Spring Broke

By: Michelle Morico

This is the spring break many would love to go on, but cant afford.

This is the spring break many would love to go on, but can't afford.

Spring recess at Marist is right around the corner, so if you are not boarding a southbound plane on the weekend of March 13th, now is a good time to start coming up with a plan.

Joan Williams and Ashley Huffman, Marist ’10, went to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Spring Break of ’08.

“There was a catch,” Joan said. “Ashley’s family was going so I kind of just tagged along. Let’s just say not too much cash came out of my own pocket.”

If you are not lucky enough to have your spring break trip paid for, there are other options. Not having the money to book a room in a beach-side resort in Cabo does not mean you have to forget about the beach. For students  looking to escape New York and head south, then a road trip with some  friends could prove to be the perfect adventure.

Gasoline prices are far cheaper than they were this time last year, so the expense of a 12 hour drive south is probably less than you would expect, especially when that cost is divided by four or five friends. Sightseeing on the trip down to your destination is a great way to break up the drive and it can provide some of the most affordable fun of the week.

If South Carolina or Virginia beach fail to tickle your fancy then consider volunteering for an “Alternative Spring Break.” The United Way offers a few unique options for those interested to spend their week off helping others.

According to the website, it costs $150 to get involved in a United Way program helping families in Detroit, or working to restore the damage done by flooding in Louisiana or Indiana. Although this is an incredible way to spend your week off, volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the site.

If volunteering isn’t your thing,  many Marist students have parents with houses elsewhere. Kevin Furey, a Marist alumni, had 10 friends come down to his lake house in Pennsylvania last year.

“We tried to go ice fishing on the lake and went for a couple snowy hikes,” he said. “Although it doesn’t sound too exciting, being surrounded by all your closest friends with no school to worry about is always going to be a blast.”

“We got fireworks while in Pennsylvania, and set them off on the frozen lake,” Furey said. “We didn’t have many expenses, just gas, food and booze.”

Furey and his friends took a trip to NYC at the end of their break, since St. Patrick’s Day happens to fall on Tuesday the 17th. An hour-and-forty minute train ride down the Metro North  will transport you and your friends into an exciting world, but there’s no guarantee that New York City will be an affordable trip on St. Patrick’s Day.

Furey and his friends riding the Metro North on their way to NYC for St. Pattys.

Furey and his friends riding the Metro North on their way to NYC for St. Patty's.

“We came back to Poughkeepsie for one night and took the train down to NYC for St. Pat’s,” Furey said. “It was a blast because we met up with dozens of Marist kids and friends from home.”

There are fun ways to spend the week without ever going too far from Poughkeepsie. The Mid-Hudson Valley area hosts countless attractions that Marist students take for granted. Hiking or driving in Ulster County or spending a day on the Dutchess Wine Trail are just the tip of the iceberg.

Mohonk Preserve

Mohonk Preserve

Across the river in New Paltz sits the Mohonk preserve, which provides access to hiking, biking, horseback riding and climbing. On Sunday, March 15, 2009, you can participate in the Rock Rift Hike at Mohonk, which includes a 7 mile strenuous hike that can be booked by reservation only.

If your heart is still set on a trip to Cancun, travel websites, including Orbitz and Travelocity offer relatively cheap trips last minute.

“I’ve been researching for this year,” Furey said. “Maybe I’ll find something cheap after all and I will be able to take that trip to Cancun.”

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