With spring break right around the corner, many students are looking forward to a week away from school to ditch school work and other responsibilities.
With the high number of students likely to get out of southern California for this unofficial college holiday, travel agencies pounce on the opportunity and offer package deals.
Though package deals for spring break vacations can provide entertainment, students should be careful not to be victimized by fees and other expenses that can really be a burden financially.
“Everything depends on the day that you want to go and the availability that we have at that time as far as deals are concerned,” said Judy Reid, owner of A Touch of Class Travel Agency in Chino. “You could also be paying big bucks if the airtime you want is limited for that airline.”
Good deals are usually gone for those still looking for a travel package this close to the break.
“It is basically a hunt and pick thing at this point,” said Jack Warshaw, owner of All-Ways Travel in La Verne. “Airlines tend to reduce the size of their planes at this time of year to more fuel economy type planes.”
When choosing a destination, students tend to lean towards places with beaches and warmer weather.
“There are a lot of spots in Mexico and in the Caribbean where people really like to go,” Warshaw said. “Mostly all of the spots that are frequented tend to be good weather places, places with warm climates.”
Rosarito, Mexico, is an option for students because of its proximity – it is approximately 200 miles from La Verne – and the types of entertainment that it offers.
“Rosarito is…great,” said Kelly McCray, sophomore communications major at the University of Santa Barbara. “It is close enough to drive to and is less expensive than other spring break places.”
McCray has spent her last two spring breaks in Rosarito and plans to head there next week for another trip.
Financial considerations play a major role in students’ decisions on where to go. Airfare, hotel, food, drinks and other miscellaneous activities can all be costly and pile up over the course of a week.
“I went last year for three days and it cost me close to $130,” McCray said, adding that she traveled on the cheap by carpooling and sharing a hotel room with five other friends.
While thoughts of spring break conjure images of beaches, food, parties and hanging out with friends, what many students do not realize is that dangers exist especially when heading to a foreign place with many other students.
“I have seen many people get too drunk and get robbed or arrested,” McCray said.
With sometimes nonstop partying and fun, personal belongings can be forgotten or left unattended and vulnerable to thieves.
“Last year a couple of my friends had their house in Rosarito broken into and $500 was stolen,” McCray said. “I think things like that are rare but they are always something to look out for.”
Despite great deals that Warshaw, Reid and other travel agency owners can offer, it is always best to make sure that safety and responsibility come first.
Steven Falls can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.