CHICAGO, Feb. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Spring is in the air and is revealing the latest in spring break travel trends and top destinations for college students, up-and-comers (adults ages 25-34) and families.

According to the Spring Break survey,i 42 percent of college students and 36 percent of up-and-comers are planning to take a trip this spring break, compared to 11 percent of families. While fewer families are opting to travel during this busy season, the average family budget for spring break travel is up slightly from last year. In contrast, college students and up-and-comers are spending less on spring break, with college students’ budgets decreasing by 28 percent compared to last year and 90 percent of up-and-comers are willing to consider changing their destination if it means saving money. Budgets aside, found consensus across all groups on spring break activities. All three demographics prioritized relaxation and spending time with family and friends over parties and outdoor activities.

“For spring break vacations, California and Florida remain popular destinations but we’re also seeing an uptick in interest for international travel, in particular from the up-and-comer demographic,” said Justine McDonald, a travel expert. “Our survey also found that while a majority of families reported they actively avoid destinations geared towards college kids, less than 10 percent of college students say they are focused on partying when they travel over spring break.”



For college students, traditional beach destinations including Orlando, San Diego, and Myrtle Beach continue to top the list of spring break hot spots that won’t break the bank. For the more active spring breaker, Colorado has emerged as a favorite, with both Denver and Colorado Springs topping the list as gateway cities to Colorado’s many ski destinations. 

 DestinationAverage Daily 
Hotel Rateii
 Orlando, Fla.$97$329
 San Diego, Calif.$112$429
 Myrtle Beach, S.C.$100$379
 Atlanta, Ga.$107$317
 Seattle, Wash.$114$344
 Portland, Ore.$101$365
 Denver, Colo.$105$305
 Lake Tahoe, Calif.$113$399
 Colorado Springs, Colo.$73$403
  • College students record the lowest average budget of $684, a 28 percent decrease from last year.

  • A large percentage (35 percent) of college students still receive financial help from their parents to pay for spring break.

  • 93 percent of college students (and 90 percent of up-and-comers) would be willing to consider changing their destination if it meant saving money on spring break. 


This year, the up-and-comer crowd (adults ages 25-34) is taking a non-traditional approach to spring break travel with more international destinations including Phuket, Thailand and Tokyo, Japan as well as off-the-beaten-path mountain picks like Bozeman, Montana. For up-and-comers, when it comes to city trips, it’s all about tradeoffs. The reasonably priced airfare to domestic hubs of Las Vegas and Chicago allows this group of travelers to splurge on hotel accommodations. 

 DestinationAverage Daily
Hotel Rate
 Riviera Maya, Mexico$126$ 512
 Phuket, Thailand$104$ 652
 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico$110$ 498
 Las Vegas, Nev.$175$ 370
 Tokyo, Japan$156$ 934
 Chicago, Ill.$175$ 308
 Albuquerque, N.M.$123$ 440
 Flagstaff, Ariz.$153$ 509
 Bozeman, Mont.$126$ 554
  • The average budget of the up-and-comer is $995, a 14 percent decrease from 2016.

  • The majority (54 percent) of up-and-comers are splitting the cost of spring break with a significant other.

  • Spending time with family and friends, relaxation, and outdoor activities are the top priorities for up-and-comers.


It’s no surprise families heavily favor popular markets of Florida and California this spring break given climate is the top driver of destinations for this group. However, for some families, spring break isn’t only an opportunity to relax in the sun but also a chance to create memories through experiences. This year the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park rose to the top for families hoping to get outside and do some sightseeing.

 DestinationAverage Daily
Hotel Rate
 Panama City, Fla.$193$528
 San Juan, Puerto Rico$234$457
 Daytona Beach, Fla.$187$439
 Los Angeles, Calif.$211$360
 San Francisco, Calif.$214$359
 Rome, Italy$213$710
 Grand Canyon, Ariz.$210$395
 Salt Lake City, Utah$109$390
 Yosemite National Park, Calif.$185$387
  • Families record the highest average budget of $1436, a 2 percent increase from last year.
  • Nearly 80 percent of families avoid spring break destinations known to attract a college-age crowd.
  • The majority of families (55 percent) say they plan to drive to their spring break destinations this year.

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i Three Google Consumer Surveys conducted 01.26.17-01.30.17 “College students” defined as 768 Android smartphone users 18-24 years old; “Up-and-comers” defined as 753 Android smartphone users 25-34 years old; “Families” defined as 751 internet users 25-54 years old with children under 18 years old.
ii All hotel data is based on standalone hotels booked on Orbitz & CheapTickets between 12.01.17 – 02.07.17 for travel between 03.01.17 – 04.30.17
iii All flight data is based on standalone, round trip flights booked on Orbitz & CheapTickets between 12.01.17 – 02.07.17 for travel between 03.01.17 – 04.30.17

For more information, contact:

Riley McBride Smith
Allison + Partners
+1 202.591.1125