With Spring break around the corner, many people are looking for a cheap vacation, but want to avoid all the students who have the same idea. If you are willing to think outside the typical Spring Break destinations, there are many deals to be had. Kelli Grant, Senior Consumer Reporter for SmartMoney.com, examines some of those places.
Hawaii is still a budget-buster for most college students because of the long-haul flight. Prices start at about $500 if you're leaving from LA. But lodging is pretty cheap, even now during peak season. Outrigger and Ohana resorts, which operate 23 properties on four islands, have dropped rates by up to 65% for travel through April 30. Prices start at $79 per night.
College students take over many of Florida's beaches, but the theme parks in Orlando remain the domain of families. If you can avoid traveling over Easter weekend, the deals are even great on park properties. Disney has cut room prices by 25% to 40% through March 27, and then starting up again April 11. You'll pay as little as $79 for a standard room.
New York is among top Spring Break destinations, but there are so many people here that you don't really notice an influx of partying students like you do in other, smaller cities. Hotel prices are still low, with many three- and four-star properties offering sales of up to 40%.
Everybody parties in Las Vegas, student or no. Bing Travel found the total cost for a weeklong trip for two is down 14% compared with last year. You could pay just $200 or $300 apiece. Many casinos are also offering over-the-top freebies, including spa credits, casino chips and show tickets.
And, finally, if you really want to go to a Spring break hotspot, deals to Mexico and the Bahamas are amazing right now. Many packages are offering discounts of more than 60%. If you want to hit those spots but avoid the college students, look to high-end resorts and all-inclusive properties. Or forgo say, Cancun itself for vacation resorts or rentals in outlying areas.
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by Kelli Grant and Jenn Eaker
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