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Everyday is Spring Break

May 13, 2009

So…this is my very first blog.  After 5 years in the student travel industry…I can’t believe I haven’t blogged on my experiences.  I live spring break 365 days a year and help about 2000 college students have the safest experience of a lifetime every March.   Alot of people ask me how do you “live spring break”?  There are only a couple of ways for me to explain it.  In college I was totally ripped off by a travel agency.  A week before we were to leave on our trip to Cancun, they went out of business and didn’t let anyone know.  They had purchased our airline tickets and so we didn’t know anything was wrong until we got to Mexico.  Once on-site, we arrived at our hotel only to find out we had no reservation and the travel agency hadn’t paid for the rooms.  Did I forget to mention I was there with 160 friends and I was the one who set-up the trip through the travel agent?  Needless to say, we had to go pay more money, find a hotel, and I got my ass kicked everynight by my angry friends.  It was at this point I learned what “a reputable tour operator” was.  Moving forward, I developed a close network of reputable tour operators and began to sell for them.  Today I only use one tour operator as they allow me to negotiate rates even lower than web based travel portals due to their buying power and they have been in business for 25 years with a flawless track record of success.  I normally start helping students organize their trips in June every year all the way until their spring break in March. People ask me why/how I get students to book their trips a full summer before they travel?   Because students travel in groups for spring break, when you book your group early it affords you several advantages: 1. Lower pricing…it allows me to purchase flights early and save you big $$$  2. Best hotel accomadations and rooming configurations (hotels do sell out as well as the premium ocean front rooms). 3.  PAYMENT PLANS! If your trip is going to cost you $1000, it’s nice to pay for it on your own terms, rather than coming up with $1000 a month before your due to depart. The best early deals are found here!

My daily routine involves traveling  to college campuses across the country, educating students on destinations and help them negotiate the best value for their money.  How do I make money to survive and live this dream?  I get paid  by a travel vendor for referring them business.  After the sales season, I go on-location for spring break and assist the students who travelled with me.  Myself and my colleagues do an orientation when the students arrive on-site that educates them on making safe choices, what to do in emergency situations, and best of all…where all the parties are located.   What do I do after spring break?  I prepare for next year, take some time off and do a bit of traveling myself.  I visit my family and friends in Chicago and spend time at the lake house.

Going into the 2010 spring break season I have a great outlook.  YES our economy as a country is down, but student travel is up! Statistics show that there are currently 14.3 million students enrolled in about 5,000 colleges in the USA alone, and that each year over 715,000 (or 5%) of these students spend $2.1 billion in the travel sector. That’s a lot of money being spent by an often overlooked slice of the market. In fact, students are often looked at as too young, too busy, and too broke to be travelers of any worth, but in reality, the student travel market represents 23%of the entire travel market. Students took over two million trips last year!  A large percentage of those trips are taken during the spring break season (generally Feb. – Apr.).

Biggest Destinations for this past season (2009):

1. Panama City Beach, Florida

2. Cancun, Mexico

3. Freeport,Bahamas

My forecast for 2010 spring break destinations: considering the perceived turmoil in Mexico (noticed I said perceived) I think U.S. destinations such as Panama City Beach, Florida and South Padre Island, Texas will continue to grow.  Another (often overlooked) old school spring break destination Negril, JAMAICA is going to grow leaps and bounds this year.  Jamaica was one of the original spring break destinations.  MTV hosted some of their first few spring break concert series in Jamaica back in the early 90’s and it is a beautiful place to visit.  Not to mention the beaches and parties hosted in Negril are legendary. Pricing for Jamaica is considerably lower when compared to Mexico  So that is my prediction.  Cancun and Acapulco will still be popular.  The drug related violence is NOT happening in Cancun, Acapulco, or Puerto Vallarta (which are the most popular college spring break destinations). 

If your currently in college and interested in capitalizing on an opportunity to earn cash on your campus, and earn a FREE spring break trip, please be sure to hit me up. I have a full marketing program at zero cost to you that will aid you in organizing trips on your campus at the GUARANTEED lowest pricing around. 

If your a student traveler and you need someone on your side to help you find the best deals for safe travel during spring break  at the GUARANTEED LOWEST PRICING, feel free to contact me.

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