What are the most popular spring break destinations this year for Harvard students?
A lot of people have been going to Europe this year for spring break. I sent a bunch of people to Germany, the Czech Republic, France and some went to London.
Do Harvard students ever go to the MTV-type spring break locations?
Most of the domestic spots aren’t the places that Harvard students tend to go because you want to go somewhere warmer and where you can drink legally.
Is there anything in particular about Harvard students, as opposed to students from the Northeast generally, that makes them less likely to go to these locations?
Most people going to Harvard are paying a fairly sizeable bill at that point, so they can afford to spend another hundred dollars to do something a little more exotic. I’ve set up this group that are doing Vienna, Prague and Munich.
Isn’t it freaking cold there right now?
I told them it’s the best city that looks good in bad weather. They kind of wanted to get away and do their own thing.
Do you think in general that while traveling, students will have to confront hostility abroad?
I mean, they’ll probably be asked about it. If I’m living in Prague, or I’m living in a place and I haven’t had too much exposure to Americans, I’d probably be like, why exactly are you guys wanting to go to war right now?
Have you heard anything about the naked airline?
I’ve heard about it but don’t know exactly what it is—whether the stewardesses are naked or everyone is.
It sounds really sketchy.
Yeah, but I mean if it sells the tickets then why not?
What are some of the reasons people choose the travel destinations that they do?
Well most people come in and say “I want to cut loose for a week, I want to go somewhere warm, I want to get a tan.” Some people said they want to be able to drink, but a lot of people just want to get away from everything. But on the whole I think people tended to shy away from the Cancun-style break because it seems trite or it’s been done. On the other hand, I think that huge parties can be incredibly fun.
Any huge parties in particular?
I went to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany three times and that’s got to be the most insane party in the world.
My mom still talks about that, and she went when she was 17.
Yeah, during that four-year period I went to [Oktoberfest] three times and Mardi Gras twice just to compare them. Mardi Gras is fun—it’s a looney bin—but in the end it didn’t hold up to Oktoberfest.
So if you had to make the choice you’d definitely recommend Oktoberfest?
I think it’s an incredible party. It’s three weekends long. I mean, most parties are an excuse to drink. Mardi Gras is a religious holiday but it’s become a drinking party, or Saint Patrick’s Day is I guess a religious holiday that’s an excuse to drink. Oktoberfest is about beer. And the Germans for some insane reason also think it’s a good idea to set up an amusement park around the Oktoberfest. It’s the greatest combo.
What would you consider the hidden deal that people haven’t realized this season?
I think it was the Dominican Republic, a $1000 week stay including airfare, room, all meals and all drinks.
Did you sell a lot of tickets on that one?
No, the one person interested decided they didn’t want to go.
So have you done a lot of traveling yourself?
When traveling, I average five dollars a night on rooms. I camped out a lot. I mean, I did budget, I slept on the floors of people I met on trains, I slept in alleyways, I slept in a train station one night.
Would you recommend that route for the Harvard traveler?
Not at first. I would highly recommend, if you’re getting a liberal arts education, that it should be mandatory you do a semester elsewhere. It doesn’t necessarily have to be abroad, but I really think you’ve got to change your perspective. I think traveling was probably one of the most beneficial things I did during college.