Survey Says Students Plan to Travel for Spring Break Despite Current Economy

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Release Highlights: 78 percent of student travelers are still planning to get away for Spring Break 2009; 53 percent are budgeting $500 or less for their trip; Domestic locations and Central America are the destinations of choice

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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.

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A survey conducted by STA Travel -- the largest student and youth travel organization in the world -- found that 78 percent of student travelers are planning to travel for Spring Break 2009, despite the current economy.

Student travelers still want to get a tan, but the destinations are closer to home and they want to spend 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."

Hitting the Sand

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.

Booking Early

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."

Students who book a Spring Break package through STA Travel by October 31 to a hot spot like Cancun or the Bahamas will receive additional perks like free drinks and meals during their trip.

The e-mail survey was distributed to more than 10,000 student travelers who have taken a trip in the past year.

About STA Travel

STA Travel (http://www.statravel.com) is the largest student and youth travel organization in the world serving over two and a half million students each year. With retail locations in the United States, a 24-hour call center and an online presence on http://www.statravel.com, students have access to comprehensive travel products and services including discounted student airfare, accommodations and tours, discount cards, travel insurance, foreign currency exchange, international cell phones, and visa application services. STA Travel is the exclusive distributor of the ISIC card and the Blue Ticket™ in the United States. STA Travel also has extensive resources and expertise to service group clients with its International Programs and Group Services division. The company is a certified ASTA Green Member.

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Patrick Evans
STA Travel
(972) 538-8843
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