Spring Break is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning for some fun in the sun. Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular spring break destinations, but be careful: you’ll need a valid US passport!

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun has made virtually every “Top 10 Spring Destinations” list, ever. At this point, generations of American teens and college students have been heading to Cancun to party next to the crystal-blue ocean. If drowning yourself in alcohol is not your preferred method of bidding winter goodbye, consider quieter nearby towns like Tulum instead.

If you are flying to Cancun, you absolutely have to have a passport. In the unlikely event that you’re driving, you can get by using one of the new wallet-sized passport cards, or, if you’re a member, a trusted traveler card from one of the following programs: NEXUS, FAST or SENTRI. These requirements went into effect in 2009 as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which governs travel between the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

Cabo San Lucas

Located on the other side of Mexico from Cancun, Cabo boasts excellent surfing, scuba diving, beaches and exciting nightlife. Along the “Golden Corridor,” you’ll find lots of hotels, resorts and rentals to serve as your base of operations while you relax and regroup. Don’t forget to visit El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, the area’s most distinctive rock formation.

Since Cabo San Lucas is also in Mexico, passport requirements are the same as those listed above for Cancun.

Barbados

Less frenetically insane and more buttoned-down than Mexico’s spring break cities, Barbados is a good option for those of you whose ideal spring break involves activities other than beer pong, ¬†like lounging on the beach (including one of the 10 best beaches in the world), swimming in the ocean, surfing and scuba-diving.

As in Mexico, Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative passport rules apply. Since driving into Barbados isn’t an option, the only way you could possibly get out of having a passport would be to see the island as part of a closed-loop cruise embarking from a US port.

Jamaica

Jamaica courts the spring break crowd with well-timed reggae festivals and beach volleyball tournaments in Negril and Montego Bay. That’s on top of the usual reasons to visit Jamaica, such as white sand beaches, delicious food and excellent Blue Mountain coffee to chase away any lingering hangovers. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative rules apply to travelers to Jamaica, as well.

London, England

Sure, there’s no beach, but London is an excellent spring break choice nonetheless, especially this year. The Olympics are coming later on in the year, and that means the whole city is in tip-top shape. Plus, spring is still the low season, so you’ll benefit from cheaper flights and accommodations.

Of course, it should go without saying that you need a passport (the book, not the card) to get to London.

No matter where you go for Spring Break, if you’re leaving the country do some research beforehand to see what documents you need to travel. If you need a passport, go ahead and apply now and request expedited service from the Department of State. It will cost an extra $60, but it cuts the processing time down from six weeks to three.

If you need your passport in less than three weeks, you can either make an appointment at one of 24 regional passport agency offices or use a private company like RushMyPassport. Keep in mind that in order to keep your passport agency appointment, you may have to travel a considerable distance or take an additional day off work. If that’s not convenient for you, an expediting company is the better choice. We hand-deliver your documents to the Department of State, for processing in as little as 24 hours.

Need a passport for Spring Break? Contact us today!