Your Spring Break in Panama City Beach, Florida should be the best week of your year.
Nobody gets everything perfectly right every time, but just like taking your exams, this is one of the few times you want to make sure you get AS MUCH right as possible!
Knowing these 20 Spring Break mistakes should help you avoid them altogether… Well, hopefully!
1. Waiting Too Long to Book
Wherever you stay, whether it’s a condo, beach house, hotel or resort, EVERYTHING is going to be more expensive the later you leave it.
This is true for the rest of your life, so if you are planning a July 4th / New years Eve vacation in a few years, remember this lesson!
Not only are the prices much higher, but there’s less choice too – so don’t pay more for less choice – be smart & book early!
2. Not Booking a Big Unit & Splitting the Cost
It’s always (yes, always) going to work out cheaper for you to book somewhere that sleeps 10 people, like a beach house or condo and splitting the cost.
Surely you know a few people who want to come on Spring Break, use them to your advantage and get a fun group together, that way everybody saves!
Pro Tip: Don’t get the bigger group if there’s going to be some drama between people within the group. You don’t need that pain this week – anything to avoid any drama overrides all other rules.
3. Staying Somewhere Without a Kitchen
Spring Break is definitely a break from most things… Assignments, deadlines, alarm clocks, nagging bosses, and your parents…
But there’s some things you can’t get away from, and that’s your spending…
So to assume you’ll have enough money to eat out all week is a mistake. Even if you budget a daily allowance and plan to eat from the dollar menu, think again…
Staying somewhere with a kitchen / microwave / fridge will cost a fraction more upfront, but save you a whole heap of money!
4. Staying Somewhere “Cheap”
Nobody wants to spend too much money, and we realize you want to save as much as you can for the week.
But to making the mistake of looking for the cheapest possible place to stay is likely to come back to haunt you…
Cheapest comes with a list of problems, a long walk to the beach, and nobody to help you with any problems you’re having.
There’s an important difference between “cheap” and somewhere that offers the best “value“.
5. Staying as Close as Possible to the Super Clubs
A common mistake (especially for first-timers) is to think that staying as close as possible to La Vela and Spinnaker is the best way to go.
You will be constantly fighting traffic to get anywhere, all week long. You don’t need that stress in your lie.
Also, you aren’t gonna be going to those clubs, exclusively, all week.
With so many other bars and clubs all offering great nights, and those two charging the highest cover – realistically, you might go to each one once.
6. Only Having One Car
You’re never gonna wake up at the same time, get ready at the same time, and all agree on where to go that day/night.
It’s just not going to happen – so if you can help it (and afford it) then having 2 cars will save you a lot of waiting around, and arguments.
We realize that’s not always possible though, so at least being prepared for this might help in some small way…
7. Running Out of Money
It’s easy to get here, and blow your wad in the first few days… That’s a classic mistake!
Plan ahead and by Wednesday you’ll still be able to afford to eat, and get into the clubs!
We see it every year. People run out of money half way through the week, and end up missing out on concerts, and some of the biggest nights of the week.
It might sound like the kind of advice your grandparents would give you, but if you a daily dollar amount in mind, it will help you avoid any embarrassing “premature liquidation” 😉
8. Lending Money to Your Friends
This is the fastest way to fall out with a friend, and end up with no money while they look like they are living large.
It’s DEFINITELY a good idea to all verbally agree before you leave, that nobody borrows any money from each other all week.
That’s the kind of drama that you don’t need on your Spring Break, and you don’t want to take back home with you.
So… Don’t lend money on Spring Break.
9. Letting Your Phone Die
During Spring Break, your phone is your life.
It’s how you document all that embarrassing stuff your buddies did after a few drinks.
It’s how you make sure you get that perfect guy / girl’s number.
It’s how you find your way back to your Hotel thanks to Google Maps, call a taxi, drunk-text your ex, or just call your friends to find out where the heck everybody is!
Charge your phone. Don’t lose your phone. Your phone is your friend. 🙂
10. Missing the Concerts / Shows
One of the best things about spending your Spring Break in Panama City Beach, FL is the lineup of celebrities and concerts that take place right on the beach.
If there’s one thing missing from music festivals, it’s the beach… Well not here!
With A-List celebs, DJs and musicians performing every single year, these shows are not to be missed.
They are what everybody will be talking about, they are great places to meet new people, and they will be some of the best memories you have of your entire Spring Break.
