When you think of Spring Break, it’s easy to picture kegs of beer, rowdy college students, and certain beaches on the East Coast that will go unnamed. But for the many students who have already had their fill of partying, and for the many families that are too busy to see each other during the rest of the year, it’s also a great opportunity for everyone to reconnect. When you factor that this opportunity usually only also occurs during the holidays, when prices are at their peak, it’s not wonder that so many are opting for a family spring break instead of the usual, beer-fuelled affair that’s honestly become a little cliché (dare I say passé?) at this point.
Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t party on a family spring break. These destinations were specifically chosen because they give college kids a chance to go out and meet people their age if they want, while also allowing families to spend some quality time together too – whether that means relaxing, going on fun excursions, or even hitting up swanky bars and casinos together (hey, what better way for parents and students to connect on a new, adult level?). Beautiful beaches, great food, a little culture, and, of course, amazing villas fall into the criteria too.
5. Saint Martin
Starting with a versatile option, Saint Martin is an island with so many different faces that it’s sure to have something to appeal to everyone. Students lucky enough to travel during the SXM Music Festival in mid-March will find tons of like-minded party-goers, but either way hot spots in Orient Bay, Simpson Bay and across the island keep the party jumping all year long. Families looking to relax amid all this nightlife will love the villas in Terres Basses, though – a quiet, gated community with some of the best beaches on the island. It’s also close to some of Saint Martin’s best bars and casinos, in case some wily parents want to teach their college kid how to play craps (or the other way around), and some of the best food in the Caribbean too.
4. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
With some of the best beaches in the Caribbean according to UNESCO, Punta Cana is a great destination year round. It’s proximity to the US, though, means that it’s also a hot destination for Spring Breakers, which means lots of beach parties and nightclub events hosted by groups like Student City. That said, families can also reserve a safe haven from all the noise in the Punta Cana or Cap Cana Resorts, where you’ll find quiet beach clubs, great restaurants, and large, modern villas that are an amazing value considering how many people they can accommodate. Throw in a host of professionally-run excursions and fun, affordable perks like having a private chef cook your meals and snacks for you and you have a recipe for an unforgettable Spring Break.
3. Montego Bay, Jamaica
It’s no secret that Jamaicans love a good party, which is why so many flock to the island to enjoy its food, music and vibes. Throw in the beautiful beaches and great nightspots of Montego Bay and it’s no surprise that so many student travel groups organise trips and events on the island, with boat parties being an especially popular way for young people from around the world to meet each other. That said, if you want to escape all that noise, country clubs and resorts like the Tryall Club and Round Hill offer some of the most relaxing, peaceful, and luxurious environments in the Caribbean, especially when you consider that their villas are among the best in Montego Bay and come fully staffed with friendly waitresses, helpful butlers, amazing chefs, and more. Plus they’re great golf destinations. Who knows? This time the kid might win.
2. Cancun or Playa del Carmen, Mexico
This one should come as no surprise. Cancun’s always been a spring break hot spot, and there’s no sign that 2017’s going to break that reputation. Hotels like the Oasis and the Krystal are known for being 24/7 hot spots for college kids, so there’ll be no secret where the party’s at. If you want to be near all that action, getting a beautiful villa nearby the Cancun hotel strip might be a good idea. While you’ll still have plenty of privacy that way, those who want a more low-key experience would do better by renting a villa in Playa del Carmen, where the beaches will be significantly calmer than Cancun. Either way, excursions to the Mayan ruins and Cenote diving is just a short ride away, so there’ll be plenty for everyone to do besides visit Senor Frogs.
1. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Cabo has a long Spring Break season, with tons of college groups organising different events from February through to April. It’s also home to the amazing mix of beach, surfing, and scenery that made it so popular in the first place. Along with the many different areas and their different flavors, this makes Cabo the best Spring Break destination for any family looking to bond, while still letting their college student party like a rock star (if wanted). I’d recommend a villa in Pedregal for the great views, convenient location, and amazing values, but all the choice is part of what adds to Cabo’s appeal, especially during Spring Break.