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Spring Break Packages - Teasers, Incentives, And the Best Trips

Jun 1, 2008
These days when we look at advertisements for spring break packages online, on television, in newspapers, or magazines we see many incentives thrown at us to help us choose one package over another. Twenty hours of free drinks, free pizza at Pizza Hut while your there, free entry to exclusive parties and clubs...these are an example of what you may see posted with the ads. These are called travel teasers. They help one travel agency establish dominance over another by giving away something you can't get from the other guy. This is usually done when the basic elements of the package have a preset price that can't be changed due to contract restrictions from the hotels, airlines, or cruise lines. Most of these incentives and travel teasers turn out to be less valuable than they appear.

It's important to cut through these teasers to reveal the important elements of each package. If it's an air/hotel package try to concentrate on the price your paying for those two elements. Food may be included if it is an all-inclusive spring break package. If so, this also must be taken into consideration when a price is given. It's normal for food to add a significant amount to the price.

Some college students may be looking at a cruise/hotel package. These are typically called cruise and stay packages. Bahamas cruises usually offer a cruise and stay package since a Bahama cruise is usually no longer than seven hours each way. Again, look at the cost for the cruise and hotel only when comparing to other spring break deals.

Incentives are great if you view them from the proper perspective. The price shown is what you are paying for your hotel stay and round-trip ticket on a cruise or airline. If by chance the incentives and teasers turn out to be useful that's great, if not you didn't pay for them. Travelers who think they are paying for the incentives are usually the people that feel cheated when they return from the spring break vacation.

Once you break through to the nucleus of the package, you still have a problem. You need to be able to predict the best spring break destination. Ten to fifteen years ago it was all about Panama City and Daytona Beach. This was a cheap spring break vacation. Gas prices had not skyrocketed yet and you didn't spend hundreds of dollars driving that Ford Bronco or Jeep Grand Cherokee to Florida and back. The hotel rooms were cheap and you didn't need a birth certificate or passport to go. Also, it was much easier to convince your parents to let you go to Florida. Letting their baby boy or girl leave the country always makes a parent uneasy and they felt like they could reach you quickly if a problem should arise.

Cancun, Mexico had its moment in the sun from 1992 to 2005. This was generally fueled by buckets of money pouring into MTV and other entertainment firms from Mexico. You couldn't turn on MTV during March without seeing college kids screaming and dancing in Cancun on spring break...drinks in hand. They sold the idea that Mexico was the number one destination for spring break and college students believed them. Every year saw bigger numbers than the previous. Hotels were booked out seven months prior and it seemed like spring break tourism couldn't get any better, but it was all about to change. The old law of supply and demand combined with mother nature would soon give college students a new spring break destination.

2006 was the year the Bahamas took over, and it has been that way ever since. They typical college student could no longer afford to go to Cancun. The hotels had increased their nightly rates to a level that was no longer affordable. Then in late 2005 the eye of a massive hurricane moved directly over Cancun. The lobby areas of most of the hotels has four feet of standing water. The hotels and beaches had suffered many millions of dollars in damages.

The Bahamas was affordable, it was just a short distance off the coast of Florida, and it was beautiful. Bahama cruises were suddenly full and the hotels were getting sold out in November. Parents liked the fact that Grand Bahamas and Nassau had a lower crime rate than Mexico and they didn't need to send tons of money with their kids to pay for overpriced food, activities, and drinks. The Bahamas had a variety of reasonably priced restaurants to choose from.

It's hard to say where college spring break students will be during spring break 2009, but one fact remains. The pictures and videos shown of MTV spring break will look exactly the same regardless of the background. Spring break will live on somewhere.
About the Author
Francis Copa is the author of this article. www.BahamaSun.com is a great source for the best spring break packages.
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