January 12, 2012
Spring Break Planning
Alpha Delta Phi
For those of us who attend this fine institution, while we all do love Ann Arbor, there are few things more important than how we are going to escape the cold at the end of February. While many of us have already booked our exotic trips, we all know there are some who are scrambling over last minute plans. So I decided to look at some of the pros and cons of the many options available to Greeks. (Warning: These opinions come from a man who values heat, beaches, brothers, and an unlimited time to enjoy some fruity frozen drinks.)
1. Staying at Home - While most of us love our parents and fully enjoyed our high school, this option is the worst to me. You will be bored out of your mind, none of your friends will be home, and let's be honest, your parents will have rules for you. I fully suggest you do everything in your power to do anything else. On the plus side, you can catch up on sleep.
2. Staying in Ann Arbor - While this option is better than home, it is also something you should try your hardest to avoid. Supposedly campus is a ghost land (I wouldn't know) but at least you can set your own schedule here and maybe do a Windsor run on the weekends.
Now we move onto the travel options.
Going Somewhere Warm in North America
1. Florida - While this option seems great from a price stand point, it really falls short in reality. The first issue is the weather, because we take our break the last week of February, it is not automatic that the weather will be great. It could be, but it also could be mid-60s and rainy. When I pay for the sun and beach, I want to be sure of mid 80s and sun. Secondly, since the Florida option is rarely all-inclusive it is really not that cheap. After all, with the tabs we tend to run up, we aren't going to be saving money. Also, seeing as it is still in the United States, the drinking age is still 21 and while that no longer impacts me, it does many Greeks.
2. Hawaii - I have never been there and I have never heard of it being a big break location. It is warm, but it seems expensive and far away.
3. Cancun - Now we are starting to get to the big spring break destinations. Cancun was built to be a destination location and that is what it is. While it is a college hot spot, it is also a location for many other vacations of all ages. I personally did it for spring break last year and had a blast. The weather was perfect all week and the clubs were varied and interesting. However, it did lack a pure collegiate feel as all locations do in late February. Some people fear the situation in Mexico with the gangs and their drugs wars, though personally I didn't find it to be an issue. My group did however get to deal with a couple corrupt cops and a less than stellar hospital system, so always remember your in a foreign country.
4. Puerto Vallarta - I have never been here either, however I have heard it described basically as "Cancun on the Pacific." From the many Greeks I do know who have visited there, they think it is a bit more collegiate and Greek. It has a reputation as a party location and to be honest sounds fantastic.
5. Punta Cana - This gem in the DR gets my vote this year for the simple reason that it is where I will be. I have never been there before but again, the comparisons I have heard have been basically the "Cancun of the Dominican" except with fewer clubs. Personally, I am not a huge clubber so this sounds great. The weather looks great, the hotel looks great, and I am super ready to go.
6. Other exotic locations - The above three are the big spring break destinations. I do know some that swear by the more adult locations ranging from Jamaica to some of the very small islands in the Caribbean. While these locations are generally beautiful and very relaxing, they will feel less college-like and tend to be more pricey.
7. Vegas - Eh, it may not be that warm but let's face it, you're not in Vegas for the weather. If you are 21 and looking to gamble like there is no tomorrow, go to shows, hit the clubs, and don't mind spending some serious bank, this place is for you. After all, everyone needs to try Vegas.
Skiing (out of state- in state doesn't justify a column)
1. Out East (Stowe, Mad River Glenn, Tremblant, etc.) - The saying generally goes "The best snow is in the west, the best mountains are in Europe, and the best skiers come from out east." The point of this is that the snow out east isn't as that special and makes you tough. Personally, tough isn't what I want for my spring break, but some of the resorts are incredible experiences. Tremblant can be a party haven and it's close to Montreal. Basically, these are solid options if you're on a super budget and need to drive.
2. Europe - The Alps are legendary and yet obviously pricey. You will get the cultured experience and it will be very memorable. Heck, maybe you can even visit Paris or Rome while you are at it.
3. West (Not including Utah and Tahoe) - Honestly, the skiing doesn't get much better anywhere else in the world. You have your famous resorts, like Aspen and Vail where you may run into famous personalities. You have the pure altitude of A. Basin, Telluride, and Taos. You have the majesty of Big Sky and Jackson Hole. And, you have the lift lines of Summit County Colorado. Okay, the last one isn't good but all these resorts are great options however they pail in comparison to ...
4. Utah - To me, it is the finest ski