Spring break: Go here, not there

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(Source: nito500 via 123RF) (Source: nito500 via 123RF)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

You may still be saying Happy New Year to your nearest and dearest, and we’re not even done handing out valentines, but believe me, spring is here - spring break, that is. If you've been entertaining thoughts of fun in the sun, the time to book is now.

"Spring break week" is a term I hear all the time but in truth, it's a bit of a misnomer. With the wide variety of school calendars -- traditional versus year-round schools, high schools versus colleges -- spring break is more like a month. And that month would be March.

Although "spring break" may conjure up visions of partying college students, there are plenty of great destinations where families and couples won't feel out of place. The trick is knowing where the party folks will be - so you're not!

Cancun - This is a gorgeous destination, but stay far away from the "Hotel Zone" during the month of March. Check out some of the resorts on the Riviera Maya. Most of the "adults only" properties don't allow spring breakers and many of the resorts are too far away from a large town to attract any attention from the pub-crawling crowd. Check out Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras or even Tulum.

[RELATED: 5 must-do activities in Mexico's fabulous Riviera Maya]

Hawaii - Because of less expensive prices, Waikiki can be party central. This would be a great time to check out some of the other islands. For example, over on the Big Island, the town of Kona has lots of kids, but in the Keauhou Beach area, just a few miles away from town, you're much less likely to find them. On Maui, you'll find spring breakers in the condos of Kihei, so try Kahana or Napili instead. They're both beautiful and still close to Lahaina, but far enough away to be peaceful.

Jamaica - Thanks to the Hip Strip, the kids are primarily in Montego Bay, but the beauty of Negril's Seven Mile Beach draw them, as well. Why not check out Runaway Bay or some of the gorgeous "couples only" or family-oriented resorts in and around Ocho Rios?

Los Cabos - The sister towns of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas are a quick flight from Phoenix, making the area ever more popular as a Spring Break destination. With the "party hearty" crowd staying in and around the nightlife of Cabo San Lucas, check out the pretty and peaceful resorts of the Corridor, the 20 mile stretch of coast between the two towns. You'll also find some lovely resorts near the low-key town of San Jose.

[RELATED: 21 places to go in 2018]

Flexibility is also a key part of planning your spring break getaway. Many of the inexpensive weekend flights for March are getting hard to find. If you can work it into your schedule, traveling Friday to Friday or Monday to Monday may offer much better options. If you can travel in early March or even in April, well after Easter, you'll find better rates, as well.

[MORE: Travel blog]

And believe it or not, the summer "high season" is just around the corner. I'm already booking Hawaii and Mexico packages, as well as cruises, for June and July.

If you're working around school holidays or have a very specific time window in which to travel, you'll want to start making plans now. 

[RELATED: How to choose your cruise]

[RELATED: Set sail from San Diego!]


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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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