Spring break

From Academic Kids

Spring break or Reading Week is a week-long recess from studying in early spring at universities in the United States, Canada, Japan, Korea, China and other countries. It is traditionally a time when students travel to a tropical location and party hard for a week. Recently, many students have begun traveling to other countries, such as Mexico and Jamaica. There's sometimes unusual things going on: increased drinking and sexuality, or public nudity.

In the U.S., Spring break ranges from the end of February to mid-April, but most schools are out the first two weeks of March. Starting in September, leading spring break companies such as, Trip Invite (http://www.tripinvite.com/springbreak) go to campuses to promote trips for the coming spring break.

In Japan, the spring break starts with the end of the academic year in March and ends on April 1 with the beginning of a new academic year.

Spring break is also celebrated by K-12 institutions, and is also known as March break. March break is invariably one or both of the middle two weeks of March.

Fort Lauderdale, Florida was once a notorious spring break destination in the United States. Residents of the area became so upset at the damage done by vacationers, however, that the local government passed laws restricting parties. Spring break partygoers responded by moving to the much more liberal Daytona Beach area. Fort Lauderdale suffered a recession as a result of the self-imposed boycott, but the local hotel industry survived by catering to the retirement population.

The most popular spring break spots today include Cancun, Jamaica, Acapulco, South Padre Island, and Panama City Beach. About 1,000,000 students go on spring break to these locations (USA Today, 2003-01-05). Most students purchase specialized packaged tours. There are several logistics companies that charter airplanes and buy large blocks of hotel rooms to offer the deep discounts most college kids need. Prices range from about $600 to $1400 which includes airfare, hotel, and 50 hours of open bar.

Alternative Spring Break trips are becoming more popular. For the more socially-conscious student, package trips are available to help people in poor countries, experience nature, and other "non-partying" activities.

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