March 10 2010 by Chris McGinnis
Every year at about this time, the travel industry begins to shake off a long winter's nap. With daffodils and crocuses starting to peak through the slush, it's time for road warriors to prepare for the spring break onslaught.
Based on a miserably cold and wet winter across the country, I'm thinking pent-up demand and the magnetic force of the sun will combine to make this spring break a big one.
Here's what business travelers need to know over the next few weeks:
- Be prepared for surprises. When thousands of students descend upon an airport or a resort town, you should expect long lines, raucous crowds and craziness. Crowds can swell quickly in major southern airport hubs (think Atlanta, Dallas, Houston), or at your standard spring break destinations throughout Florida, the southern Gulf Coast of Texas and San Diego.
- Also beware of Mexican resorts such as Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan where lower than normal prices are attracting the budget-conscious college crowd this year.
- When making hotel reservation, call ahead to determine if it is hosting any large spring break groups or parties. This is a good time to book a room away from the hotel pool or other common areas.
- Spring break calendars show that peak weeks on the party circuit will be this week, as well as the weeks of March 8 and March 15. This means students will most likely pack airports and slow security lines on or around the weekends of March 12-14 and March 19-21.
- Once the college kids get back to class, business travelers should also prepare for a busy Easter weekend (Sunday, April 4) when families typically hit the roads and skies due to elementary and high school breaks.