Fun in the sun: Escape the crowds when planning your spring break vacation

You don't need a passport to travel to the often overlooked U.S. Virgin Islands

Spring break is right around the corner, and Americans are ready for some fun in the sun.

And whether you're looking to stay local or head off for a dream vacation, commercial pilot Kathleen Bangs says there are still some bargains to be found.

Bangs joined FOX Weather on Sunday morning and discussed options regarding locations and prices.

"In Naples (Florida), if you want to stay at a DoubleTree next month during spring break, it's $650 a night," she said. "But if you don't need sun and sand, or you don't need sand just some sun and mountains, think about the DoubleTree in Missoula, Montana, for $150 a night."

She said she took a look at Google Trends for people who looked for spring break and found people living in the Midwest were interested in Cancun.

"I would suggest instead of staying in Cancun, flying there but drive down 50 or 70 miles to Playa del Carmen," Bangs said. "There are so many beautiful ruins and so much to do down there and get away from the crowds in Cancun."

People living in the western U.S. searched more for Puerto Vallarta, Bangs said.

"Again, it's very crowded and expensive," Bangs said. "Go a little bit down the Pacific Coast to Oaxaca. It's fantastic. Old world, true Mexican flavor, beautiful architecture and still really good prices."

Jamaica was the number one pick for people living in the southern U.S.

"My choice would be the nearby Cayman Islands," Bangs said. "It's the safest destination probably in the Caribbean and world-class scuba diving."

The top searched destination for people living in the eastern U.S. was the Dominican Republic.

"If you want to get away from the crowds, go to the often-overlooked U.S. Virgin Islands," Bangs said. "No passport required."