Northwest Missourian Opinion

Spring break is by far one of the biggest highlights of the second semester. Students spend hundreds of dollars each year to travel to destinations such as Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, or Panama City, Florida.

This high cost and the increased crime rates associated with “spring breaking” places cause an undue strain on college students.

In an article published by Skyscanner in 2018, the average cost of a single day trip to places like Cabo and Puerto Vallarta is more than $500, and only covers the flight, one night in a hotel and the cost of food for one day. This means, on average, a five-day trip would cost more than $1,000.

The cost of trips like this is unreasonable. The better economic option is driving home and saving thousands of dollars. While going home may not be fun, it protects a student’s bank account from a weekend of partying and bad decisions.

Even just planning a day trip to places like Omaha, Nebraska, or Kansas City, Missouri, costs about a third of the price to visit places like Cabo.

An additional benefit of not traveling is protecting students from the general increase of crime rates in these spring break destinations.

In a 2017 article from the Panama City News Herald, the local police department responded to 16,931 service calls between March 1 and April 16, which is considered to be the prime spring break season. These calls resulted in 210 people being arrested on drug-related charges as well as 46 arrests for carrying a concealed weapon.

A study carried out by the real estate service Area Vibes said that within a given year there are approximately 7,038 crimes per 100,000 people in Panama City.

This does not include a breakdown of larceny and the total cost of items stolen from college students while traveling.

A report from Crime Data states  an average 1,587 burglaries were committed per 100,000 people in Panama City. This data takes into account the number of visitors in the city as well as how many people commute to Panama City  in a given year.

The cost of replacing stolen items can be taxing on a college student’s budget when on average a college student pays at least $400 for a decent laptop or even textbooks to get through their academic courses.

It is much more effective to go home and have a day trip to major cities near home. Not only are you traveling and having fun, but you are also supporting the national economy and keeping money at home instead of spending money in a different country.

In the article from Skyscanner, it became abundantly clear that the number of people traveling to these locations also supports a healthy local economy, infusing much-needed capital in the local market which is eventually dispersed to the community and the national economy through the collection of taxes.

Students need to save money and be fiscally responsible instead of blowing it all away on expensive drinks and tans on the beach. While it may not be the warmest place to visit, staying here allows a student to save so much money.

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