Got Spring Break?

Ahhh. The eternal question: What to do for Spring Break? This question is easier for some people than others. For some Spring Break is a time to relax at home and regroup before that tough finals push. For others it is a time to test how much alcohol one can lick off a co-ed in one night.Those opting for the latter are suddenly barraged with options of vacation packages to places like South Beach, Florida; South Padre Island, Texas; and Rochester, New York. All inclusive Spring Break packages offer numerous amenities essential for making the most of one’s Spring Break.Online vacation package companies such as SpringBreakRooms.com offer a room that sleeps four on “close to the beach” at Panama Beach for $239 per person during the Spring Break week. But the deals don’t stop there. With that $239 you get a Spring Break Panamaniac Party Card, a SpringBreakRooms.com six-pack cooler, a camera, a cup and a t-shirt.Sun Splash Tours offers hotel packages in Acapulco for seven nights starting from $759 per person. Airfare from Logan Airport is about $160. This package includes 14 free meals and 21-40 hours of free drinking over the course of the seven-day break. They don’t specify when or where the meals can be used or when and where the free drinking can happen. The website advertises the luxury of actually chosing the day you depart from home, which not all package companies offer. While the idea of acting out your own version of last year’s ‘The Real Cancun’ sounds glorious, there are many things that you should be aware of before signing any contracts binding you to the package deal. The Federal Trade Commission put together a list of things to keep your eye out for.1. Research the operator before agreeing to anything. Ask friends and check out the Better Business Bureau online for some background checks.2. If the trip involves a chartered flight, call the Department of Transportation (DOT) Public Charter Licensing Division (202-366-2396) to make sure the charter operator has properly filed to operate charter flights from your departure city to your destination.3. Understand your rights. According to DOT rules, you have a right to cancel a charter package without penalty if the operator makes a “major change.” Major changes include a change of departure or return date or city, a hotel substitution to a property not named in the charter operator/participant contract, or a package price increase of more than 10 percent.More tips are available at www.FTC.gov.If you feel like you don’t want to trust the package deal you found online, then you might consider throwing a party for yourself in your neighbors basement with the heat turned up for seven days. Two-star hotels within two miles from Panama City Beach go from $79 to $149 per night with a four-person occupancy. That doesn’t include any free drinks or free meals except the coffee and packaged doughnuts in the hotel lobby. So what to do? Grab your parent’s credit card and put your trust in the NakedSpringBreak.com company or is it another Spring Break watching Sportscenter for three hours a day? Junior Karla Flanders went with a package deal to South Padre Island and thoroughly enjoyed it. “I had a great time, the hotels were clean, the food was good and everything went as scheduled.”However, her friend Wrenruth Knowles didn’t make out as well when she went to South Beach. “I was stuck in the Newark airport for eight hours getting there and then 11 hours in Atlanta going. It was a nightmare.”Wherever you go and whatever you decide to do, don’t forget to keep it as real as possible and realize that Howard Dean could be running the country this time next year.