SPRING BREAK 2008
Spring Break 2008! Wow! We can believe it is really over...we now have to wait and get ready (EARLY) for next year (2009) to make sure you find the desired accommodations on your favorite resort or hotel. Join us in 2009 in Puerto Penasco and join the fun. This year it was a blast! We will add a few pictures from Spring Break 2008 in the upcoming weeks.
It's almost that time again, Spring Break 2008. This year, make sure you have your BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE. This is not a big deal, call your mom and she probably has it on file!!! If not, get a copy of your birth certificate ASAP... It is only $10 (You can order it online, CLICK HERE!!). You DON'T need a passport in March to party like a rockstar in Rocky Point. This year, we are expecting approximately 80,000+ students from Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico who pour into town to celebrate Spring Break. It's a huge party, and gets bigger every year, and 2008 will be no exception.
Quick links, for those of you in a hurry:
To get a copy of your birth certificate, click here.
If you need to book a hotel or condo online, click here. Just a heads up, MOST, resorts are going to require that you are 25 years old. You can get away with more at the hotels.... Check out our special SPRING BREAK bookings page which tells you age restrictions at each hotel.
If you're driving to Penasco and need to buy Mexican car insurance, click here to learn more.
If you need to rent a car to drive to Puerto Peñasco, click here
Want to see photos from Spring Break? Click here
The peak 'Spring Break' time this year is March 9th to the 16th. Most schools 'official' break runs the 10th to the 14th, but because this week is bracketed by weekends I'm just calling it the 8th-16th.
You can see below that the UofA, ASU, UNM, and UNLV all have roughly the same Spring Break schedule:
|Here is this year's Spring Break schedule for the major universities:
|University of Arizona
|Arizona State University
|University of Nevada, Las Vegas
|University of New Mexico
|Northern Arizona University
|New Mexico State
|San Diego State University
Words of Advice
During Spring Break a whole cottage industry of travel agents, hoteliers, and transport services spring into action to accommodate the thousands of Spring Breakers. The vast majority of these businesses are honest people. Some of them, however, are 100% ripoff artists, like the people that run fake hotel booking scams, or book nonexistent flights and hotels.
For all Spring Break students, we provide the following advice:
Always book your rooms by credit card - ALWAYS. Never deal in cash or check only.
Always call and confirm your reservations ahead of time.
Travel in groups, and always have a second line of communication. If you'd like to see if your cellphone works in Puerto Penasco, click here.
Always do business with reputable, established businesses - beware of 'fly by night' operations.
As in previous years, the local police really step up their enforcement over Spring Break, and 2008 is no exception - so have a good time, but be on your best behavior, folks. Spring Break tends to suck if you spend it in the drunk tank of a Mexican jail.
Also - if you're using your credit card while in Mexico, be prepared that your issuing credit card company may add on a nice little 'Currency conversion' fee of about 3 to 4%. Check this Currency conversion costs chart out to see if your bank does, and consider just using cash when you are buying food, drinks, etc. It'll save you in the long run.
Booking hotel rooms and condos
Fortunately, we're in a position to help. Visit our hotel/resorts listing and check the age requirements under each hotel. We have also given hotel 2 ratings.... Luxury - a scale of 1 to 5.... Party atmosphere -another scale of 1 to 5... We can't guarantee what will happen at your hotel/resort but some locations are more likely to give you the freedom to party than others.
BOOK YOUR ROOM NOW, CLICK HERE
There has been a lot of confusion as to the new entry laws and passports, and a lot of people have emailed me asking me if they need to have passports to re-enter the U.S. after visiting Rocky Point.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) remind the traveling public that as of Jan. 31, 2008, all adult travelers will be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, and proof of identity, such as a driver’s license, when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry. DHS will be issuing a notice in the Federal Register formally announcing the change.
This change is a necessary step to prepare travelers and ease the transition to the future requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). WHTI proposes to establish documentation requirements for travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda. As recommended by the 9/11 Commission, Congress enacted WHTI in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. WHTI will result in both enhanced security and increased facilitation across the border once implemented. During this transition, DHS and the Department of State are working diligently to minimize the impact on legitimate trade and travel.
