Coeds everywhere are counting down the days until they trade their backpacks and study sessions for cocktails and naps on the beach. If your plans are still posted as TBD on the calendar, then use this list as a guide to help you pick the 9 hottest party spots this spring break. This list proves that Mexico still has the market cornered for spring break, but also boasts some in-country destinations that will let you wind down with new and old friends.
1. Cancun – This Mexican oasis is consistently unanimous with spring break. The clubs stay open far later than your campus dives, there are endless margaritas, and some of the most scenic views on earth. You’ll need to take a passport.
2. Bahamas and Jamaica – A tie for second leads spring breakers to two of the Caribbean’s most popular locales. Nassau in the Bahamas and Montego Bay or Negril in Jamaica are the ideal places to stay. Passports are required to take in the food, fun and drink of these spots.
3. Panama City, FL – Avoid the long flights and customs delays by staying at one of the U.S.’ most popular spring break spots. You can get in on all the televised shenanigans of MTVU‘s annual Spring Break, soak up the warm sun and beach during the day, and wind down with comfortable temperatures at night.
4. Acapulco – It doesn’t boast Mexico’s best beaches, but it does allow you to seek solace on less populated beaches, or join in the party on people-packed beaches. Passport will be necessary.
5. Miami, FL and South Beach, FL – If you want to enjoy the fabulous culture of spring break in Florida, but skip MTV’s cameras, then head to the tip of Florida’s peninsula. You’ll find some of the most exclusive clubs in America by night, and relax on the Atlantic beaches by day.
6. South Padre Island, TX – Taking some of Florida’s spring break fame in recent years because of affordability and accessibility, South Padre offers hot beaches, cool clubs and all your friends, without passports.
7. Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan – Puerto Vallarta is a destination for the true outdoors lover. You can swim and party on the beach, or hike into the surrounding mountains. Mazatlan is accessible via the www.limofind.com party bus, then get down to business on the warm beach. Take passports.
8. American Ski Resorts – Some coeds are headed for higher ground, where the fresh powder and chilly temperatures can clear their minds. You’re likely to charge your credit card more for a ski vacation, considering travel, lodging, lift tickets and parties, but the clarity found at the top of a mountain might help you find the center you need to kill the final part of the semester. Crested Butte, Breckenridge and Aspen are the hot spots in Colorado, while Heavenly at Lake Tahoe and Jackson Hole in Wyoming welcome spring breakers a different environment.
9. Europe – Skip the beaches and mountains all together and soak up some culture instead. Amsterdam, London and Paris are the most attractive destinations; each offering plenty of tourist-friendly attractions by day and unbeatable club scenes by night. That list is followed by Florence in Italy, Madrid in Spain and Berlin and Frankfurt in Germany. It’s the cold season in Europe right now, so pack warm clothes and comfortable shoes for all the walking. Shack up with friends in student-friendly hostels, which are affordable and make for a unique travel experience. Take your passport.