It’s that time of year again. Students across the country are scurrying to find the hottest spot to escape to for their spring break vacations. For years, these partygoers have been relying on travel agencies to book their accommodations for the weeklong extravaganza.
But now, more and more potential spring breakers have been turning to the computer to aid them in a perfect search for decent living while away.
“Using a computer is definitely the easiest,” said Katherine Gourley, a senior at Penn State University. “All the information is right there and it seems hotels are more likely to give discounts if you book over a particular website.”
The sites pertaining to travelling needs often have listings of hotels throughout the country. Along with a description of the hotel, the sites include costs, special facilities, contact information and reservation applications.
Travelcity.com and Studentadvantage.com are two sites that also give facts on hotels outside the perimeters of the United States. These locations are quite helpful in forming an opinion on a certain resort. Travel City uses a five-star rating system, while Student Advantage gives testimonials by fellow students who have stayed in the hotel you are interested in reserving.
The most popular destinations change yearly so Studentadvantage.com has set up this year’s top five hot spots. According to their list Cancun ranks as the number one getaway locale, followed by: Panama City, Daytona Beach, Orlando and the South Padre Islands in Texas. These locations dominate websites geared specifically for spring break.
Springbreaktravel.com and Springbreakdirect.com are just two areas designed for the needs of spring breakers.
“Reserving hotels over the computer is just a matter of whether or not you will actually get it,” said Brenda Quinn, a travel consultant for Bucks County’s Journey’s Unlimited. The availability of booking over the Internet may look plentiful, but can be a difficult search when it comes to attaining a room.
Trouble can come just about anywhere, whether it be through a computer, calling a hotel yourself, or using one of the many fliers found around campuses that are aimed at students which detail a magnificent and cheap vacation.
“I had called a hotel myself and booked a room using my credit card. They wound up charging me an extra night, saying I had made another reservation, which I had never cancelled. I’m still fighting with them and this was last spring break,” said Brittni Harmon, a college senior.
Temple senior, Nicholas Veneziale, has also gone through the experience of having to rearrange spring break plans due to reservation problems.
“I went through a group that was using a spring break flier, the kind that (says) the more people you get the cheaper (the trip) is. Well, when we went down to Cancun our hotel was overbooked, so they had to put us in another place. We lucked out because it was much nicer, but it was still an inconvenience,” Veneziale said.
“We always say, who are you going to go to with problems,” Quinn said.
One circumstance with booking through the Internet is the surprise difficulties a person may be forced to deal with.
“We make the reservation and make sure the customer looks over the confirmation before initializing anything,” Quinn said.
Studentadvantage.com suggests using a travel agent to assure safety and reliability.
If the computer seems to be the best ticket to finding affordable hotel accommodations, double-checking with the contact information is pertinent.