Spring Break is fast approaching: Book trips now


Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 1, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Deadlines for booking Spring Break trips are already quickly approaching - and in some cases have passed.
Travel experts encourage students to start planning now.
"In the long run, it benefits you if you sign up for a trip early in the year because of all the deals you can get, and you save so much money," said Stephanie McCarthy, University of Florida's campus manager for the Spring Break planning Web site www.StudentCity.com.
Students who booked trips through StudentCity.com before Tuesday and paid a $100 deposit were eligible to receive special offers such as free meals, free drinks and free access to parties, McCarthy said.
StudentCity.com offers college students trips to Mexico, Florida, Colorado and Central America, she said.
Sara Petrucci, a 21-year-old health science junior, is planning a trip to Acapulco, Mexico, through StudentCity.com as a campus representative.
"It's my job to create hype about the trip. I have to get everyone pumped up so they sign up early and can get free meals and other discounts," Petrucci said. "Most of my college friends already booked a trip, and most Spring Break trips are already filling up fast."
Students who want a spring break focused around the college-aged crowd can take a trip with StudentCity.com. Trips booked through the site promise lots of parties, fun hotels, drink specials and other entertainment geared toward college students, she said.
If a party setting isn't to students' likes, then they can opt for an educational trip on an EF College Break tour, which can be accessed online.
EF College Break, which feature tours of historical locales, offers incentives for signing up early, said Benjamin Bartley, EF College Break campus manager for UF. Usually EF College Break offers a $100 discount to students who book a tour before Oct. 15, but this year they have extended the promotion to $75 off any trip before Nov. 30.
"Price is a variable in any college student's budget, and EF understands that and works to get the most bang out of every dollar," Bartley said. "Affordable travel overseas is definitely possible, and EF College Break is a major facilitator to doing so."
EF College Break began a new payment method this year to help college students afford the price of its trips. Students can now sign up for an easy-pay option where EF College Break takes part of the total trip cost out of the student's checking account every month until the trip is paid in full 70 days before departure, Bartley said.
EF College Break tours organizes trips for students to Europe, Africa, Central America, Australia and Asia. The price of the tour includes airfare, hotels, transportation, breakfasts and entrances to attractions and museums, Bartley said. During the trip, students are guided by multilingual tour directors who take them to key sightseeing locations.
Bartley said one advantage of traveling with EF College Break is that the trip is an accredited program. Students can earn credits by traveling with EF College Break.
And at STA Travel in the Reitz Union, students who put down a deposit on certain Spring Break trips by today will receive free meals, and students who sign up for certain trips before Dec. 14 can travel at discounted rates, said Christi Day, public relations spokesperson for STA Travel.
"The earlier you book a trip, the better," Day said.
Day said it is important for students to plan a Spring Break trip early because many popular destinations will sell out. This year, Day said the most popular destinations through STA Travel are trips to Europe, skiing trips to Vermont and Colorado, volunteering trips to Costa Rica and vacations in Cancun, Mexico.
The trips to Cancun are booking up fast, Day said.
"A lot of students are looking forward to a bigger and badder Cancun this year," Day said.

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