A survey conducted by STA Travel -- one of the largest student and youth travel organization in the world -- found that 78 percent of student travelers are still planning on a Spring Break rip this year, despite the current economy.
According to the survey, students are still planning to go on Spring Break, but the destinations this year will be closer to home with an estimated budget of between $500 and $1,000. The preferred locations remain traditional domestic Spring Break locales like the Bahamas, South Padre Island and Mexico, with only 15 percent saying they would make the trek to Europe.
"We aren't surprised that students are still planning to travel," said Kristen Celko, vice president of marketing and e-commerce at STA Travel. "The popular locations may be closer to home and the budget less than in previous years, but Spring Break is a tradition and students are learning to become savvier with their money."
The STA e-mail survey was distributed to more than 10,000 student travelers who have taken a trip in the past year.
Beaches across America will again be full of students this March with 65 percent of respondents saying they will be going to Mexico, the Caribbean or a beach in the United States.
The most popular destinations for beach-goers in the United States were South Padre Island and Panama City, at 24 percent and 22 percent, respectively. Miami was also high on students' lists at 19 percent.
In Mexico, Cancun was the top choice for travelers at 55 percent of respondents, followed by Cabo and Acapulco at 16 percent each.
The majority of travelers opting for the Caribbean -- 44 percent -- are making their way to the clear skies and blue waters of the Bahamas. The second choice destinations for those heading to the islands are the Dominican Republic at 23 percent, and Jamaica at 22 percent.
With students looking for the best value for their vacation dollar, 65 percent of respondents said they are booking early in October or November. By booking early, students can select from more travel options and lock-in the current price, without having to worry about the price increasing and blowing their budget.
"Booking early allows students to budget and save for their vacation," said Celko. "If they wait until the last minute, their ideal Spring Break may not be available or may have increased in price."
Many of the Tour Operators are offering students who book a Spring Break package to a hot spot like Cancun or the Bahamas early, additional perks like free drinks and meals during their trip.
Also there are Tour Operators that will try to pass off a slice of pizza one night and a hot dog another night as "Meals Included" or as a "Meal Plan". This is expectable to some travelers, just beware.