Key West Most Expensive Spot to Celebrate Spring Break
March 2nd, 2012

Key West, Florida isn't going to be kind to budget-conscious college students this upcoming spring break. That's especially true if they haven't firmed up their travel plans yet. That's because, according to a new survey conducted CheapHotels.org, current lodging costs in the continental United States' southern-most city are higher than any other popular spring break destination.

When the top hot spots were compared, Key West easily took the number one spot on the list of most expensive spring break locales with an average per-night rate of upwards of $204. This figure represents the mean upper price range for the three principal spring break weeks of March 5 through March 25. The most sought-after week of March 5 to 11 will hit coeds even harder, with all remaining available rooms topping $250 during that timeframe.

If they have their hearts set on Florida but can't afford those prices, spring breakers can try South Beach, where the cheapest available rooms are going for an average nightly rate of $155. And the farther north of Key West they go, the better last-minute travelers will do. Panama City Beach and Daytona Beach, for instance, are significantly more affordable, posting available room rates of as little as $129 and $110 respectively.

To break the $100 mark, spring breakers who are on a shoestring budget can head to South Carolina, Jamaica or Mexico instead. The popular spring break locales of Myrtle Beach, Negril and Cancun are still offering very affordable room rates of about $30 per day.

The table that follows ranks the most popular spring break destinations from most costly overnight room rates to least. It also shows the price of the cheapest available room for the prime three-week spring break period spanning March 5 through 25.

Destination Avg. Rate March 5-11 March 12-18 March 19-25
Key West  (Florida) $204 $259 $198 $167
South Beach Miami (Florida) $155 $143 $156 $165
Panama City Beach (Florida) $129 $117 $160 $111
South Padre Island (Texas) $126 $50 $279 $51
Punta Cana (Dom. Republic) $117 $100 $100 $153
Daytona Beach (Florida) $110 $112 $172 $45
Lake Havasu (Arizona) $54 $55 $65 $43
Negril (Jamaica) $31 $31 $31 $31
Myrtle Beach (S. Carolina) $30 $29 $30 $30
Cancun (Mexico) $29 $32 $28 $28

About the Methodology:
The survey was conducted on February 28-29. For the 10 most popular spring break destinations, average daily rates for the cheapest available hotel room (minimum: 2 stars) were established for the following time periods: March 5-11, March 12-18 and March 19-25. A search conducted on the leading hotel booking sites, Expedia, Orbitz and Priceline, served as the basis for the survey's results.
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