Best Spring Break Destinations

From Stanford to Syracuse, from Purdue to Pepperdine and all points in between, we’re seeing signs of cabin fever which can only mean one thing: Get out the Coppertone, it’s time for Spring Break.

Listen as FareCompare editor Anne McDermott talks to StudentUniverse CEO Atle Skalleberg about hot deals, hot destinations:

But Spring Break isn’t just for college kids. It’s perfect for family trips or just relief from the grind (or snow). Find a great getaway then see our tips to find a cheap flight below.

How to find cheap flights – quick and easy

8 Best Places to Go for Spring Break

This highly unscientific list of popular destinations – in no particular order – was devised with an eye toward variety of activities, ease of access, airfare prices and reputation for fun.

Find your cheap flight for Spring Break by clicking the destination.

  • Cancun: They say the party never stops in this popular Mexico resort, and they pull out all the stops for Spring Break with music festivals, a wide variety of refreshing beverages (so we hear) and – well, see the pictures all over the internet for yourself. Not for the peace and quiet crowd.
  • Las Vegas: Not old enough to join the fun in the casinos? The folks at Vegas.com list tons of stuff for the under-21 crowd, but remember, what happens in Vegas – wait, Prince Harry wasn’t able to conceal his activities, was he? You’ve been warned.
  • Los Angeles: Something for everyone from Hollywood to Disneyland, from the ski slopes at Big Bear to the boardwalk of Venice – or maybe you just want to soak up some desert sun in Palm Springs. An array of airports from LAX, Burbank, Orange County, Long Beach and Ontario mean lots of competitive airfare prices.
  • Miami or Ft. Lauderdale: Choose the airport that’s cheaper from your town, then head to SoBe where the glittering non-stop nightlife awaits.
  • Myrtle Beach: This South Carolina coastal town faces miles of beaches, boasts scores of golf courses, and offers loads of other activities from fishing to amusement parks.
  • Panama City: Florida’s panhandle offers 200 miles of mostly white sandy beaches surrounded by hotels to fit every budget. A favorite of families and college students.
  • San Juan: This is one of the cheaper Caribbean destinations but since it’s on U.S. soil you won’t need a passport. See a rain forest, visit a 16th-century cathedral, lie on a glorious beach  and don’t miss the excellent Puerto Rican cuisine.
  • South Padre Island: This little spit of land off southern Texas caters to the Spring Break crowd big-time with cheap hotels, raucous parties and fun things to do from skydiving to amusement parks or splashing in the Gulf of Mexico. Plenty of opportunities for Tweet-able photos that’ll entertain or embarrass you for years to come.

Cheap flights to the beach: more warm getaways

Tips to Save Money on Flights

Fly out of a hub airport: Hubs are almost always cheaper than smaller airports, but compare prices on a site like FareCompare to find the airport with the cheapest flight to your destination.

Travel mid-week: The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays with Saturday the runner-up. If you can’t build an entire trip around those days, fly at least one and you’ll still see some savings.

Take the red-eye: You pull all-nighters before exams with no problem, so why not fly overnight? It’s an easy way to find cheaper airfare.

Save on bag fees: A bathing suit, some flip flops, maybe one shirt with buttons or a pullover dress and voila, you’re packed. Just be sure and stuff it all in a carry-on so you don’t get dinged for the $50 baggage fee. Note to Allegiant and Spirit passengers: these airlines charge for checked-bags and carry-ons and sometimes the checked-bag is cheaper. Here’s a chance to put that fine education to use – find your airline’s fees and do the math.

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Published: February 20, 2013