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Spring break spots for adults

You'll be able to dodge the kids at these destinations.

By Karen Datko Mar 3, 2010 11:58AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Plane tickets might cost more this year, but if you’re flexible on days (and not too picky about destinations), there are both spring break hotel bargains to be had -- and strategies to avoid partying college students.


Airfare for between Feb. 28 and March 31 is up 9% this spring, to an average of $349, while hotels are down 15%, reports Bing Travel, Microsoft’s travel search site. What does that mean for you? Think: travel jujitsu.


“College students tend to go to the same places every year -- Cancun, Palm Springs, South Beach,” says Erik Torkells, editor of travel review site “They like to stay where all the action is.”

For grown-ups, that might mean considering the Big Apple, where vacancies have brought down the prices on three- and four-star properties. Or a more family-oriented area, like Orlando. If you’re really set on the beach, you could have to shell out for a high-end resort students can’t afford, or head for hotels and vacation rentals at smaller towns nearby.

Here are three destinations for a bargain spring break:


Hawaii. Putting aside the recent tsunami scare, Hawaii is still a budget-buster for most college students because of the long-haul flight. But with peak travel season extending through April, there will be bargains -- and crowds, says Barbara Messing, vice president for deal-tracking site Outrigger and Ohana resorts, which operate 23 properties on four islands, have dropped rates by up to 65% for travel through April 30. Prices for a standard room at the Ohana Waikiki West start at $79 per night. East Coast residents may be priced out, though: Round-trip flights from Los Angeles start at about $500.


Orlando. College students take over many of Florida’s beaches, but the theme parks remain the domain of families, says Ian Ford, founder of travel deal site If you can avoid traveling in late March or early April over Easter weekend, there are deals on park properties, too. Disney cut room prices by 25% to 40% through March 27, and then starting again April 11. You’ll pay as little as $79 for a standard room. Round-trip flights from New York start at $175.

New York. New York came in third on student travel site’s tally of top spring break destinations, based on the number of flights booked. Tourists are unlikely to notice the influx, however. “If students come to New York, the city absorbs them,” Torkells says. “There isn’t critical mass.” currently has discounts ranging from 20% to 40% on three- and four-star New York properties. A deluxe king room at The Alex costs as little as $209 per night instead of $349 (a 40% discount), while a superior king room at the Park Central New York Hotel is $179 instead of $239 (25%).


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