Spring Break destinations: from scandalous to dangerous

Springtime means blooming flowers, chirping birds, warmer weather and thousands of college students traveling to destinations across the country and abroad to party, drink and have casual encounters.

Although many Saddleback College students work and use their time off to relax, a poster in the campus library gave students an anonymous place to voice their spring break travel plans.

Destinations on the poster ranged from Florida to Mexico to South Carolina, while other students used the time to visit prospective campuses or stay home and “Netflix until my eyes bleed.” Whatever the vacation plans were, some destinations range from “trashy” to downright dangerous.

Coed.com, a media site dedicated to “college life,” compiles a list of the “trashiest” spring break destinations every year. The list contains party destinations across the country and internationally.

Several of the trashiest spring break destinations on the list are just a few hours drive from Saddleback College.

For example, San Diego is a relatively cheap destination that ranked number six on Coed’s 2015 list. Since an altercation between spring breakers and law enforcement in 2007, alcohol is no longer permitted on beaches.

Las Vegas has ranked number one on the list for several years including 2016. Nearly all hotels on the strip offer daytime pool parties outfitted with swim-up bars and live DJs. According to Lavish Vegas, if visitors aren’t dressed well, which means high heels and bikinis, they should not expect access to pool parties like Encore Beach Club or Wet Republic.

Both in the U.S. and internationally, several party destinations have turned from swim-up bars and beach parties to violent and dangerous.

The State Department released a strategy guide for international spring breakers to avoid “dangerous situations.” In order to avoid a spring break “horror story,” visitors should not drink excessively, use drugs or take unmarked taxis, the statement said.

South of the border, once extremely popular spring breaker destination Acapulco, Mexico is pushing tourists away due to the increase in cartel-related violence. This year, five people were killed in the week leading up to Easter. Last year American spring breakers were urged to avoid Mexico altogether after 43 Mexican students were killed in alleged cartel-related violence.

Last year, Florida’s Panama City Beach, the self-proclaimed “spring break capitol of the world” resulted in the shooting of seven people, and an alleged video-taped “gang rape” on the beach in broad daylight, according to CNN. Coed’s list suggests Florida has the highest concentration of destinations, with Key West, Destin, Ft. Meyers Beach, Orlando, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach and Panama City Beach to name a few.