and many students head for the more affordable beachfront resorts of Cable Beach.
With its hedonistic reputation and wall-to-wall bars, it's no surprise that Key West draws more than it's share of Spring Breakers each year. Being the only drive-to location on this list helps, too, though once in town students usually abandon their cars in favor of pub crawls to such famous hotspots as Sloppy Joes and the Hog's Breath Inn. Gay and straight alike are welcomed in this unique island paradise.