South Padre Island Ranks as Texas's Most Expensive Texas Spring Break Destination

March 11, 2013

If they're planning to get their Spring Break on in South Padre Island, budget-conscious college students better be prepared for some serious sticker shock at the check-in counter. The latest survey from HoustonHotels.net has uncovered that hotel rates are exploding in the popular Texan resort town in anticipation of the fast-approaching main Spring Break week (March 11-17).

Securing a room won't be the problem. On the day the survey was conducted (March 7), one in five South Padre Island hotels still had vacancies. Those establishments, however, are penalizing last-minute planners by at least tripling their rates, and some are hiking their rates significantly more. Case in point is the Beachside Inn and Suites. Optimally located just a five-minute walk from the beach, this South Padre accommodation has jacked up prices 638% in response to Spring Break. That means that a Queen room that usually goes for $71 nightly will cost $524 during the March 11-17 Spring Break timeframe. Even the cheapest available 2-star hotel room won't come as much of a bargain. Spring Breakers can expect to spend a minimum of $284 per night for the privilege of staying anywhere on the island.

Other Texan beaches won't be much of a bargain hunter's dream either this Spring Break. Hotels in Galveston and Port Aransas, for example, will also be at least doubling their rates. That means Spring Breakers will have to shell out almost $200 per night to stay there. Only Corpus Christi is more affordable. On the day the survey was conducted, available rooms could still be scored for under $150 per night there, making it Texas's cheapest beach destination.

Those Spring Breakers for whom being non-beachside is not a deal breaker do have some other options, though. Among urban destinations, hotel rates in Houston and Dallas are presently only about 40% higher than normal. In Austin, however, room rates are also tripling, less because of an influx of Spring Breakers and more because of the SXSW festival and the rodeo.

The following table shows what Spring Breakers will have to pay for the cheapest available double room during the March 13-17 (Spring Break) timeframe in nine Texas destinations. The rates shown are in comparison to April 3-7 prices. Only such hotels (minimum of 2 stars) that are located on the beach-or in the city for urban destinations (maximum one mile from downtown)-were considered. They survey was conducted on March 7, 2013.

Destination March 13-17 April 3-7 Increase
South Padre Island $284 $74 +283%
Galveston $184 $79 +133%
Port Aransas $196 $89 +120%
Rockport $144 $65 +121%
Corpus Christi $137 $80 +71%
Dallas $122 $86 +42%
Houston $137 $95 +44%
San Antonio $94 $59 +59%
Austin $275 $87 +216%
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