Spring break adventures that stray from the norm

Spring is a time of year when students plan their annual treks to warmer climates. Areas such as Florida’s Daytona Beach and Cancun, Mexico, attract hundreds of thousands of revelers each spring break.

It is wise for students to plan their trips as early as possible to beat the rush. In addition, savvy students can educate themselves about potential spring break pitfalls. Spring break has earned a reputation as a potentially dangerous excursion, in part due to bad behavior and criminals preying on young students. But spring break doesn’t have to be a lesson in debauchery. There are many ways revelers can enjoy their extended vacations from school.

  •  Lend a helping hand. Many college students spend their spring breaks giving back to the less fortunate. In 2012, more than 10,000 high school and college students signed up to spend their spring breaks building houses with Habitat for Humanity. Many organizations sponsor spring break programs for youngsters.
  •  Explore foreign culture. Make spring break an opportunity to travel internationally and learn something new about a country’s history and impact on the world. Research the country’s legal system before traveling, however. Foreign laws can be quite different from the American and Canadian law, and roughly 2,500 Americans are arrested on spring break trips to foreign countries each year. Also, be aware of political turmoil or unrest at your destination. You may inadvertently put yourself in harm’s way.
  • Try something new. Rather than spend spring break letting loose, you may want to get together with like-minded friends and try a new hobby or project. Enroll in a music or art class. If your interests lean toward the daring, try skydiving or trapeze lessons. You will likely save money on travel expenses in the process and still come away with lasting memories.
  •  Be unique. There’s no need to follow the masses to the nearest beach town. A vacation from school and home can be enjoyable no matter where you head. Cruises are attractive because you pay one fee that includes food and accommodations. In addition, cruise ships have a number of guided excursions available to guests. While many cruise lines travel to tropical waters, there are some that hug the eastern and western coasts of North America northward to Alaska or Novia Scotia.
  •  Visit family. While spring break is often a time for letting loose, for some it can present the ideal opportunity to catch up with distant relatives they do not often see. Accepting their hospitality can stretch vacation budgets even further.
  •  Take advantage of last-minute specials. If you can’t decide where to go, pay close attention to travel Web sites and any specials they may offer in the months and weeks leading up to spring break season. Inexpensive last-minute packages may become available as spring draws near. You just may locate a destination that wasn’t what you had imagined, but it can turn into an exciting and memorable experience.
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