No Spring Break plans? Don’t spend it on the couch watching TV as life passes you by! These 9 destinations guarantee an amazing Spring Break, even at the last minute. 

You can either go join the party at one of 2016’s most popular destinations, or you can go off the beaten path for a more laid-back atmosphere. The choice is yours. Read on to discover 5 of the most popular Spring Break destinations plus 4 “hidden gems.”

The Top Destinations for Spring Break 2016

Looking for a traditional Spring Break experience? Does partying with thousands of your new closest friends sound like your cup of tea? Here are the top five Spring Break destinations for US travelers:

South Padre Island, Texas

Spring Break in South Padre, TexasEvery year, tens of thousands of college students flock to this sandy Texas island in the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re looking for the typical sun-and-beer fueled Spring Break experience, South Padre is virtually guaranteed to deliver.

Why Go?

South Padre knows how to party, and the island is not shy about catering to the college party crowd. There are ten huge nightclubs, miles and miles of sandy beaches, and drinking on the beach is allowed. But don’t party TOO hard- this  year, the police will be using drones to keep an eye on things.

Passport Requirements

You do not need a passport to go to South Padre. If you planned to cross into nearby Mexico, you would need a passport or a passport card. However, the epidemic of drug violence across the border makes that idea unwise at best.


Historic area and beach in FloridaFlorida is where Spring Break in America was born. College students have flocked to Florida beach towns like Fort Lauderdale since the late 30’s. Archetypical “spring break” films like Where the Boys Are (1961) and Spring Break (1985) were set here, and MTV’s first Spring Break special was filmed in Daytona Beach.

Why go?

Florida has some of the best beaches in the country. Florida cities and towns like Miami, Daytona Beach, Panama City and Cocoa Beach routinely make lists of the most popular Spring Break destinations in the country. However, some Florida beach towns have become weary of crowds of rowdy young adults. New rules in some cities aim to reign in excessive drinking and make the beaches friendlier to families and people of all ages. Stay on the right side of the law by researching ahead of time.

Passport Requirements

None needed.

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun Mexico hotels and condos on the beach

Looking for a beach party with a more international flavor? Cancun’s Spring Break events attract students from around the world.

Why Go?

The beaches are stunning, and the nightlife is spectacular. Opportunities for interesting day trips abound. Possibilities include: snorkeling, visiting Mayan ruins, or swimming in a cenote.  As a major tourist city, Cancun is generally considered safe. That said, you should take all the usual precautions you would take when traveling outside of the country.

Passport Requirements

You will need a passport book with at least six months validity and one full blank page.  If you’re visiting Cancun as part of a cruise that starts and ends at the same US port, you can get by with a state ID and birth certificate or with a passport card BUT you really should have a passport book in case you need to fly back home.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Woman in white coverup and hat jumping on the beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Punta Cana is one of the hottest up-and-coming destinations for Spring Break 2016.

Why Go?

White sand beaches, luxurious all-inclusive resorts AND  a tropical rainforest to explore? Where do we sign up? Additionally, should you desire to mingle with the locals, the Punta Cana area as a whole is fairly safe.

Passport Requirements

You need a passport book if you are flying.  Your passport must be valid to enter the country, and you’ll need one blank page in the back.

Again, if you’re on a closed-loop cruise you can use a state ID and a birth certificate or a passport card, but a passport book is recommended.

Las Vegas, Nevada

The Strip in Las Vegas

Las Vegas may not fit the stereotypical spring break beach vacation stereotype, but it’s actually the most popular destination for US college students according to

Why Go?

Provided you don’t spend too much time in the casinos, Las Vegas is one of the cheapest Spring Break destinations this year. Hotels and casinos in the area know how to throw a party, and they cater to Spring Break crowds.

Passport Requirements

None needed.

Spring Break Destinations 2016: Off the Beaten Path

Tulum, Mexico

Tulum Mexico beach and ancient ruins

Looking for a calmer, quieter alternative to chaotic Cancun? Tulum is a more laid-back (and more expensive) alternative.

Why Go?

The beaches are perfect, the food is amazing, and the nearby Mayan ruins are definitely worth a visit.

Passport Requirements

A passport book with 6 months validity and one blank page.

Punta Mita, Mexico

Infinity pool in Punta Mita, Mexico overlooking the ocean during sunset

Described  by Forbes as “one of the top places to Spring Break like an adult,” Punta Mita has managed what many Mexican resort towns have not: growth without the growing pains.

Why go?

This artsy beachside town is popular enough to merit visits from celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, but quiet enough to satisfy travelers looking for rest and renewal.

Passport Requirements

Passport requirements for Punta Mita are the same as for other Mexican destinations.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, MexicoIf you’d rather soak up culture than sunshine, Mexico City is an excellent (and relatively inexpensive) Spring Break alternative.

Why Go?

Why not? Whether you’re into art, shopping, or nightlife, you’re bound to find something that appeals to you in Mexico City.

Passport Requirements

You’ll need a passport book with at least one blank page and an expiration at least six months away from your arrival date.

Sri Lanka

Want to go somewhere more exotic? Sri Lanka is this year’s top-secret beach destination for those in the know.

Why go?

Often mentioned as an undiscovered alternative to Thailand and Costa Rica, Sri Lanka offers a similarly tropical, close-to-nature feeling without the crowds of tourists. Arugam Bay on the Indian Ocean is a surfer’s paradise.

Passport Requirements

You need:

  • A passport book valid for 6 months from the date you plan to leave the country and with at least one blank page in the back.
  • Approval from Sri Lanka’s Electronic Travel Authorization System
  • Proof of departure (a ticket home or just out of the country).
  • Proof of “sufficient funds” to pay for your stay.

How to Get a Passport for Spring Break 2016

If you’re traveling to a destination that requires a passport, you need to apply ASAP.  And you’ll need to expedite it, one way or another.

If you have at least three weeks before you depart, you can request expedited service at the post office for an additional $60.00

If you have less than three weeks, make an appointment at the nearest passport agency or use an expediting service like RushMyPassport.  RushMyPassport will hand-deliver your application to the Department of State for processing in as little as 24 hours, with no need to make an appointment or wait in line at an agency.

Learn more about both options here: How to Apply for a Passport at the Last Minute

Or, start your passport application now with RushMyPassport’s easy order process.

Happy Spring Break!

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