Spring Break isn’t what it used to be  – and maybe that’s a positive shift!

Spring Break – traditionally a time for students and young professionals to escape the winter and soak up some sunshine. But while this stereotype might conjure up crowded beaches and the occasional wild party, the concept has been changing for a while. Now it’s just as likely to be families and retired couples booking a getaway. Recent data from the Automobile Association of America (AAA) reveals a shift in trends, with more interest in a wider range of destinations.

Looking Beyond the Sunshine State?

While Florida remains the most popular single destination, choices are increasingly varied. Cruises are experiencing a surge in popularity, with a 28% increase in bookings for March and April compared to 2023. The Caribbean and European city breaks are also trending; international flight bookings for the spring are up 20% year-on-year.

Beyond the Traditional Season, beyond last minute

Spring Break is no longer confined to a single week in March or April, even if for college students that is often still the case. Thanks to flexible work arrangements and unpredictable weather patterns, the season has stretched from early March through April, offering travelers more flexibility in planning their vacations. This extended season, coupled with lower travel costs compared to previous years, has further fueled demand.

As for timing, gone are the days of scrambling for last-minute deals. Travelers are becoming more proactive, especially when it comes to cruises. Cruise lines are reporting earlier bookings, indicating a shift towards planning and organization. And increasingly, travelers are choosing destinations beyond the reach of the cash dollar.

Essentials for a Smooth Spring Break

As the excitement of booking a trip builds, it’s easy to forget the essentials! Travel professionals can help with a quick checklist:

  • Travel insurance: Protect yourself against unexpected events, including medical emergencies
  • State Department Travel Advisories: Stay informed about safety and security concerns at your destination.
  • Sun protection and first-aid kit: Pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and basic wound care supplies – but keep it simple to avoid delays at airports.
  • Last but NOT least – Travel Money: Ensure you have convenient access to local currency.

Travel Retailers and Credit Unions – Partnering for a Seamless Experience

Travel retailers can be a valuable resource for destination advice, and financial institutions, like credit unions in particular, can help ensure travel money is as easy as booking a ride to the airport. However, not all institutions offer efficient solutions. The ones that do will probably be using the white label travel money service from Essiell, Money 4 Travel.

Money 4 Travel simplifies the foreign currency exchange process, both in-branch and online:

  • Convenience: bank customers or CU members can buy cash online via a pc or smartphone app, and arrange in-branch collection.
  • Streamlined operations: an intuitive point-of-sale interface gives branch staff time to focus on customer service and product recommendations; back-office operations run smoothly with automatic currency ordering.
  • Cost-effective solutions: Money 4 Travel prioritizes keeping costs low, making it an attractive option for both credit unions and their members.

Spring Break is gradually maturing to include more foreign travel and financial institutions can adapt to meet changing requirements. By embracing innovative solutions like Money 4 Travel, they can ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for their customers. So, ditch the outdated stereotypes and embrace the new era of Spring Break – a time for exploration, relaxation, and happy memories.

By Declan Morton, staff writer at Money 4 Travel and Essiell Ltd.


For reference

This Year’s Top Spring Break Travel Trends, Condé Nast Traveler, February 27, 2024

AAA Travel Highlights Spring Break Trends for 2024, Travel Pulse, February 26, 2024

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