Budget for them, get there on time, and take your ID with you!
11. Forgetting Sunscreen
Remember, you are in Florida. It gets hot, and the sun is out for pretty much the entire day.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that spending time in the Gulf / swimming pool / hot tub means you are out of the sun.
You can also get burned if it’s overcast!
Apply (and reapply) sunscreen throughout the day. You’ll be glad you did, and you get the added bonus of laughing at your friend who didn’t struggling to put a shirt on in pain!
12. Not Staying Hydrated
Between all the sunshine and adult beverages, your body will need to stay hydrated.
If you want to miss out on some amazing nights, and feel lousy half the time, then not drinking water throughout the day is the way to go.
Trust us, you’ll have a better time, and be able to go for longer if you stay hydrated…
You don’t need to rely on energy drinks, keeping a bottle of water handy all day will do the trick 😉
13. Keeping it 100
Nobody wants to look like they can’t hang, and we all want to impress our friends.
But thinking you can drink all day and all night, and never slow down is going to end badly for you.
There’s no shame in getting some rest, staying well hydrated, and making sure you eat throughout the day.
Doing that will actually let you keep going for longer, while the bro who “goes hard” will end up passed out on the floor with sharpie doodles all over his face.
Don’t be Sharpie face guy… Keeping it 90 is totally acceptable 😉
14. Arguing With Doormen at the Club
It’s happened before, and it’s probably going to happen again…
You, or a friend in your group has been unfairly refused entry at the door.
Maybe they don’t accept passports as IDs, they assume you’re too rowdy, or they don’t realize that UK dates are written dd/mm/yy and not mm/dd/yy.
Whatever the reason is, we’ve never seen any doorman change their mind and let somebody in after they have decided not to.
This is a situation you will never win, and you probably don’t want to be “escorted” off the premises…
15. Forgetting Your I.D.
Panama City Beach Bars & Clubs are 18 to enter and 21 to drink.
Drinking laws are strictly enforced everywhere, because nobody wants to lose their license, face heavy fines, or be shut down.
So don’t expect to get in ANYWHERE without a state-issued photo I.D.
If you are the one friend who forgets their I.D. and you have to go back to the Hotel for it, expect some well-deserved shade.
16. Waiting ‘Till 10pm to go to the Clubs / Bars
It’s a common mistake to pregame for so long in the Hotel, that you don’t get to the Club until 10pm or later.
This isn’t necessarily a mistake, especially if the pre-gaming is more fun than the club turns out to be!
However, all bars and clubs want to get you in before 10pm… So they have better drink deals and lower (or even free) covers.
So missing out on the best deals, and paying up to double to just get into the club, could easily be avoided.
17. Not Taking ‘No’ For an Answer
This applies everywhere you go, all week long.
Spring Break is a great place to meet new people, and hook up, but no always means no.
Besides, if there’s one place where the phrase “there’s plenty more fish in the sea” applies, it’s gotta be here!
So step up your game, and move on…
18. Losing Your Cool
One of the best pieces of advice you can get for Spring Break is to leave the ego at the Hotel.
Over the course of the week you’re probably going to run into somebody in the club with something to prove, or get stopped by a cop with a bad attitude.
The best way to win, and diffuse any situation like this is to stay calm and stay humble.
The quickest way to spoil your spring break is by getting into an unnecessary fight, getting kicked out of a club, or getting arrested.
Stay classy 🙂
19. Not Wrapping it up
If you do find yourself in a position to “close the deal” then be smart.
You know what to do, and you know why…
Hopefully a bad hangover, or some killer sunburn are the only bad things that happen to you all week.
If your Spring Break story involves an STD or getting somebody pregnant, then you know you made some bad choices.
20. Losing Your Security Deposit
Most Hotels / Resorts / Condos will take a security deposit (also called a damage deposit) for rooms.
This is in place to protect them from having their rooms damaged or items stolen, which can sometimes happen.
The best thing you can do to make sure you get EVERY PENNY of your security deposit back, is to treat the place as you would your own home.
You should also take 10-15 minutes when you first arrive to check your room over fully. Anything that looks damaged or questionable, bring it to the attention of the Front Desk so they know it wasn’t caused by you.
You shouldn’t be held responsible for damage that was already there BEFORE you get into the room – so it’s in your best interest to check everything over first.