Seniors plan group trips to Panama City Beach
Published: Monday, March 4, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 22:03
In a few weeks, students will be swarming to the beaches of Panama City Beach in Florida for spring break. According to Student City Representative Alixe Michaels, many of these students are coming from the university.
““About 1200 have signed up as of now through student city!” Michaels stated in an email.
These individuals, as well as others from different universities, will be partying at one of the most popular spring break vacation spots, she says.
Most are booking through StudentCity, a travel agency geared toward young adults. StudentCity offers “all-inclusive” trips to destinations such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Florida, senior Shannon Kelly says.
Kelly says by booking through StudentCity, she was offered a practical price that allowed her to make her plans together with others.
“Most of my friends are going through StudentCity because a lot of the representatives from StudentCity were Delaware students, so we get good rates and we know that a lot of our friends will be going,” Kelly says. “I think it is a popular spot because a lot of colleges go there so word spreads.”
Susan Estler, the vice president of marketing at Panama City Beach, says she attributes the popularity in part to Panama City Beach’s beautiful shoreline. In addition, she says spring breakers make their decision based on how much fun they foresee themselves having at a certain location as well as where their friends are going.
She says the destination attracts a diverse crowd of college students, which adds to the experience.
“We have sport teams, fraternities, sororities—all different types of groups spending their spring break here in Florida,” Estler says. “We don’t give any group discounts or specials, but there are always deals that you can buy for the week that you are visiting.”
Senior Josh Krinsky says he traveled to Cancun, Mexico for more than $1,000 last spring break. By comparison, he says traveling to Panama City is more “reasonable.”
“[Last year] was lot of fun, but [I] definitely needed a cheaper spring break this year,” Krinsky says. “Paying only $543 for Panama City Beach this year is definitely a more affordable price when it comes to a week for spring break.”
But Panama City Beach isn’t the only place students will be. Senior Michelle Ferguson, who will be in Panama City later this month, says she is opting to stay in the United States for spring break to be safe while still having fun. She says she has reservations about traveling to the popular spring break spot of Mexico, for instance, due to the country’s drug wars.
Ferguson says she did travel to Panama City Beach last year and noticed the spring breakers mostly consisted of seniors.
“I thought it would be awesome to go as a senior and have my entire class on the same spring break as me,” Ferguson says.
Alumni Vin Gorski, who graduated last year, says he remembers having a great time in Panama City Beach during his spring break. While some of his friends went to other destinations such as Cancun he says he does not regret booking Panama City Beach for his senior year.
He says going to the bars and meeting people outside of his immediate social circle made the experience more fun. In addition, he says he felt more comfortable vacationing in the United States.
“I felt safer staying in the country and having all the help and service workers speak English helped things go smoothly also,” Gorski says. “I’ve been to Mexico for another spring break, and I thought that staying in the country and saving money was the best option for me as a senior.”
Senior Noah Stern says he has traveled out of the country with his friends and roommates in the past and enjoyed the experience. Together with his group, he decided he wanted to take his break somewhere outside of the United States.
He says vacationing where a large portion of the senior class was headed was not a factor in his spring break planning so he and his friends will be heading to Cancun.
“My friends and roommates decided that we wanted to go out of the country because we had done that before, and we had a lot of fun so we didn’t really think out where the majority was going,” Stern says. “It wasn’t really a consideration.”
It was, however, a thought for senior Sara Hunter, who says in addition to the fact she knows fellow students who are going, she chose Panama City because the location allows her to stay in the country while still getting a “tropical spring break experience.”
“I am anticipating this spring break to be one of the best because I know all of my good friends will be there and I have only heard good things about Panama City Beach,” Hunter says.