You’ve planned a relaxing and much-needed vacation to the Caribbean, only to realize spring break falls on the same dates. Spring break can be a lot of fun…if you’re a college student. Otherwise, from early March until April, partying crowds can really disrupt your well-earned R&R.
According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 100,000 American teens and young adults travel during spring break each year, bringing with them a fun-loving, party-going atmosphere filled with drinking games, all-day beach parties, late-night dancing and more. If this doesn’t sound like your thing, you’ll have to plan accordingly. Luckily there are many beach vacation options for non-spring breakers.
Here’s how you can make the most of your Caribbean beach vacation without running into this wild crowd.
1. Location, Location, Location!
The first and most obvious choice you have when it comes to avoiding spring break crowds is choosing a destination that doesn’t cater to them. Places like Nassau in the Bahamas, Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Montego Bay in Jamaica cater to the college crowd during the month of March, so look elsewhere. You’ll find plenty of locations offering a more secluded, less disruptive beach vacation experience, like Turks & Caicos, St. Lucia, Anguilla, and Costa Alegre—which is a great place to go for a grown-up getaway in Mexico.
2. Book an Upscale Resort or Hotel
Okay, okay, so you’ve already booked the flight to a place where you might bump into a few (or a few hundred) rowdy spring breakers. You still have one more card up your sleeve—the hotel. Not every hotel is opening its doors to students on spring break (and some of the ones that are will let you know right on their website. Just check out the “spring break notice” on the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach page). If you have any doubts, just call and ask if the hotel you plan to book has any deals in place with a spring break tour group. Otherwise, stick with upscale, adults-only resorts like the Excellence Playa Mujeres or an upscale family resort like The Reef Atlantis. Remember—even though adults-only can translate to 16 and up, these places are often too pricey for tight-walleted college students.
3. Pick Excursions That Spring Breakers Avoid
If you still run the risk of bumping into spring breakers after choosing your accommodations (maybe they’re all staying one hotel over), choose your activities wisely. Excursions built around water sports or bar crawls are probably not a good idea, but planning day trips built around cultural sites, museums, or anywhere that’s not close to a bustling hotel zone (and planning them early) will attract a more low-key crowd. At the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, you can visit an exclusive private island where flamingos hang out by the ocean and mingle with the casual and quiet sunbathers, paradise found.