With spring fast approaching, now is the time to formulate spring break plans. We looked to the beach and beyond, consulting www.Cheapflights.com for this year's picks. Punta Cana, Cancun and Montego Bay made the top three, followed by Puerto Vallarta and South Padre Island, Texas, with none other than Montreal rounding out the top 10.
In the heart of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana features 24,000 hotel rooms and counting, along with beaches and all-inclusive deals and buffets. Check out the area's nightlife, with free VIP passes to the island's clubs, through student programs like Student City, headquartered at Grand Paradise Bavaro and Barcelo Punta Cana.
It's no wonder that Cancun has maintained its spot in the top three. With its average daily temperature of 80 degrees and sprawling beaches, this Mexican destination offers students an abundance of nightlife and all-inclusive resorts including food and drink. Students can also appreciate the exchange rate swings in our favor south of the border.
Jamaica's Montego Bay is particularly exquisite during the spring break season. We recommend spending the day Fletcher Beach and Doctor's Cave Beach then heading for Gloucester Avenue (known as the "hip strip") where the nightlife is on full-force within the area's number of clubs.
Those who love Mexico may also consider the fashionable Puerto Vallarta, where chic restaurants and shops line cobblestone streets. Take in the southern sun on the beach or get a glimpse of the local tequila manufacturing. We love the dining scene, to get a full taste of what this resort town has to offer.
South Padre Island
With every Tuesday Mardi Gras Tuesday, there is much spring to celebrate this spring, the least of which is South Padre's location off the Gulf Coast of Texas. Coca-Cola Beach is popular among students, as is the island's plethora of reasonable food and all-inclusive offers on hand here.
While every Southern California town is the personnification of wonderful weather, San Diego takes it a little further — along 70 miles of beaches. Wander along the boardwalk or stroll through Balboa Park. Later, discover the nightlife on Garnett Avenue or by visiting the Gaslamp District.
Remarkable for its party scene, Miami is also a hub in international cuisine, culture, art and shopping. Although the city is known for its luxury scene, this Latin-influence city is worth doing some digging for students looking for more modest accommodations and dining options.
Panama City Beach
Kenny Chesney, 50 Cent and Sean Kingston have frequented this Florida center. We like Panama City Beach's main strip and its flurry of beach bars, hotels, mini golf centers and souvenir supply. Then venture into the city's deep to explore its well-known wreck-diving site.
Mickey Mouse aside, Orlando pulses with its all-inclusive resorts, featuring luxurious pools and a bounty of food and drink. Go to Universal Orlando, where the Mardi Gras nights include parades, streets performers, Cajun cuisine and concerts among other free events - all included with the entrance price.
Don't let its snow-town status deter you from considering this top 10 pick. We love its exchange rate, legal drinking age of 18 and the European influence throughout, along with its wonderful food. During the day, of course, experience the Laurentians first-hand by skis or on a snowboard. Then, choose from any of the 300 nightclubs, bars, pubs or lounges throughout the town.