First U.S. spring break vacationers are less than six weeks away

Tourism operators are struggling to keep up with the influx of tourists for the high season, so they might be shocked to know that the first wave of U.S. college students on spring break will begin in less than six weeks.

Most of the spring break weeks are in March, but some schools have scheduled the start of the traditional vacation as early as Feb. 23. The wave of young tourists ends sometime in mid-April.

St. John’s University in Queens has spring break set for Feb. 23 to 28. Valparaiso University in Indiana has a two-week break scheduled starting Feb. 28.

Typical student tourists are seeking sun, waves and alcohol. However, some schools use the break time for short courses, and many of these are overseas.

Students study the environment, archaeology and other specialties under the guidance of a teacher.

Usually the U.S. State Department issues an advisory for students who may travel outside the United States. “Don’t let your escape from dorm life and research papers turn into a Spring Break horror story,” the department warns.

The advisory urges students to avoid having drugs in their possession.

Costa Rican tourism operators, because of air fares and location, find that attracting spring breakers is highly competitive. Tamarindo, Montezuma and Manual Antonio are the favored spots in Costa Rica. But students also can go skiing or find warmer weather along the U.S. gulf coast or in Florida.

The 1960 movie “Where the Boys Are” enshrined Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as the place to be.

For marijuana, they have the several U.S. states where personal use is legal.

Although Costa Rica does not seem to be promoting itself strongly yet as a spring break destination, México, the Bahamas and other Caribbean hot spots are, as well as U.S. locations, including California.

This 1960 movie with Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis and  Yvette Mimieux, among others, solidified the spring break tradition.

This 1960 movie with Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis and Yvette Mimieux, among others, solidified the spring break tradition.

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