Currently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers may accept oral declarations of citizenship from U.S. and Canadian citizens seeking entry into the United States through a land or sea border. However, as of January 31, 2008:
- Oral declarations of citizenship alone will no longer be accepted
- U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older will need to present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate
- Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate
- Passports and trusted traveler program cards - NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST - will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel
So, just to recap - if you are a U.S. Citizen going to Rocky Point - unless you are FLYING there, you will need two forms of ID:
ID 1: Driver's License
ID 2: A birth certificate, or a voter's registration card.
As a rule of thumb - if you have a passport, just bring it and save yourself the trouble. It's always good to have on hand.
If you're taking a vehicle in to Mexico, you'll also need Mexican Car insurance. Mexican law says that only companies licensed in Mexico can provide "civil liability" coverage for vehicles, so your existing US auto insurance will not suffice.
get a temporary policy issued from a company licensed to issue Mexican car insurance.
Just like last year, we have partnered with Mexpro.com to provide Mexican car insurance online - by filling out their form, Mexpro can provide you with seven different quotes in order to find the lowest one, and issue you a policy. You can get started by clicking here.
A few companies have sprung up to help ferry Spring Breakers to and from Penasco from places like Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Tucson. You may wish to read about them on our transport
page. I personally have not used any of these services, but I thought I would point them out.
Things to remember before entering Mexico
|For those of you who have never been to Mexico, here's a quick rundown:
DO NOT BRING WEAPONS INTO MEXICO. PERIOD. The Mexican government strictly enforces its firearm laws, and will gladly imprison and prosecute you if you are careless enough to forget this. Make sure to check your trunk, glove compartment, and under the seat of your car for any weapons or ammunition.
Carrying, purchase, possession or use of drugs in Mexico - even certain prescription medication - can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment without bail for up to a year before a case is tried and imprisonment of several years following a conviction. If you must take prescription medication, take only what you will need for the length of your visit. If you are curious about specifics, contact the U.S. Consulate in Nogales.
The Port of Entry at Lukeville/Sonoyta is closed between midnight and 6 a.m. Also, international students can only re-enter the U.S. through Douglas or Nogales and must have valid documents for re-entry!
Drinking in public is not allowed. This is a fairly new doctrine in Penasco, but enforced nonetheless - they've been enforcing on-the-spot fines and patrolling for this since 2004.
If you are traveling by car, you must bring proof of car ownership, driver's license, and registration. You must ALWAYS purchase Mexican car insurance in the U.S. BEFORE you enter Mexico. Fines and penalties for this are steep any may include imprisonment. Again, you can get your car insurance online by clicking here.
Links of interest
LIVE Border Crossing Wait Times
Crossing the US Border can take up to several hours during peak times as thousands of travelers all pass through the same checkpoints. During Spring Break, Memorial day weekend, and 3-day weekends it is not uncommon for border traffic to back up for several hours.
A general rule of thumb is to cross very early or very late - checkpoints typically open at 6 am and close at midnight, so often you can save yourself hours of waiting by adjusting your crossing time.
We've tied into the US Customs And Border Protection web pages, which provide border crossing time estimates for the major crossing points. You can see LIVE estimated crossing times for Nogales and Lukeville by clicking here.
SPRING BREAK IN MEXICO – "Know Before You Go!" @ www.travel.state.gov
Travel Tips for Students @ www.travel.state.gov
'Help For American Victims Of Crime Overseas'
UAPD: GOING TO MEXICO Brochure
The University of Arizona's Police Department and student health services put out a helpful PDF in 2006 that includes emergency phone numbers, health tips, and legal advice for the Spring Breaker headed into Mexico. It also contains some helpful hints pertaining to Mexican law, alcohol consumption, and foreign travel in general. It's worth checking out.
More from 2006: Police, consular officials step up presence for spring break hordes
More from 2006: Spring break message for students
Students tricked by Rocky Point Web site
Student travel agency faces fraud lawsuit
UA, FTC lawyers warn against possible travel company fraud
Several articles regarding previous Spring Break vacation scams. They detail the experiences of students swindled by phony Rocky Point/Spring Break booking sites, and are provided here as a warning to students. DO NOT FALL VICTIM TO THIS SORT OF SCAM! Instead, book your hotel with reputable businesses!
Open beer in Mexico could lead to fine, jail
This article explains a new effort by police in Mexico to enforce a no-drinking-in-public law. You may be thinking this sort of thing is absurd, but the authorities have taken this very seriously and were enforcing on-the-spot fines and enforcement for public consumption throughout Spring of 2004. It's worth a read.
Basic Mexican travel and health tips, again from the University of Arizona, this time from the Dean Of Students.
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